Every employer knows the value of a loyal and satisfied workforce. Even putting aside the material cost of replacing an unhappy employee (or worse still, the impact of a bad hire), there is a clear correlation between happy employees and productivity. As we all return to whatever the new situation is post-pandemic, the employee experience is taking even more of an important position in the employer’s toolbox.
The key to a good experience is a consistent approach that immerses the team member in their employment and makes them feel valued and part of the workplace. While this principle is universal to a good experience, the way it is applied will vary from business to business and position to position. Your approach to it clearly needs to be as dynamic as the changing workplace. At the moment, for example, you cannot underestimate the added importance of the remote working element in a job role. Working from home (WFH) seems to be here to stay. In fact, candidates are now often starting to look for a WFH element in potential positions. This suddenly moves the importance of WFH from being a potential perk to being part of the employee experience.
Whatever the ins and out of the role, though, the experience starts at the initial point of contact and follows them to the end of their employment with you.
Elements that make up employee experience
Although the experience is about the whole journey of the employee, it is best to break it down into specific areas. Major milestones in the employee journey immediately spring to mind.
Before the job starts
The candidate will naturally be interested in the job role and salary, but there is a lot more to the pre-employment phase than just job descriptions. If at this stage, the candidate is immersed in the company brand and culture, they are far more likely to move into the role with accurate expectation of the position. Real and virtual tours, meet the teams, and, of course, appropriate interviews are all good places to ensure your values and approach are on display.
The biggest catalysts for job satisfaction revolve around the feeling of belonging and being valued. A good one to one review process, clear structures for progression and training, social aspects and the belief that their input is valued are just as important as working conditions and pay. It’s important then to maintain a good experience of these in the workplace.
After the employee leaves
Offboarding when the employee leaves your team is sometimes the forgotten relation in the experience family. However, it is really important that people take a good impression of their time with an employer with them as they leave. The brand of an employer travels with the leaving employee, and a good offboarding process means you are practically creating ambassadors for your business.
Is it worth putting time and effort into employee experience?
As with anything in a business, you want to know that the time and financial cost will be well spent. A considered and appropriate approach to ensuring a good employee experience will pay dividends in several ways:
- Engaged employees are a lot more productive. The research on this is well-documented, but it is probably only adding a number to something every employer knows. Happy, engaged employees want to work better and achieve more.
- Your reputation and brand as an employer will have a better standing when it comes to attracting new candidates.
- Employee retention will improve, and that will pay off in productivity. Stable teams work better together, and stability naturally requires a lower churn in the workforce.
- It could literally pay off in financial gain for your business. What all this adds up to is a financial advantage. While there may be a cost involved in implementing an employee experience strategy, it pales into insignificance compared to the potential gains. The increased productivity alone could be worth a significant amount on your bottom-line profit.
One final thought on the subject of cost. When you work with a good employment agency, they will be able to integrate that employee experience into the selection process. Starting the process of engagement as early as possible in the journey reduces the chance of a bad hire at the start. A good hire facilitates an ongoing good employee experience, whereas a bad hire for a middle management position will have a measurable cost in the region of £42,000 according to Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). That alone is a testament to the importance of having a good employee experience strategy.