A focus on employee experience will remain crucial for attracting and retaining top talent for your organisation throughout 2023.
Read on to discover best practices to incorporate into your employee satisfaction strategy.
2022 was another year of record-high resignation figures across almost every industry, and as a result, employee experience is quickly becoming one of the top priorities as we enter 2023.
If managed strategically, positive employee experiences can have huge impacts across your business – such as reducing staff turnover, improving productivity, differentiating your brand to prospective employees, and much more. Many HR leaders are now focusing on how they can retain their top performers and attract new talent into their organisations in what continues to be a war for talent.
What is employee experience?
It’s how your employees feel about their jobs, their physical work environment, and the culture within your company, as well as their relationships with colleagues, management, and executives. And each one of these elements is crucial to helping your employees remain engaged, satisfied, and committed to staying with your company.
But despite the value of positive employee experiences, many organisations still aren’t hitting the mark. In fact, Gartner reports that 87% of employees aren’t fully satisfied with their experience today.
To reduce this dissatisfaction, HR leaders need to refocus their efforts on employee experience by accurately measuring the state of their experiences today and designing strategies that truly consider the needs of their employees.
We’ve gathered some best practices to help you design your employee experience strategy for 2023. These cover steps to creating positive experiences at every step of the employee journey, from the moment they join to their everyday working lives.
An employees’ experience starts from the moment they find your company
Employee experience doesn’t begin on their first day – it starts as soon as they see an advert for their role. Research from HR Grapevine’s Employee Experience Playbook shows that 78% of candidates believe the recruitment experience is a good indicator of what a company’s employee experience will be like. Also, 60% of candidates talk about their application experience to others. This means it’s an essential first step to get right – otherwise, you might be jeopardising your ability to attract top talent.
A good place to start is by looking at your application process. According to the research from the playbook, top performers are more likely to begin applications on their mobile phones, so your website and forms need to be mobile-friendly and also up to date with the latest company info. And consider that a job advert should be ‘selling’ the role and the company to the candidates, not a list of duties, or worse, a job description.
Apply for a role at your company so you can actually experience each step of the early parts of the process – is it a positive one?
You’ll also need to give a realistic overview of the job once you get to interview stage, to help manage potential employees’ expectations and allow them to see if they’ll be a good fit for the role. If you can get each of the steps in the recruitment process right from the beginning, it’s more likely you’ll find committed, well-suited employees for your company.
Dedicated recruitment and talent management solutions can also help with tasks such as signing contracts, completing essential paperwork, and getting new employees connected with your workplace before they’ve even walked through the door. If these administration responsibilities are dealt with upfront, your new recruits will be able to focus on their roles as soon as they start. The slicker and more streamlined the process, the more positive experience they will have.
Gain insights by continuously listening
Employee experience isn’t just something to consider for new or potential employees. Continuously listening to your current employees, especially at times of change, can help you gain the insights you need to improve their experience and create a culture of high engagement and productivity.
Research suggests that formal, wide-scale surveys are a great approach to take for understanding your employees’ needs. Annual surveys were once the norm but with the ever-evolving world of work, quarterly ones will give a more comprehensive and real-time snapshot. Delivering employee surveys around important events or big changes in the company can also help you gather insights throughout the year, and help your employees feel their opinions are valued. This might include events such as onboarding, quarterly reviews, employee exits, or changes to your working models.
Surveys are particularly important to understanding how your employees are feeling on a broader scale about their roles and your company culture. To ensure you obtain the most valuable information, and the respondents see this as a positive task, you’ll need to consider what questions you’ll ask, how you’ll manage the data you collect, how you’ll action the feedback and most importantly, timely communication of the outcomes and actions. This is again to allow employees to see taking part as a positive experience as the business is showing they have listened and taken action.
With the right employee management tools, you can also track and manage the data from these surveys and compare it with fluctuations in productivity and output across the year – and even correlate the results to the actions you take to see if you’re on the right path.
With employee happiness comes success
The employee experience also extends outside the office, with their health, finances, family, and social life all impacting their overall wellbeing and experience at work.
There’s a fine line as an organisation between where your influence and responsibilities lie. You can’t seek to support every part of your employees’ lives, but all these factors can have a significant effect on their productivity and engagement during their working day so it’s important to acknowledge the importance they hold.
A good place to focus a respect for their non-work time. If your organisation can make all HR related administration tasks easy, simple, and quick to action, this can prevent them from spending additional time outside of their working day on time consuming but necessary tasks.
For example, introducing an employee portal that’s connected to your central HR system can give your employees a convenient and easy way to book annual leave, report sickness and absences, file requests, update their personal information and communicate with your HR team whenever they need to.
You can also help employees to feel satisfied in their roles by offering a clear sense of direction and progression. This can be achieved with regular catch-ups with line managers, or with a dedicated performance and learning management tool that helps employees track their progress towards goals, rewards, and promotions.
Ready to kickstart your employee experience strategy for 2023?
If you’d like to discuss your employee experience strategy, we have consultants with decades of HR experience across a wide range of sectors – please get in touch to see how we can help.