What is Employee Experience?
Employee experience describes the interactions that an employee has with an organization. These impressions can form through the initial impression of the company – such as how the company interacts with potential employees and it’s overall presentation – all the way through recruitment, onboarding, and even beyond an employee’s exit from the company. Each touchpoint that any employee has with the organization becomes a part of their overall employee experience.
In 2020, most employees are enthusiastic about efforts to enhance the overall employee experience at an organization. In fact, organizations that prioritize and optimize employee experience are able to position themselves to select from the top talent in virtually any industry. From how welcome an employee feels, to the effectiveness of their training and development, all the way to how they’re treated at their departure – more employees are considering these experiences in their overall evaluation of an organization.
Alternatively, while some employers are eager to improve this area and interested in being included on lists such as “Great Places to Work” other employers find it gimmicky or mark it as low-priority. But even the leaders who recognize its value can fall short when it comes to consistency and comprehensiveness. They may do well with elements of it (like recruitment) but ignore others (like exits), or they may start strong but let the initiatives falter after a few short weeks. Ultimately, employees and employers should aim to bridge the gap between perceptions about employee experience.
How to Bridge the Gap
Get Feedback: While a leader may think they’re doing an excellent job with employee experience at their organization, their staff may feel differently, or they might wish there was an element that received more attention. Given the employee-centered nature of employee experience, there’s truly no way for an employer to assess their initiatives without asking their employees for input. Gathering feedback about the overall experience – including the culture, climate, environment, and opportunities – is the best way to begin bridging the gap between two potentially different perceptions.
Establish a Vision: Once leaders have an initial understanding of where employee experience stands, they can work with their employees to set a target or vision of what it should look like in future milestones. Work together to detail each element of it, and brainstorm around questions such as: How are employees engaged when they’ve been with the organization for several years? How does the organization engage former employees?
Take Action: After gathering feedback and establishing a joint vision, leaders must take action by identifying what steps are needed to progress from the current state to the vision state, and they must begin implementing those steps immediately. This step is not only critical for actual change, but employees become demoralized and less eager to give feedback over time if they find that leaders consistently fail to act on their suggestions and recommendations.
Ultimately, the first step to begin bridging the gap is to elicit feedback and one way to do this is through customized survey solutions. By working to design questions that are unique to their organizational mission and goals, employers will be primed to better understand where their employee experience currently stands and how it can grow.