Businesses focusing on customer experience is a given. After all, no business will thrive, or even succeed, without the support of the market it seeks to capture. But ensuring customers remain happy with your products and services is not the be-all and end-all of effective business management. Or at least it should not be. An equally important factor is employee experience.
Employee experience is the amalgam of the many ways in which members of the workforce engage with their job and the details of their employment in general. This is a holistic concept that covers HR, management and workplace practices.
The goal of maintaining a top-notch employee experience is twofold.
The first is to make high productivity possible. After all, an inspired workforce means competent labor and accomplished business goals. The second is to ensure low turnover. Understandably, unhappy employees, much like unhappy customers, will sooner or later look elsewhere where their needs could be aptly satisfied.
To achieve those objectives, it is in your best interest to prioritize employee experience.
How employee experience translates on-floor
Employee experience puts the spotlight on what employees think about their job and how they feel while doing it. These points of consideration rely upon existing workplace policies and processes anchored to the concept of workforce development.
Keep in mind that workforce development is not the same as workforce training. While the latter is dependent on a specific skill or job, the former puts a premium on holistic and sustained employee growth.
A top-notch employee experience proves advantageous to the following:
- Workplace culture
An employee who recognizes that company policies and procedures are in place to support the job they do and not merely to police them will be more receptive to existing company protocols. They will be just as receptive to changes should and when they come. They will appreciate their colleagues’ contributions to the goals of the business, too, knowing that they are all in it together. The workplace then becomes a place of genuine collaboration.
An apathetic employee is a bane to any business. And usually, apathy is the result of disinterest in existing policies. If those policies are properly communicated, in terms of why they’re in place and for whom, employees will be more equipped to understand and, therefore, support them. Here, it’s important to encourage open communication. Employees who feel that their voices are heard will be more inclined to speak up. And when they do, they’ll have more confidence to walk the talk.
- Career development
The best kind of employee experience is one that facilitates career development. After all, no matter how good a worker feels about their job, if they’re not making the progress they should be making career-wise, there’s nothing to celebrate. A business worth its salt will want to grow alongside its people. When a company zeroes in on employee experience, it will be easier to stage a clear career path for its team members. On the floor, workers will be more proactive and productive. A lot of it is about knowing they have something to look forward to in terms of potential promotion. With that in mind, whenever the opportunity comes up to learn new skills or knowledge, they will be quick to participate. They won’t pass up the chance to brush up on their expertise and buff up their competitive edge.
Employee experience best practices
To foster a workplace culture that values employee experience, here are best practices to adopt.
- Learning versus training
The word training has somehow garnered a negative connotation over the years. It sounds like an imposed task as opposed to a participatory activity. Here, there’s a need to shift to a different lexicon. Think learning. The word does not come off as mandatory. It’s as if you’re telling employees they are presented with an opportunity to better themselves via learning.
- Open communication
This has been touted again and again in leadership forums. But it’s more difficult to establish on the floor as it is to discuss in an auditorium. Still, it’s a practical and actionable step in terms of improving employee experience. Do away with those quarterly surveys. Favor real-time feedback. Make sure objectives are understood by everyone on the team.
- Designate leadership
This is not to say that you have to abolish company hierarchy. What this suggests is a collaborative practice when it comes to workforce development. Let your employees have more control over their fate in the company. Allow them to set the path they wish to trudge. Guide them through their journey without imposing on them.
- Explore alternative delivery methods
There’s no need to stick to traditional ways of business management if the results are less than ideal anyway. It’s best to explore other means to ensure employee productivity. That is while letting employees have a little control over how they do their job.For example, there’s the potential for online training and development. You can have all relevant resources in the cloud and let employees access them whenever and from wherever they want. This simple adjustment in how things are done in the company communicates your readiness to get with the times.
Summing things up
Consider your employees your business’ internal customers. Without them, there will be no products and services to speak of and, therefore, nothing to earn from. With that said, their contributions are as crucial to a business’ sustained growth as the support it receives from loyal patrons.
So while you zero in on customer satisfaction, make sure your employees are just as satisfied with the job they do and with the company as a whole. They need to feel like they can grow with the business. And that there’s no reason for them to seek greener pastures.
Remember the components that directly affect employee experience. Those include the work environment, company culture, and HR and management policies, among others.
The bottom line is you cannot neglect employees’ need for self-development and actualization. Rest assured their growth will have beneficial advantages to the business that you run.