Every company wants their employees to have a great experience working for them, but not every company has a detailed strategy on how to accomplish their goal. Without a plan in place, companies might be creating initiatives that don’t actually enhance the employee experience or even go unnoticed. So if you’re keen on creating a positive work culture that fosters creativity, innovation, and collaboration, then you’ll want to turn lofty goals into a manageable strategy. In this blog post, we'll explore:
What is an employee experience strategy?
An employee experience strategy is a comprehensive plan that focuses on creating a positive work experience for employees. It spans from all aspects of the employee journey, from their first interaction with a recruiter all the way to their retirement benefits. Employee experience is different from workplace experience, because employee experience includes remote and distributed team members as well. An employee experience strategy can include a range of initiatives, such as training and development programs, flexible work arrangements, helpful workplace tools, onsite events, wellness programs, and employee recognition programs. With the right investment and attention given to these initiatives, companies can boost engagement, increase productivity, enhance company reputation, and ultimately drive business performance.
4 benefits of an employee experience strategy
You can’t reap positive benefits of anything without a plan in place first. From higher productivity to improved business outcomes, let's dive into the positive impact a strong employee experience strategy can have on your workplace.
1. Improved employee engagement
Employees know when they are a priority to their company. So when you have a robust employee experience strategy in place, it does not go unnoticed. Employees will feel more valued and supported at work. This can trickle into higher levels of employee engagement, whether that be employees participating in employee resource groups, attending social events, taking on extra responsibilities to support their team, or just being a great team player.
2. Higher levels of productivity
Design an employee experience strategy that makes it easier for employees to do meaningful work. That can mean flexible hours that provide better work life balance, or employee resource groups that help employees feel belonging at work. These elements in turn lead to higher productivity. When employees are engaged and have the right resources, they perform better. According to a report by Gallup, companies with engaged employees outperform those without over 2x.
3. Enhanced company reputation
Companies that prioritize employee experience tend to have a better employer brand and reputation. A positive workplace culture can attract top talent and help the company stand out from competitors. In fact, a study by Glassdoor found that companies with a strong company reputation see a 50% reduction in cost per hire.
4. Improved business outcomes
A report by Deloitte found that companies with a focus on employee experience have four times higher profits than those without. All of the benefits above lead to better business outcomes. When you have a strategy in place to create more engaged, productive, and happy employees, your business will also reap the rewards. Businesses can expect higher performance, increased customer satisfaction, completed team goals, and more.
Best practices for implementing an employee experience strategy
By now you know the importance of an employee experience strategy. But actually creating and implementing one is a whole different ball game. Here are a few best practices to help you get started:
- Conduct a needs assessment. Before developing an employee experience strategy, it's important to understand the needs and pain points of your employees. Maybe you’ve just shifted to a hybrid policy and your employees need flexible hours and commute benefits. Or maybe your employees are eager for more training and development opportunities. Send out surveys and facilitate focus groups to get insight from what your employees need from the company.
- Lead with your company culture and values. Your company culture and values should be at the core of your employee experience strategy. If your value is around teamwork then make sure your strategy offers opportunities for cross functional collaboration and rewards those who work well in a team. If your value is innovation, host an innovation summit or product hackathon, and encourage employees to brainstorm new ideas to move the business forward.
- Prioritize the workplace experience. With many companies working full-time in office or in a hybrid fashion, the workplace has one of the biggest roles in driving employee experience. You should be putting time and effort into improving the workplace experience by making it safe, efficient, and fun. That could look like restructuring your office layout in order to support hot desking. Or it could be offering catered lunch onsite once a week.
- Incorporate regular recognition. Positive feedback is key to a great employee experience. A culture of recognition and celebration helps employees feel motivated and appreciated by their company. So make room in your employee experience strategy for a recognition plan and best practices for managers. That could be a quarterly award given to an employee on each team, or it could be a weekly email shout-out by the executive team that highlights people who have completed meaningful projects and milestones.
- Invest in the right tools: Technology (good technology) is a key concern for employees. In fact, 36% of employees say slow and outdated technology would be a deal breaker o coming into the workplace. So make sure you’re investing in the highest quality conference technology, communication tools, workplace platforms, and other tools that make collaboration and work life easier.
- Involve employees in decision-making. Your employees are the ones who will be impacted by your employee experience strategy, so it's important to involve them in the process. Gather feedback and ideas from employees and tailor the strategy to their needs. You might be putting more effort into one area of the employee experience strategy, when another one is actually much more important to your team.
Although implementing an employee experience strategy can be challenging, the benefits make it all worth it. Your employees are the lifeblood of your business, and whether or not they are having a good experience with your company is an undeniably important indicator of success. By investing in the well-being and engagement of employees, companies can improve productivity, reduce turnover, and create a more enjoyable workplace culture. Think about initiatives that can support your company objectives and align well with your values. And of course, involve employees and a variety of stakeholders in the writing room as you craft your employee experience strategy.To learn more about how to create a great employee experience, check out our Ultimate guide to improving the employee experience.