How to Improve Your Employee Experience

By Toni Buffa | Published May 3, 2022

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Improving the employee experience isn’t about teamwide camping trips, fancy gym memberships, or Taco Tuesdays.

If you’re hesitant to throw out the idea that ping pong tables and free coffee are enough to keep employees happy, consider this– an informal work environment is the least important job factor among millennial job seekers. Only 15% of millennials mark an informal work environment to be important in their job search, and only 18% care about finding a fun place to work.

Sure, extra perks are nice, but a frictionless work environment that makes sense is what actually impacts how your employees feel on the day-to-day. In this post, we’re going over the pillars of a positive employee experience and how to achieve them.

1. Communicate

Employees need to feel heard. They’re on the ground working within the systems you create. If they have something to say about how those systems could be improved, listening to and trusting their opinion will improve their experience and the success of your organization.

Research shows that 33% of employees feel a lack of open, honest communication has the greatest negative impact on employee morale. Employees that feel misunderstood or ignored might feel dejected, which can lead to lower employee engagement and higher turnover rates. We don’t want that.

Give employees open lines of communication with each other and management. They should have a space to bring up concerns and recognize each other’s strengths. Be proactive about asking employees for feedback on workflows, leadership, communication, etc. If employees feel uncomfortable giving honest feedback, set up an anonymous portal for addressing concerns.

Stay interviews can also be useful for improving communication. Managers can sit down with each employee for an open conversation about how the employee is doing, what they need, and what they think is and isn’t working. This is a good tool for managers looking to help their employees feel understood and appreciated.

If you are one of the many teams planning to stay remote or hybrid for good, maintaining strong communication will take a little extra effort. You’ll need solid workflow management systems that enable clear communication throughout the entire organization, as well as a few Zoom calls every now and then.

2. Set Goals

When employees know what’s expected of them, they perform better and are more likely to have a positive experience at the organization. 72% of millennials and 69% of all other generations who understand what achievement looks like within their role are likely to be engaged. When these employees don’t understand what’s expected of them, that engagement rate drops by 45 points for millennials and 47 for all other generations.

Research indicates that those with a positive employee experience have 16 times the engagement level of those with a negative experience.

Set clear goals for your employees to show them what success looks like in their role. Measurable achievement milestones help employees know they’re on the right track, as well as where they stand with their employer.

3. Support

Employees will have a better experience in every aspect of work if they feel supported by their organization. While “support your employees” may seem like an obvious, however intangible goal, there are quite a few concrete actions you can take to make this happen– starting from the moment you bring on a new hire.

Onboarding is where the employee experience begins. It’s where HR managers get the chance to set their new hires up for success. Give your employees a good onboarding experience, and they’ll perform well and be comfortable doing so. Give them a bad onboarding experience (or no onboarding at all) and they’ll be left to settle into their role all on their own. Some employees can do this. Others will feel unsupported, uncomfortable, and unqualified, all because they didn’t get the instruction, communication, and support they needed during the onboarding process.

Supporting your employees throughout the course of their employment requires empathy. Managers must put themselves in their underlings' shoes, considering the problems they face on the job and why they act the way they do. Empathizing with your employees will help you identify their version of a positive employee experience. Every employee is different. Empathy reveals all the ways you can support your team according to their personalities.

You can also support your employees by offering more learning and career development opportunities. 59% of millennial job seekers, 44% of Gen Xers, and 41% of baby boomers report that opportunities to learn and grow are extremely important factors in their job search.

Employees want to learn from their time at your company. They will appreciate feeling like they’re getting more than just a paycheck from the work they put in. The best employee experience is one that supports and enables growth in all aspects.

4. Build Trust

Building trust starts with being fair. Your employees need to feel that your hiring process is fair and free of bias. Create a more fair hiring process through tools like skills assessments, blind hiring practices, and structured interviews.

Prioritizing diversity and inclusion is also vital to a positive employee experience. Diverse and inclusive workplaces have lower turnover, higher employee engagement, and are more profitable. Diverse teams have a better time making decisions. When you have a variety of skills, personalities, and experiences knocking around ideas, you’re bound to get an innovative, more nuanced solution.

"Employees want to be able to feel a strong sense of affiliation to their organizations and when it is more diverse and inclusive - enabling many voices to be heard -it helps them to stay connected to the organization," said Richard Orbé-Austin, author and founder of Dynamic Transitions Psychological Consulting. "This sense of belonging increases employee satisfaction and the willingness to refer others to the company. They feel seen, valued, and heard, which are powerful motivators for the employee experience.”

A diverse workplace where every person feels they were hired for their merit and that their knowledge and experiences hold value improves the employee experience by helping your employees feel like they belong on your team.

Lastly, build trust by acting on the feedback you receive. If you listen to your employees and don’t address their concerns, they will have no reason to communicate with you honestly in the future. This may even spur resentment, leaving employees feeling like management’s positive actions are ingenuine and unsubstantiated.

5. Streamline Workflows

Streamlining workflows with the right workflow management platform is the last piece of the positive employee experience puzzle. Integrify gives HR managers the ability to manage employee-related tasks and processes from a centralized, easy-to-navigate dashboard. Automated employee processes can be designed and customized for anything from employee change of status to education assistance, allowing business users to easily alter the system according to organizational policies and employees’ needs.

Having one tool for managing all work, processes, requests, approvals, and assignments simplifies how employees do work, which helps managers cultivate a comfortable, productive, and positive experience for the whole team.

Ready to see how it works? Click here to schedule a live demo.

employee experience   Improve employee experience   communication   employee  

Productivity Tips   Business Ideas  

Toni Buffa

Toni is a member of the Integrify marketing team and writes for the Integrify blog. Toni lives in Colorado and loves animals of all stripes.

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