Article: Essential people practices for a winning employee experience strategy

Employee Engagement

Essential people practices for a winning employee experience strategy

In the face of a shifting talent landscape, organisations can cultivate long-term success by strategically leveraging people practices to build a winning employee experience.
Essential people practices for a winning employee experience strategy

Sustainable growth remains the top priority for business leaders navigating the economic crisis. But how can they achieve this while minimising the impact of external factors on employee morale and ensuring long-term talent retention, especially when large-scale hiring isn't an option? 

The key lies within your workforce.  Investing in employee experience (EX) is a proven strategy to boost profitability. Studies show satisfied employees are 66% more likely to deliver exceptional customer service. By fostering a positive work environment, companies can retain top talent, attract recruits, and empower their workforce to achieve ambitious goals, ultimately driving business growth.

Despite its proven benefits, employee experience (EX) remains an overlooked factor. A staggering 52% of global employees feel EX-related software is outdated and cumbersome. Business leaders might believe strong strategies automatically translate to positive employee experiences, but that's a misconception.

It’s all about the culture

A business strategy that does not consider EX can have detrimental effects in the long term. This is because strategy is nothing without culture. At the heart of a good employee experience lies organisational culture. It dictates how people interact, set professional boundaries, work collaboratively, and learn from one another. 

Picture this: A company hires a new employee, and on their first day, they are not briefed about their role, expectations, or short-term and long-term goals. They are also not acquainted with their larger team members, putting them in a position to break the ice on their own accord. In the beginning, this may not seem like a big deal, but this approach can seep into the new talent’s experiences from that day in the future, preventing them from cultivating a sense of belonging. Over time, this could affect their ability to socialise, ask for help, and grow professionally. This is one of the many things that business leaders need to keep in mind while designing their employee experience strategy. 

Social events, an extensive onboarding program that gives a glimpse of the care and the effort that the business puts into its EX, and prioritising open communication, empowerment and autonomy, continuous learning, and inclusivity - are all non-negotiable factors for a good EX program.

Better people practices

Culture sets the foundation, but organisations can only bring their culture to life through their people practices. HR practices, from recruitment strategies to performance management systems, influence the employee experience.

Here are some key people practices to consider:

Purposeful recruitment: Over 69% of HR professionals believe that their organisation suffers from a skills gap. While it is essential to bridge the gap and hire based on talent and skillset, it is equally important to measure how the new talent fits into the organisation. Hiring for cultural fit and value alignment, in addition to skills and qualifications, is key to ensuring that there are fewer interpersonal challenges within the organisation. 

Feedback, reward and recognition: Regular feedback and reward and recognition programs are essential for employee engagement and motivation. A two-way feedback mechanism that encourages constructive dialogue and acknowledges the contributions of both junior and senior-level employees can ensure that everyone’s needs are considered. At the same time, it is important to reward employees for their contributions, and innovations appropriately. Sometimes, these rewards need to go beyond the standard gift hamper.

Development opportunities: Employees can learn a lot from their senior leaders. Facilitating ways the two can interact, learn, and explore professional coaching sessions is a great way of ensuring continuous professional development. Business leaders should also encourage employees to take on upskilling programs, step out of their comfort zones to expand their capabilities and explore opportunities for cross-functional collaboration between teams.

Work-life balance: There has been an uptick in the number of people who feel that they cannot disconnect from work, even on vacation. Organisations need to ensure that in the absence of a resource, there are substitutes to make up for their ongoing tasks and targets. Work-life balance cannot be achieved if the effort does not stem from within the organisation.

Employee experience is not a one-time initiative but an ongoing journey of evolution and adaptation. Staying attuned to employee feedback, market trends, and emerging best practices is imperative. Continuously refining EX practices and approach ensures that it remain impactful and effective, meeting the needs of both the employees and the organisation.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Life @ Work, #Retention, #HRCommunity

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