The year 2020 was unprecedented, ambiguous and challenging, to say the least. Employees faced extraordinary challenges such as mental health and wellbeing, job insecurity, adapting to work from home amongst others. Overnight, organisations had to strategize how to help employees adapt to this drastic transition and maintain a positive (virtual) work environment. That in a nutshell is 'Employee Experience'.
What is Employee Experience (EX)?
EX is a terminology that is not new to the HR fraternity. It delves into the employee’s perception of his/her journey at an organization. To create a positive EX, organizations need to look into a variety of aspects that include strategising safe workplace protocols, initiatives for learning & development, effective and efficient communication etc.
It embraces adopting digital transformation instruments like easy-to-use technology to facilitate time capture, attendance regularisation, timesheet compliance, leave management etc. The aim is to make an employees’ journey in the organization as comfortable and convenient as possible.
EX making headway in Culture, Engagement, Recruitment, Retention, Bottom line in 2021
Organizations today have realised that an EX strategy is not only a nice to have but has become a necessity. Infact, there is an emergence of entire roles and departments dedicated to it.
- Culture: An organization’s values tell you a lot about what an employee’s experience will be like. Ingrained company cultures will impact how employees feel about their work environment and will create a sense of value and belonging. The strength of relationships between employees and the company is a reflection of their culture.
- Recruitment: With sites like Glassdoor making employee experience more transparent, organizations are more accountable to create great employee experiences; especially if they want to hire top talent. Today, employees are curious to know what their experience in an organization will be like before they make a commitment to the organization.
- Engagement: Engaged employees represent a positive and fulfilling employee experience. When employees are happy at work and are able to identify personal and professional development, they invest their time and intellect into the job which positively impacts the organisation’s bottomline and growth.
- Bottom Line: These small steps as mentioned above add up to creating a positive EX and businesses leaders can leverage it to even enhance the bottom line. A study by MIT's Center for Information Systems Research (CISR) shows that companies with the best employee experiences can achieve twice the customer satisfaction and innovation and generate 25% higher profits. Happier employees contribute to the growth of the company. A Jacob Morgan analysis of over 250 global organizations found that companies that scored highest on employee experience had four times higher than average profits. They also reported two times higher than average revenues. This demonstrates that investing in the right employee experience pays off!
- Retention: EX as a process kicks in from the time a prospective employee files his/her application for job consideration and continues till they exit/retire the organization. A detailed introduction to the organization’s values and cultures clubbed with a structured induction program impacts perception. This in turn has a lasting effect on an employee’s overall productivity, continuity, and dedication.
Role of technology in enhancing EX
Technology will soon be at the epicentre of employee experience. Today, an employee expects technology integrated into the workplace culture. It has a valuable role in enabling companies to design personalised experiences. These include performance management, employee well-being and productivity tools employees use to get work done. Data has a pivotal role in determining the employee touchpoints. It enables leaders to derive meaningful insights into the short and long-term engagement levels.
Companies deploy a myriad of tools to improve employee happiness and productivity. It has the power to push employee experience to an even higher level. These include AI chatbots, cloud computing, collaborative work tools, employee social networks, human resources help desks, on-demand learning and recruitment bots etc.
Since last year, our work environment has become completely virtual. In such times, technology is creating new connection points to nourish our need for work relationships. Technology enables innovation, collaboration and flexibility. These tools empower employees with the creative freedom to do their job and provides them with an experience that they find exciting and rewarding.
EX in 2021
In 2021, employee experience needs to be a proactive strategy that organizations invest in and design. Employees want to see value and purpose in what they do at work and how that experience adds to their professional development.. A well-implemented EX programme can have a positive impact on employer branding, boost productivity, increase engagement and retention which ultimately revamps the organisation's bottom line.
Know more about what’s new in employee experience at the People Matters Employee Experience India Conference on 10th June, 2021. Register Now!