Have you ever booked a hotel and paid extra for a room with a sea view, but upon arrival you find you’re staring directly into the building next door and not at a blue horizon as expected. You’d probably be disappointed, maybe a little angry, it would sour the start of your trip and your feelings about the hotel.
The experience of your team is not that different from this scenario. If, during the recruitment and onboarding process, you sold a vision of the role and the organisation that reality cannot deliver on, you are risking disengaged and disgruntled people.
The Employee Experience is becoming increasingly important in recruitment and retention. We’re familiar with employee engagement – often linked to measuring productivity and alignment with company mission and values. Employee Experience (EX) shifts the focus to what is good for the employee, seeking to ensure:
- That the work they do has value
- That their personal needs are being accommodated
- A sense of belonging within a company or organisation.
EX encompasses the entire lifecycle of an employee with your organisation. It starts when they first learn about a business (the recruitment advert) and finishes at the end of their tenure.
“People still make the world go around. Despite the major advances in automation over the past decade, our workforce is certainly far from mechanised, and real value still flows from the heartbeat of the world’s flesh-and-bone employees.”
Nothing to hide
We’re in an era of transparency – and that means prospective team members have unprecedented access to information about businesses and roles. Many businesses have responded to this by creating an ‘employer brand’ that helps to attract top talent. However, when there is a disparity between the employer brand and the employee experience you will lose out long-term.
- As part of your recruitment, make sure you are sending a clear message about the vision, values and mission of the business and the kind of people you would like to work in it.
- Take the pulse of your employees to ensure that the EX is on track and use the feedback to make any adjustments.
EX to CX
The importance of EX should not be underestimated. Recent research by Forrester found that 78% of HR leaders think Employee Experience will be “very important” or “the most important factor” impacting businesses’ ability to deliver on objectives. In customer facing sectors, EX is directly linked to the customer experience. When your people feel valued and respected by their employer, they’re naturally happier and more engaged in their work. This, in turn, has a positive effect on the level of customer service they provide.
One way to start improving the EX is to listen to your people! Understand and identify the gap between what employees think the experience should be like and what the organisation is delivering. Then take action to close that gap.