The world of work is changing. Teams are scattered across the globe, the majority of the workforce doesn’t work in a traditional office setting, and because most employees don’t love their jobs, they’re not only looking for, but demanding, more. This results in leaders struggling to retain top talent, reduce turnover, and improve employee engagement and productivity. But while 75 percent of companies struggle with overwhelmed employees, organizations spend more on measuring employee engagement than successfully acting on it.
Employees are searching for an experience that values them as a whole person, not just an employee.
Defining and improving the employee experience
The employee experience can be defined as how it feels to work somewhere. It’s every interaction—thousands of moments—that you have with your company and colleagues every day. It’s about showing employees that their company cares. Employees in a high-trust culture who experience a caring workplace are 44 percent more likely to work for a company with above-average revenue growth. From well-being to engagement to culture to inclusion, great companies are bridging silos and starting to consider both their people and people programs holistically. But how do you create a stellar employee experience or evolve your current employee experience into one that connects all aspects of a great company (like inclusion, engagement, well-being and communications efforts)?
“Employees are searching for an experience that values them as a whole person, not just an employee.”
Elevate the experience – here’s how
In order to create this type of employee experience—make it immersive. Elevating the employee experience requires everyone—leaders, executives, managers, employees—to be on board.
Here are three ways you can elevate your employee experience to build a better company today.
1. Think about the whole person.
Whole-person well-being is physical, emotional, financial and work well-being. It’s feeling good and living with purpose, which requires whole-company and whole-ecosystem (every company capability and program) support. It’s safe to say we all want this for our employees. When you show your employees you truly care about their well-being, the results are real. According to the Well-Being and Engagement Report, 91 percent of employee participants with both high well-being and organizational support report higher intent to stay, and when employees feel their employer cares about their well-being, they’re 38 percent more engaged. Simply put, employees have higher well-being and are more engaged, which leads to better business results.
“When employees feel their employer cares about their well-being, they’re 38 percent more engaged.”
2. Foster organizational support across the whole company.
Organizational support comes in many forms:
- Manager support
- Team/peer support
- Social networks
- Physical work environment
- Strategic alignment
- Leadership support
- Well-being tools and programs
A great way to think about organizational support is the resources and nudges an organization intentionally provides employees to encourage well-being improvement—and research indicates that managers are the most important factor. But managers often don’t have the resources or tools to talk with their employees about well-being and don’t know how far to go with their support. Whether it’s setting expectations, ensuring employees feel that their work is meaningful, being a role model for well-being improvement or simply sending authentic messages of encouragement, support from managers is a great first step to take to foster overall organizational support.
In fact, both local support and organization-wide support are crucial for showing your authentic commitment to employees—research shows 99 percent of those with high well-being and organizational support recommend their company as a great place to work. This not only helps you retain top talent, but also helps you attract new talent.
3. Leverage every capability in your entire ecosystem.
How do your employees experience your engagement measurement efforts? Are you leveraging the right communications at the right time, to the right people? Evolving your people program to a more coordinated, connected and data-driven approach will not only help boost mutual trust and commitment, but you’ll get the insights you want (and need) to help drive your company forward.
Your entire ecosystem impacts your employees daily. Utilize quarterly employee check-ins and frequent employee listening to measure engagement and keep a pulse on your employees.
Good for people, good for business
A fully immersive employee experience across all HR programs considers the whole person, whole company and whole ecosystem. And as a result, employees feel good, have a deep connection and sense of purpose at work, and feel that their whole selves are valued. Employees know that their company cares. When evolving your employee experience, start with your employees in mind. Ask them what’s getting in their way of feeling good and living with purpose. What makes them feel like they can’t bring their whole self to work?
Creating a culture that’s good for people is also good for business. And when you’ve done it well, people understand that putting employees first is how we do things around here.