Focus on the employee experience

Employee engagement has never been more critical to business success. With a changed corporate landscape, with many businesses having adopted a hybrid work model, or 100% remote workforce, having a strong strategy to build employee engagement should be a top priority.

Employee engagement has been defined by Willis Tower Watson as “the deep and broad connection that employees have with a company as well as their voluntary and enthusiastic commitment to its success”. Engaged workers who have the highest levels of productivity are most likely to go above and beyond in their job.  

Some of the world’s most cutting-edge companies have shifted their focus in recent years from “employee engagement” to a more holistic approach with the focus on the overall “employee experience”. So how is the employee experience different from good old-fashioned employee engagement you ask, and why do we feel we need to change the focus in order to have engaged staff

According to Willis Tower Watson it can be defined as “the sum of all the touchpoints and moments that matter that people have at work”.

There are four basic dimensions to employee experience. Employees need to have these complex requirements met in order to have a positive employee experience; 

Be inspired by a strong sense of purpose in an inclusive environment.  

When people feel they belong to something bigger than themselves, something that stands for something they believe in, they are more engaged in the everyday work they do. They can keep the ‘bigger picture’ in sight so remain aspirational and find meaning in their work. 

When staff identify with what their company does, and why they do it, they are more productive. Increasingly, companies need to be more environmentally responsible as the people who work for them have a growing awareness of social and environmental responsibility.   

Feel like they are doing great work in a thriving organisation.   

A thriving business is one that is doing it’s best and is able to evolve in a rapidly changing and complex environment. These businesses are agile and innovative and have their ‘fingers on the pulse’ in every sense of the phrase; the pulse of the market they are in, the pulse of their employee engagement, company culture and what their competitors are doing. People who are part of a business with these qualities are more engaged and driven.

These qualities are inspiring and being a part of a thriving business is understandably going to provide employees with a positive workplace experience. 

Have access to and connect with great leaders and work amongst great people.  

As the saying goes, people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad leaders. The opposite is true. Great leaders can make a powerful impact on the overall employee experience. 

A key employee engagement success factor is great leadership.

Most employees engage with their managers on a regular basis, meaning the employee-manager relationship is one of the main ways that the employee-organisation relationship is expressed and experienced.

There are many layers to being a great leader but some of the standout qualities are, when it comes to generating a positive employee experience are;

  1. Make sure all stakeholders are onboard with the “employee experience” concept and strategy. This requires keeping leaders connected with employees. It requires listening to what employees have to say, taking onboard feedback and then making changes. This needs to happen at all levels of the business through practical measures and procedures.
  2. Keeping people connected to the bigger meaning through storytelling, through connecting them with the end result of what the business does, ensuring people know that their work makes a real impact.
  3. Providing innovative ways to recognise and reward employees and ensure this is done by all managers and for all employees. High-performance organisations are characterised by respect and trust. Businesses have a circle of trust, whereby employees trust leadership and leadership, in turn, trusts employees.

    In these environments, employees feel their leaders believe in them and are engaged and inspired to do their best.  

Feel they are suitably rewarded and achieve their full potential.  

High-performance organizations offer outstanding development and growth opportunities and long-term prospects to help employees maximize their career potential.

Studies show again and again that when people feel appreciated they are more motivated to do well and do better. The business needs to ensure that good talent is suitably rewarded and there is room within the organisation for people to grow and move up the ranks.

Having a positive employee experience is an essential part of retaining good people. Could your strategy do with some fine tuning? If your leadership team could do with my help, please get in touch today, I’d love to hear from you.

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