Table of contents:
I. Employee Experience Essentials
What Is Employee Experience, Exactly?
Employee experience (or EX, as it’s frequently shortened) refers to how an employee feels about their interactions with a particular organization from the time they apply for a job to the time they leave. In other words, employee experience is the sum of all that people encounter throughout the course of their employment – be it physical workplace, corporate culture, workplace relations, or technology.
A great employee experience is crucial to any modern workplace because people that have a positive experience in their workplaces are more motivated to work and yield results. If the company maintains a healthy and supportive culture, its employees will feel more secure about their work and less fearful of failing.
What Is an Employee-Centric Workplace?
Your employees determine how successful your business is. Your team members and their expertise, experience, and talents, equals your company. In order to guarantee that your employees can flourish in their workplace, you need to take care of it.
Employee-centric workplace is a workplace where employees come first. Employee-centric workplace fosters company culture for both organization as a whole and its team members on an individual level. Both employees and the businesses benefit greatly from this approach.
How Does Workplace Culture... Work?
Because workplace culture is a term that may be very contextual, there are many different ways to describe it. Any social group whose members have similar values, beliefs, and conventions is said to have culture.
The simplest and most superficial way to describe workplace culture is to treat it as if it was the personality of your organization. For example, just as a certain type of people, some businesses just care about quick development. Other businesses place a strong emphasis on moderate and steady growth, just like another type of people.
Some businesses use pizza indulgence to define the working environment, while others focus only on healthful snacks.
Some businesses just use conventional desks and chairs, while others furnish their staff' workspaces to resemble their homes.
Your business is unique, just like every other, and that's where workplace culture comes into play.
The way Indeed.com defines workplace culture—as a synthesis of the organization's vision, objectives, expectations, and the values that inform its employees—is the most in-depth, business-oriented way to put it.
II. Employee Experience and Workplace Benefits
What Are Workplace Benefits?
Workplace benefits, or employee benefits are what a company offers its workers to improve or increase their level of comfort. Benefits often consist of the following:
- Health and injury benefits, including no-cost medical and dental treatment as well as other types of health insurance.
- Benefits from insurance, both paid and unpaid.
- Retirement: pension programs, retirement savings plans, etc.
- Accident insurance
- Purchasing perks (mostly connected to the workplace), such as uniforms, tools, etc.
- Additional benefits include extra vacation time or cash bonuses, workplace refreshments, fitness initiatives, and so on.
Workplace benefits serve as both a kind of compensation for the work that employees undertake and a recruiting tool to attract new hires. It is true that you are more likely to keep brilliant people in your company if you invest more as an employer in the perks your business offers.
Numerous businesses provide various workplace benefits for their employees but they differ industry by industry. For instance, businesses in the manufacturing, building, and mining are more likely to provide benefits like short-term disability insurance, life insurance, medical insurance, and dental insurance. Companies that offer retirement plans, health savings accounts (HSAs), childcare benefits, or pet care benefits are more likely to be in the financial, professional services, and IT sectors.
The Importance of Workplace Benefits
Workplace benefits are obviously a significant part of any modern workplace. According to statistics, 69% of workers feel that the perks they get receive their loyalty to the organizations they work for. Of course, benefit packages and the preferences attached to them may differ greatly across businesses and between employees.
The following are some of the primary arguments why you should offer workplace benefits:
- Increased output. One of the greatest methods to increase employee productivity is to reevaluate your workplace benefits. Numerous studies have shown how typical, office-focused benefits contribute to a host of additional issues, including greater turnover rates.
- Recognition of the workforce. It's time to look at your workplace perks if you love your workers and want them to be content. In the post-pandemic world, employees desire greater control over their life and flexibility at work.
- Boosted loyalty. Change your workplace benefits if you want to increase employee loyalty. People like perks, and not just the obvious ones like being able to make a nice cup of tea at work or play foosball with their colleagues. People desire greater freedom and control over their lives in the modern world, and they want the same things from their employers.
- Lower stress levels. Employees who are under stress aren't happy, and unhappy employees aren't productive. It's straightforward math, and with the correct employee benefit package, you may influence the outcome in the desired way.
- Reduced absenteeism. It's time to reevaluate your workplace benefits if you want to reduce absenteeism. As we already noted, one of the main causes of absences from work is employee illness. Consequently, your employees are more likely to remain healthy if you can support their healthcare programs.
- Increased recruitment. It's time to reevaluate your workplace benefits if you want to hire the greatest personnel. This may be difficult since, according to studies, individuals nowadays want greater flexibility in the workplace, which can be difficult in settings that are still heavily focused on the office.
- Retention. It's time to reconsider your workplace perks if you want to increase employee retention rates. People desire greater freedom and control over their life. They also like rewards, particularly those that make them feel respected, acknowledged, and responsible for changing the world in exchange for the labor they put in.
III. Employee Experience and Remote/ Hybrid Work
How to Handle Employee Expectations When They Return to Work
Asking yourself what your employees desire from their workplace can help you retain them, increase their productivity, and generally foster a healthy work-life balance. As you see, it is not only about making people feel good.
According to surveys, 60% of employees would quit their employment or become less motivated if forced to work in an office full-time. It makes sense; there are many benefits to remote and hybrid work, including reduced commuting times, the ability to avoid unpleasant coworkers, and financial savings.
At the same time, a third of workers are eager to get lunch or a coffee with their coworkers, and around half of employees truly do miss face-to-face encounters. Even still, about half of them don't feel prepared to resume office work.
In these situations, flexibility becomes the predominant employee expectation. In order to build a workplace strategy that works for everyone, you may consider hybrid work. It enables teams to operate in a range of locations (at home, remotely, in the office simply for a short period of time, or full-time). Would you want to attend the most important meetings in the office? Do it. Want to spend three days a week working from home? Do it. Everyone will be content in a flexible workplace.
Why Communication Is Important for Getting Employees Back to the Office
A lot of employees are still hesitant to get back to their offices. The freedom and flexibility that come with working remotely have been appreciated by many. Returning to the office may not be appealing since employees prefer choosing their own schedules to maintain a better work-life balance. Meanwhile, facility managers continue to make an effort to get everyone back inside the costly offices. A required return to the workplace is thus being implemented by many companies although it doesn't seem to be having the anticipated effects.
Many employees claim that they would sooner resign than go back to the office if they were required to. For businesses that cannot afford to lose the staff they have invested in, this is a serious issue. As a result, they must find an efficient way to motivate employees to come back to the office. Managers should not create a hostile workplace filled with ultimatums and a lack of autonomy by pushing workers to be on-site daily.
Many employees agree that if an open line of communication is established between management and staff, they would be more inclined to return to the office. Employee participation in this conversation gives them a safe environment to talk about what they need to feel secure in the workplace and how often they like to come into the office. Employees may express their expectations and management can subsequently take care of them.
Using this knowledge, management may make the workplace a welcoming and secure place by encouraging staff to come back to work with their preferences in mind. Employees are far more inclined to return to the office voluntarily as opposed to being coerced if there is clear communication and they feel heard.
How to Maintain Company Culture and Employee Engagement When Working Remotely
Working remotely has several distinct obstacles. But it also gives you and your staff a few unique opportunities. First, you can all relate to one another on a level that goes beyond work, and second, you can relate to one another as the individuals you are at home. It may be challenging to make the switch to remote work, particularly if your workplace has a strong corporate culture.
The most important resource for any business is its workforce. Doing your part to help them is crucial during difficult and unpredictable times, such as a worldwide pandemic. Here are some handpicked suggestions to keep your remote workers happy and invested in their job.
Encourage Video Conferences
Most likely, both you and your staff take the interpersonal, social part of working at the office for granted. Going from seeing someone five days a week at work to not seeing them for however long is challenging. Thankfully, there is an easy fix for this in the era of technology. Encourage your company to adopt virtual meetings as the new standard. Even while it's not quite the same as meeting in person, you can still see one another and communicate in real time. When your employees can see one another, it keeps morale up and enables them to interact completely in a manner that is safe during a health crisis.
Everyone dislikes dull meetings. When you have your phone, TV, and other possible distractions close by, this is much more true. Spice up your meetings using ice breakers to keep your staff interested. Even while some people may associate this word with the unpleasant school introductions we all went through during syllabus week, you may change the dynamic by asking interesting questions and spending time getting to know one another outside of your professional positions. Your staff members will value your efforts to get to know them, and the little respite from dry office chat will brighten their day.
Promote Individual Check-Ins
It might be particularly difficult to be prohibited from socializing, engaging with people outside of your house, and visiting office locations. All of this has an impact on our mental health and might make it difficult for your staff to concentrate on their job. Make it a point to regularly check in with every employee. One-on-one time with coworkers for 30 minutes a month may have a big influence on how they feel. Discuss topics other than work and inquire about their personal life. Treating your workers like individuals and ensuring their personal wellbeing is the greatest approach to maintain a positive workplace culture and high levels of employee engagement.
IV. Guidelines for a Positive Workplace Experience
Tips & Tricks for Your Remote Workforce's Employee Onboarding
If you're not accustomed to it, remote onboarding could seem almost impossible. But if you look more closely, you'll see that it's really not all that different from in-office onboarding.
The following advice will help you adjust your onboarding procedure for a remote or hybrid workplace:
Start Early and Get the New Hire Online Right Away
It's a good idea to have a remote onboarding time even if your new employee will be working from home. The main thing is to get the new employee online as quickly as possible, which might take as little as a few hours or as long as a full week. Start on Day One, Minute One; don't let the employee fumble among pixels for days before onboarding.
Make Sure the New Hire Can Access the Internet Quickly
Access to several fundamental communication tools, such as Microsoft Teams or email should be granted to the new employee. This will make it easier for you and your new employee to work together straight away and better grasp one another's communication styles.
Give Them an Onboarding Partner
It is a terrific idea to give your new recruit a friend during their first few days on the job, even if your business is entirely remote. The onboarding buddy may expose them to business culture, educate them how to use the tools, and help them grow comfortable with them.
Having an onboarding partner may also assist with some of the first contacts and communication; just keep in mind that not all employees will be at ease using video conferencing, so don't push the new recruit to participate if they don't want to.
Give Them the Company’s Records
If your business is entirely remote, it's crucial to take the time to ensure that your new hires have access to everything they need to come up to speed. This may consist of resources such as meeting minutes, employee handbooks, corporate movies, and more.
Make the New Hire Feel a Sense of Belonging (Even before Their First Day)
Even if your new employee hasn't yet joined the workplace, you may still make them feel welcome. You may, for instance, give them a "Welcome Package" with branded items, a personal note, and other little mementos to help them feel welcome.
Before Their First Day, Make Sure Their Technology Is Ready
Make sure your new recruit is prepared to utilize the tools you provide them as quickly as feasible if your business is remote. In addition to providing their hassle-free video conferencing and collaboration software, this may include setting up desktop and laptop computers to connect to the Internet.
Allow Them to Make Changes before the First Day
It's a good idea to give new hires the flexibility to make changes before their first day on the job, regardless of whether they live remotely or want to work from an office. If your organization uses a hybrid workplace system, give them advance notice of your office and meeting room reservations so they may make plans in advance.
Techniques for Re-engaging Disengaged Workers
Okay, so you've identified the disengaged workers and may even have discovered the reason for their annoyance. How do you truly approach the issue? (Hint: you won't truly achieve your desired goals by dismissing the disengaged team member.)
Increase Communication with Detached Employees
An unmotivated employee wants to feel like a team member. A smart method to let them know they are not working alone is to often check in with them.
Expand your team's communication possibilities. In many cases, a lack of communication at work is the real cause of employees becoming disengaged. Therefore, getting back to the fundamentals on this can help you reestablish contact with someone who could exhibit poor employee engagement.
Find Out How Engaged They Are
Don't automatically assume that someone is entirely disconnected when discussing engagement levels. People may sometimes be going through a difficult moment. After all, we are just human. Before taking further action, have a discussion with your staff and ascertain their degree of participation.
Learn About Employee Motivation
You must learn what motivates your employees if you want to have an impact. What drives them? What do they like doing? How can you assist them in working toward their objectives? It will be simpler to re-engage someone once you learn this.
Look for Potential Solutions
Retrace your steps. Consider your options before acting since you could make matters worse or make the incorrect decision. Before acting, think about what you can do to fix this problem.
Consider the Workload
Workload may sometimes be the cause of disengagement. Is the person working on too many projects? If so, you could choose to assign some work somewhere else. But keep in mind that occasionally workers are so immersed in their job that they don't have much time for anything else. Reassessing their duties and seeing what can be done about it may be the best course of action in this situation.
Assess the Employee's Fit with the Position
The fact that they are fundamentally unsuited to the position and function might also be a factor in their disengagement. If there is a significant mismatch, employees may feel uneasy and out of place. If at all feasible, ask them to seek a position that would better fit their qualifications inside your organization.
Determine Whether the Employee Feels Heard
All workers want to be heard. They want to know that you value them as a member of the team and that you accept their faults. It will be challenging to re-engage disengaged personnel with the objective of the organization.
Examine Recent Changes in Behavior
Examine a worker's previous actions before you assume the worst and declare them to be disengaged. Is there a pattern here? Have your professional connections become worse or do they appear more distant now than they did before? Then you may decide how to proceed after the disengagement.
V. Employee Experience and Digital Transformation
Digital Employee Experience: What Is It?
If employee experience is the sum of all the interactions employees encounter throughout the course of their employment, digital employee experience is known to be the quality of an employee's interactions with only one aspect of the workplace - technology.
People are used to relying on seamless technology in their daily lives, and they anticipate the same level of comfort in their work environments. It can be detrimental to the relationship between employees and your company if they find it difficult to use the tools supplied to get information or carry out regular tasks.
How to Organize Your Office Employee Experience and Digital Transformation Strategies
Digital workplace he "virtual, digital equal of the actual workplace," according to Paul Miller, CEO and Founder of the Digital Workplace Group. In some ways, it represents a logical progression from the conventional workplace, whose boundaries were dismantled by the integrated, immediate, remote access environment of today.
The capacity of workers to interact, communicate, and cooperate is the foundation of the digital workplace. The three activities are at the core of the idea and have a significant role in employee experience. Any firm undergoing digital transformation wants to remove the obstacles that stand in the way of these interactions.
People, Process, and Technology
Since the early 1960s, businesses have used the people, process, and technology (PPT) paradigm to evaluate and enhance their operational efficiency. Even today, it's a useful framework to keep in mind as you travel the path of digital transformation.
People use technology every day at work, and procedures are meant to make such interactions more efficient. Start by identifying how your workers like to work if you want to make the employee experience the focal point of your digital workplace plan. Specifically, which tools and procedures they find easiest to use and which ones cause them difficulty.
You may have noticed that there's a fine line between distracting employees and empowering them. The proliferation of regulations and programs prevents workers from finishing their work. Modern workers, particularly Millennials and Gen Zers, want a frictionless digital experience and avoid cumbersome processes. Any technology that isn't plug-and-play and any procedures that aren't basic and obvious are a certain way to have a bad work experience.
The Impact of Workplace Analytics on Employee Experience
Employee experience is seen by the great majority of companies (89 percent) as a critical strategic difference. Only 34%, meanwhile, are completely happy with their abilities to ensure it. Applying data to the everyday construction of workplace culture may help. Here are a few outcomes you may get by using workplace analytics:
Boost the Image of Your Company
You may learn how your employees see the company's employer brand by using simple sentiment analysis or a pulse poll. Poor employment experience is closely correlated with a wide difference between the two. If this applies to your company, including employee input into your workplace strategy should help you head off a crisis and boost your employer brand.
Increase Employee Retention
The ultimate goal of hybrid work is to create workplaces that naturally fit into workers' schedules and lifestyles so that everyone may achieve the correct work-life balance and understand the value they provide to the organization. Targets for staff retention may be seriously hampered by the lack of these components. You may establish devoted, long-lasting connections with your employees by integrating employee productivity and satisfaction statistics to learn how beneficial your working environment is.
Eliminating communication silos and fostering a culture of openness are two benefits of sharing data with your staff. In turn, this fosters a setting that is conducive to cooperation. In addition, by including all staff members in the process of continuous improvement, businesses that make workplace data accessible to all workers may increase their power.
VI. Employee Experience Trends
The Great Resignation
As the pandemic draws to a close, a record number of individuals are quitting their employment, a phenomenon known as "The Great Resignation." Employees are rethinking their jobs and goals while organizations deal with its effects and struggle to retain talent. Employers are reportedly finding it difficult to persuade employees to return because of an economic and psychological change.
What factor is the best predictor of employee resignation? A negative culture. According to a recent article by MIT professor Donald Sull, founder Charles Sull, and CEO Ben Zweig for the MIT Sloan Management Review, the top five indicators of employee turnover are:
- Harmful workplace culture. The most significant predictor of resignation is a hostile business culture—10.4 times more potent than pay! Disrespect, unethical conduct, and a refusal to support inclusion, equality, and diversity are characteristics of toxicity. The first six months of the Great Resignation saw lower-than-average turnover at businesses with strong cultures.
- Reorganization and job insecurity. Negative employee perceptions of their company's future are a powerful predictor of turnover. Employees may look for job stability and fresh chances elsewhere if the firm is having trouble. Their chances of quitting are further increased by poor career prospects and prior layoffs that led to greater workloads.
- Exceptional levels of innovation. It's challenging to innovate, and it's challenging for employees. They have to work harder, quicker, and under greater pressure than other people. Sure, innovation is thrilling, but it's also hard to keep up with it.
- Failing to acknowledge performance. When employees don't feel noticed and appreciated by their employers and when their efforts aren't acknowledged, they quit. High-performing employees are more prone to feel resentful about not being acknowledged for their accomplishments, which increases the risk that businesses may lose some of their most effective staff.
The Great Resignation may be difficult, but it also presents a chance for everyone to participate in a Great Reimagination. Companies that take advantage of this unique change to cultivate a culture of employee-centricity may still increase loyalty and avoid needless resignations, while the others will continue to suffer the greatest losses. We now understand that important factors in the battle for workforce recruitment and retention include people's mental health, their life outside of work, and their desire for connection.
Flexible Workplace Benefits
What are the top rising employee expectations?
And what are the top workplace benefits that influence people to pick one workplace over another?
You'll realize that they go well beyond remuneration.
Flexibility In the Workplace
Employees today want greater flexibility in their work locations and schedules.
They are already used to the degree of flexibility offered by remote employment. Additionally, they are no longer interested in the idea of returning to a 9–5 office job.
They did learn that maintaining a better work-life balance and being more productive and happy at work is possible.
And in a study conducted by the IBM Institute for Business Value and Survey Monkey, 51% of those polled said that finding a position that allows them to balance their professional and personal lives was very important to them.
In this situation, a hybrid style of work arrangement serves to satisfy the interests of both employers eager to maintain some semblance of workplace culture and people anticipating greater freedom.
Home Office Perquisites and Payments
Employees will always appreciate employers that are devoted to helping them set up a home office.
By 2026, 40.7 million American professionals are projected to work entirely remotely, so you can't afford to undervalue this sort of anticipated workplace benefit.
The demand for perks related to mental health among employees is growing.
Additionally, companies that take an all-encompassing approach to their employees' physical, emotional, and financial welfare will continue to stand out, attract applicants, and retain their best workers.
Meeting-free workdays and frequent disconnect days are two examples of such programs.
Opportunities for Continuing Education
Employees anticipate having the chance to develop new abilities. And to get compensation for consistently honing and expanding their skill set.
They want the chance to advance and develop so they may continue to be professionals in their industries.
Therefore, as an employer, you should think about promoting and developing a learning culture.
More Personal Work Environments
Employee productivity and their working environment are directly correlated. But what do employees anticipate from their workplace, and how does this relate to private offices?
Well, before the pandemic, the majority of workers desired a distraction-free workplace so they could concentrate on their job. Furthermore, it was often requested that offices be designed to foster innovation and make it easy for everyone to work.
Private office space, however, suddenly became more than just "good to have" when the pandemic struck. It became crucial for worker’s health. Private office space became essential for private working arrangements as a result.
How to Design More Individualized Workplaces
From every angle, the open workplace layout made sense. It was cost-effective, collaborative, and space-savvy. The open workplace was successful, with the exception of the areas where individuals often felt like they had no personal space at work.
The good news is that you don't need to erect barriers and go back to traditional cubicles.
You may take the following actions:
Use the Hybrid Work Model
Encourage employees to work both at home and at the office rather than forcing them to work in private all the time (and run the risk of losing them to distractions or poor productivity). Private working arrangements won't be considered a luxury any more.
Prepare Your Workplace for Activity-Based Working
Private office space undoubtedly has its benefits, but it's not the only way to have a private workplace. In the concept of activity-based working, individual activities or projects are centered in their own private locations. In this manner, private rooms are adaptable and may be changed whenever necessary to meet the demands of different employees.
Depending on the work at hand, create several sorts of private office space, such as "conference rooms" or "contemporary cubicles."
In this manner, having a private workspace won't be a pricey perk that only selected employees get to use. Instead, private workspaces could replace traditional private working arrangements as the new norm.
Use Technology for Work Planning and Scheduling
Particularly since the pandemic began, businesses that provide flexible work models (such the hybrid work model) as part of their benefits packages are among the most sought-after possibilities. Employees naturally gravitate toward companies that allow them to work from home or in the office, which makes perfect sense.
Consider embracing planning and workplace scheduling technologies if you want to make hybrid work…work for your company. You may arrange private work areas and develop a precise calendar for office hours by doing this. Additionally, this form of software may provide you precise workplace data to aid in the future decision-making of your company.
You shouldn't be alarmed by the fact that staff members are asking for additional private office space. Instead, use this as a chance to improve every aspect of your team's lives without having to knock down walls and create a new workspace. More private space in a workplace may have wonderful advantages, as we've shown in this post, and achieving it is more simple than it would first seem (and yes, hybrid work is part of the solution).