If anyone asks what drives a business, the first thing that will come to mind is the customer - because without customers, there would be no business. However of equal, if not greater, importance is your employees, as they are the cogs that drive the daily machine. Yet so much attention is focused on the customer experience, however the experience of your employees is equally important, and in fact goes hand in hand with customer experience. Nobody wants to be considered just a number, so it is integral for your employees to feel like they are an important part of a bigger picture and valued as such.
What is Employee Experience?
Employee experience, or EX, is the sum of all the interactions that an employee has with their employer throughout their employment. This could include not just work related interactions, but also feelings, emotions and how employees understand and process these interactions. Employees no longer simply want to be those aforementioned cogs in order to pay the bills - they are looking for meaning more than ever.
People Insight defines three distinct areas that make up employee experience: cultural, technological and physical environment. These can be explained by asking a few simple questions: What are your company’s values? Are these communicated? Do employees feel recognised within these values? Is your company software user friendly and does technology allow for real time feedback from both employer and employee? Is the actual workspace conducive to a good overall experience - are your employees comfortable and do they have access to everything they need?
According to Sapling, employees who are allowed to choose when, where and how they work have a greater level of satisfaction, innovation and job performance. Make sure your employees have the right tools to do the job, that there are clearly defined processes and that all the necessary resources are available to work effectively and efficiently. Nobody feels happy in an environment where they have to hunt for information or make it up as they go along, only to be told that they did it wrong! Not only does this create frustration, but it also wastes time!
Remember that company culture is not only about benefits and perks - after all you can’t have a satisfied employee by throwing nice things their way whilst not treating them with respect. Company culture does however play into the employee experience, as companies with a good energy will add to a good employee experience, which in turn leads to a good customer experience.
Why is Employee Experience Important?
Forbes research shows that EX can improve your business in the following ways:
- Lower employee turnover - this is an obvious one. If your employees are satisfied, they are less likely to leave.
- Improved employee engagement and improved work performance - the happier and more valued your employees feel, the more engaged they are and the more productive they will be.
- Increased financial turnover - this goes back to the previous points - happy, productive employees lead to better customer experience and in turn increased profits.
- Increased innovation - the better the employee experience, the more employee engagement, which will in turn improve innovation and make for an all round good experience for employees and customers alike. The more innovative your company, the more likely you are to retain good employees as well as customers, as we are all on the lookout for the next best thing. Making room for innovation helps you to stay ahead of the game.
Ways to Improve Employee Experience
Employee experience is very much about daily interactions, encouragement and opportunity. Forbes lists some ideas for contributing to a positive EX:
- Growth opportunities - collaborate on setting goals and how to achieve growth.
- Feedback - give regular feedback to maintain and improve performance.
- Appreciation - recognise and provide feedback for a job well done on a regular basis and help with practical understanding of where things can improve.
- Leadership, trust and respect - this works towards an environment where employees feel cared for, trusted and respected, and where they feel their needs are being heard and met.
- Communication - keep these channels open and honest at all times and share important information. Allow employees to contribute their own feedback and information.
- Collaboration - allow for opportunities to not only work together, but to meet outside of work hours to build relationships within teams as well as across teams.
- Empowerment and success - allow employees the power to make their own everyday decisions to do their jobs more efficiently. Define individual goals to work together to ensure success.
Employee experience is as important as customer experience because at the end of the day employees drive what the customer experiences. Listen to your employees, understand their needs and make changes where necessary. Employees who feel valued and heard can only produce better results and happier customers, therefore improving bottom line, and retaining good relationships and longevity in the workplace. For more ways to improve your employee experience, with us.