Let’s play a game of “would you rather.”
Would you rather your employees show up to work each day excited for new challenges and opportunities, ready to give it their all, and empowered with the satisfaction of a job well done?
Or would you rather have employees who watch the clock, lack motivation at work, and pass the buck whenever something goes wrong?
Great leaders want employees who are productive, hard-working, and satisfied, so it's no surprise that everyone would choose the former. The question is, how do you achieve it?
Spoiler alert: it’s not free t-shirts, snacks in the break room, and casual Friday. But don't sweat it; solutions for improving the employee experience (EX) are just as easy. Get started by adding these 9 tips to your employee experience strategy.
Why is having a positive employee experience important?
Before jumping into the tactics, it's key to know why having a great employee experience makes perfect business sense. Your EX reflects your team's perceptions of all the interactions, touchpoints, and involvements they have at your organization. In short, it's a good representation of how your team feels about their day-to-day lives at work.
If your team feels positive about their experience in your organization, they're more likely to:
- Feel motivated to do their best work
- Attain their professional goals, in line with broader business objectives
- Contribute to higher customer satisfaction
- Become ambassadors for your brand
9 Tactics to enhance your employee experience
Helping employees feel motivated, productive, and happy at work doesn't need to be difficult. With the right EX strategy, your team will feel and perform better than ever. Here are our top 9 tips to get you there.
1. Prioritize job satisfaction and meaningful work
Not every second of the workday has to be filled with award-winning projects for a positive employee experience, but it’s important that your employees feel that what they are doing matters.
Studies have shown that by trusting your employees, giving them reasonable autonomy, and providing adequate workplace technology, they’ll have higher job satisfaction rates and a better sense of well-being. And we've seen great benefits arising from high employee satisfaction levels, including:
- Lower employee turnover
- Higher productivity
- Loyalty towards the organization
- A positive work environment
📏 Not sure where your team stands? Measure your employee satisfaction with this 10-question survey template.
2. Give thoughtful employee feedback
Giving employee feedback can be nerve-racking or feel like a touchy subject for some managers. You might be caught up on not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings or cause unnecessary conflict. But great feedback should never break your team's harmony. Times have changed and providing clear and constructive feedback is something your employees have come to expect, and even appreciate.
Even if the feedback is simple, your employees understand its importance and still want to hear it. Our data further revealed that 83% of employees appreciate receiving feedback, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative.
For feedback to result in better business outcomes and meaningful career development, it should be delivered with thoughtfulness and care. These employee feedback examples can help you get started.
3. Welcome feedback from employees
Feedback is a two-way street, and you can improve the employee experience by giving your team an outlet to express their opinions, too.
Officevibe's employee feedback tool provides an anonymous, safe place for employees in your organization to share their feelings. Most employees feel valued when they know their voices are heard. Plus, when you show that you take this feedback to heart, you will likely improve employee retention rates.
Officevibe not only gives you instant insight into the employee experience, but also tracks how your team feels over time and addresses issues as you see them creeping up in your organizational culture.
👉 Pro tip: Feedback should always be addressed and replied to in a timely manner. Use these tips on how to respond to employee feedback next time you receive an anonymous comment.
4. Create a flexible and positive work environment
Life can get in the way of many things, including work. Instead of penalizing an employee for attending their child’s soccer game or taking a mental health day, consider providing a healthy work-life balance. This strategy gives your employees the best of both worlds: they can meet (or exceed) their work obligations while still enjoying personal time to recharge.
Each organization will have different levels of leeway with flexibility, but potential options include:
- Offer a hybrid work environment with at least one day of remote work per week. Modern employees often look for full autonomy when deciding where to work, so consider this when creating your remote work policies.
- Implement core hours when all employees should be online (ex: 10 am to 3 pm) and allow them to distribute the rest of their time as they wish. You'll soon see your team shift to schedules that fit their lifestyles and help them perform better at work.
- Gather insights from your employees with an internal survey tool to find out what flexibility options they desire, and see if it’s possible to meet them all the way (or at least halfway).
- Provide a holistic time off policy that employees can use regardless of what life throws their way. This can include a general paid parental leave policy, but also a generous (or even unlimited) bank of personal days.
- Sponsor fitness programs and give employees time in their work schedule to hit the gym, take a walk, meditate, or do something healthy for the brain and mind.
By focusing on initiatives that promote employee wellness, you can have happier and healthier employees that stick with your organization through thick and thin. Sending a quick employee wellness survey can help you determine which initiatives would have the biggest impact across your organization.
5. Be mindful of the employee life cycle
Just like a product or company has a life cycle, so do employees!
The typical stages of an employee's life cycle go something like this:
- Attraction: What does the public know about your product, company culture, compensation, etc., that attracts an employee to apply for a position?
- Hiring: When an employee applies, does the hiring process feel fair? What can human resources do to make each applicant feel valued?
- Onboarding: Does the onboarding process for new hires make them feel like they’ve joined a positive work environment with great managers and room for career advancement? The quality of employee onboarding experiences can set the stage for long-term employee engagement.
- Development: Does the employee experience at your organization include a strategy to encourage employees to continue to develop their skills for professional development?
- Retention: Retaining employees requires a high degree of employee engagement. Knowing whether you have engaged employees can be difficult to quantify, so it can be helpful to create a series of metrics that, together, help you pinpoint whether you are providing an employee experience that encourages retention.
- Separation: If an employee's journey comes to an end, exit interviews can help you determine what, if anything, went wrong. Was the employee experience subpar due to the physical work environment, performance issues, or something else?
Asking yourself these questions at each step of the employee journey will help you stay nimble in your management style and improve your employee experience strategy.
6. Optimize the employee journey
Did you know that there is such a thing as a “job honeymoon?” This six-month period of the employee experience includes gushing over the new job and seamless onboarding experience, delighting in work relationships that feel like personal relationships, and feeling like your schedule is jam-packed with meaningful work.
When the honeymoon is over, employees sometimes experience boredom, less motivation, and even frustration. To avoid such a drastic shift in employee productivity and happiness, keep your finger on the pulse of the 9 KPIs that indicate employee engagement and satisfaction.
Another way to solidify your employee experience strategy is to implement stay interviews. Unlike an exit interview, which happens when an employee departs, stay interviews allow you to identify what’s working and where you can improve before an employee leaves.
7. Promote a workplace culture of diversity and inclusion
The world is diverse, but many employees still tend to eschew what is unfamiliar or different. As a result, 3 out of 5 workers “hide” their identity at work, creating a less-than-stellar employee experience.
Fostering a positive environment and inclusive workplace culture that celebrates a diverse workforce can boost employee engagement and even lead to better business outcomes. Managers and HR leaders could encourage employees to celebrate and learn from each other’s differences.
💡 Build a stronger team with a high sense of belonging with these 5 diversity and inclusion activities.
8. Make room for growth
While there’s something to be said for stability and certainty, a high-performing employee will inevitably want to be at a company that affords a high degree of career development.
Whether your business is brand new or a Fortune 500 company, you can have more engaged employees by showing willingness to fairly evaluate employee performance, provide constructive feedback, and offer room for growth to provide employees with a sense of purpose and upward mobility.
9. Set the right expectations
Setting expectations early and often helps your team understand what’s expected of them and what’s expected of you.
Some of this disconnect is a natural side effect of having an agile organization. Roles and tasks evolve to fit immediate and long-term needs. Still, those shifting (or expanding) expectations need to be communicated to your staff to preserve a quality employee experience.
Don’t wait for an annual review to communicate or learn of a disconnect. Instead, use a tool like Officevibe to customize employee surveys or organize one-on-ones surrounding key issues, including expectations.
Make your employee experience shine with Officevibe
If you want your business to succeed in the modern work landscape, improving your employee experience day-in-day-out should always be a top priority. Be sure to implement these tips and tricks across your teams and departments, and watch your employees bring your company to the next level.
When in doubt, know that you're not alone in your EX journey. Tools like Officevibe will support you along the way by helping you track, measure, and maximize your employee journey and experience. Discover Officevibe's people-friendly EX platform, and start improving your employee experience today.