What makes a good employee experience? In a highly competitive marketplace, businesses are trying their best to improve that experience, but because each experience is unique it is almost impossible to create one that reaches and engages everyone.
That’s according to Qualtrics, which says that factors such as career stage and motivation level are just two of many that can shape an individual’s experience.
“A great employee experience delivers ongoing opportunities for learning, development, and progression, which in turn increase employees’ contributions to the company,” comments Qualtrics Employee Experience subject matter expert, Steve Bennetts.
“All of them together lengthen the amount of time each employee stays with the company in an engaged, productive state. Perhaps the most compelling argument for great employee experience is that you lose money when you have to replace good employees. You lose even more money when you lose a good hire that you have developed into a high performing employee.”
Instead, businesses should seek continuous feedback and data integration across many different channels. These can help with understanding, tracking, measuring and affecting their employee’s experience.
“Advances in HR technology, including the use of analytics, has allowed organisations to eliminate organisational blind spots and identify key themes and emerging issues across the entire employee lifecycle. Greater access to data has allowed feedback to be displayed in real-time, demonstrating the return on investment for the business,” comments Bennetts.
“Companies need to embark on a continuous listening program that lets them gather feedback both directly from employees and indirectly based on how employees speak about the company to others and how they behave.”
Qualtrics says there are three key areas that organisations need to focus on to improve the employee experience.
1. Being proactive vs. reactive
It’s not enough to survey employees once a year or even bi-annually. While it’s not wrong, this often leads to business plans and initiatives being built based on data from one period of time.
Organisations wanting to stay ahead should be pro-active, not reactive. Use an employee experience management tool that has functionality to not only send and analyse pulse surveys but also has the capability to be integrated with other every day employee systems and tools. This will give you greater visibility of your employees’ experiences.
“Companies need to embark on a continuous listening program that lets them gather feedback both directly from employees and indirectly based on how employees speak about the company to others and how they behave,” Bennetts says.
2. Being transparent and data sharing
The employee experience doesn’t evolve in isolation; employees are affected by different departments so it’s important to share the feedback data across those departments so changes can occur holistically and strategically, rather than be confined to the department the employee works in.
“The way employees perceive the organisation’s ability and willingness to collaborate can significantly affect the employee experience. For example, feeling like their own manager is responsive and agile but decisions being held back by a different department can mean the employee won’t have a positive overall experience. Sharing employee feedback data across all departments helps ensure the organisation develops consistently and along the same lines,” Bennetts explains.
A good example of how organisations can provide more visibility is through real-time dashboards. This allows your managers, employees and senior management to not only visualise the data but also drill into the insights that will allow them to make informed decisions and actions.
3. Having the right tools for the job
A flexible collection engine is a necessary base. Different types of employee feedback tools provide different types of insights. For actionable insights across the employee lifecycle, you need a tool that includes:
- Automated real-time and role-based dashboarding and reporting
- The ability to conduct pulse and ad hoc surveys on issues of current interest
- Sampling and distribution optimisation
- Longitudinal tracking to discover long-term performance trends.