Before we even go very far, yes, investing in a great employee experience improves employees’ performance. That said, let’s change the discussion from if, to how it happens. A few days ago, my colleague Joseph and I visited a local retail store on a completely different mission, then left the store with completely different lessons. I am a passionate champion for creating memorable experiences, so in a workplace setup, I am very keen on employee experience because I know for a fact that it influences customer experience, and the overall performance of the business.

I always look out for employee behavior whenever I find myself in a workplace where I have to interact with a business, not because I am looking for a perfectionist workplace, but because I know behind every behavior are perceptions that arise from a good or bad workplace culture, and organizational culture is one of my most favorite parts of my profession as a strategy consultant.

But hey, what in the first place is employee experience?

What is employee experience?

As we were moving across the isles, I said, ‘Look Joe, one of the many challenges businesses face stems from their neglect of their employees’ experience,’ – this is what we call EX. Employee experience can be defined as the sum of perceptions held by employees regarding their work and/ or workplace, as a result of their interaction with the company. The experiences an employee has while working for your company—from the moment they apply for a job to the moment they leave—are all part of their overall employee experience. This includes what they see, hear or even feel. 

Employee experience is pegged on corporate culture

While many of our consulting clients cry foul over their poor employee performance, high rates of employee turnover, low attraction of top talent and in specific that of millennials, or poor customer experience, a deeper dive into what really ails most of such clients tells more than just what they think is the problem. Many of these challenges stem from poor employee experience, which in essence results from poor, or lack thereof, of a corporate culture that champions for the improved experience of employees. 

How to improve employee experience in 6 steps

So the question we are trying to answer is not whether to invest in creating great employee experience, but how to do so, and in what areas of the workplace. Below are just a few of the areas you may want to consider. To make the best out of this, we’ll divide them into 6 categories according to the employee lifecycle stages;

  1. Attracting

Okay, yes at this point the person has not become your employee, but the journey starts here, and you can leverage this step by ensuring that your employees who are at other stages of development have the best experience, because it can radiate and be visible to those talents you want to attract. Those employees will be your silent brand ambassadors, and that will go a long way to helping attract other talents.

  1. Recruiting

This stage is crucial because if you make a mistake here, you may find it too hard or expensive to fix in subsequent stages. You want to hire only the best, not just on the basis of their academic prowess, but also in terms of their individual purpose, and/ or awareness of it, and their alignment to the corporate purpose. Don’t ever lie to yourself that you can hire the wrong talent and fix it to be better. Go for the best right from the start. The whole point of this step is to ensure you get yourself partners in your pursuit to success, and not to enslave people into subjection just because they have to pay bills.

  1. Onboarding

Once you have the best talents, you want to give whatever you can to make them feel well oriented to the company’s way of doing things. This is where corporate culture is crucial. You cannot orient someone to a non-existent culture, because they have ears which can hear and eyes that can see, so they begin observing how things are done right from the first minute. There is nothing like a non-existent culture, so if you do not have a good culture, you automatically have a bad culture. One of the keys to success at creating a great employee experience at this stage is clarity, to ensure you set off from the same script with new employees.

  1. Retention

There has got to be a reason your employees want to keep working for you, and your business is doomed if the only reason your employees stick with you is because they have nowhere else to get money to pay bills with. The best way to ensure you retain the best talent is to create such a memorable employee experience that employees choose to remain with you to be part of the memorable experience which can manifest in many ways including monetary and non-monetary rewards and recognition.

Everyday points of contact between the company and employees ought to be so streamlined that they continually wow employees and give them a reason to stay back. Such touch points include the presence and strength of leadership, effectiveness of communication, and mental wellness among others. Bottom line, never stop wowing your employees.

  1. Skill development

Exposing employees to opportunities or hiding them helps to determine their perception and loyalty towards you, and subsequent performance. A well exposed employee is confident and can deliver, and loves the fact that they know what they are doing. On the other hand, a poorly trained/ developed employee spends most of their time hiding from situations which may expose their incompetence. This is what I was testing when Joe and I walked around asking for locations and use of some products in the retail store. You could clearly see a difference in performance and my customer experience whenever we walked into reputable stores that invest in employee training and development, versus those who just hire the next available job-seeker.

  1. Exit / separation

The worst thing a brilliant employer can do is to sever relations with employees simply because they are parting ways. Parting should, where possible, be sweet sorrow, not so sorrowful sorrow. When you employ, be aware that your people will eventually, most likely, outgrow you. Instead of trying to tie them around you for life, use the chance you have to make the best out of your relationship when you are in one. That way, you will never take it personal when even your best employee leaves for your competitors, because at least during the time they worked for you, you made the best out of it.

We are excited to continue collaborating to create great employee experience at  workplaces like yours. Consult with us here.

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