Employee Experience: 7 steps to great delivery
Employee experience is unique to the employee. It’s for that reason creating a single employee experience strategy is difficult. But there are ways to foster and build great experiences for all employees.
Glassdoor, recently, put together a list of 7 steps that promote a “stellar employee experience” program. In creating the list, the organization pointed to the stewardship of leaders as the real driving force behind the program.
“None of this happens without dedication and attention. EX, how our employees feel about the culture in which they work, is a true test of our leadership.”
It is from the leadership perspective that each step is expressed
Best Practices for Employee Experience
Intentionally construct meaning
It’s an interesting concept, but how does one manage to intentionally construct meaning when it comes to employee experience. The answer is allowing the company’s customer experience (CX) program to serve as the basis of the employee experience (EX) program. In fact, the HR professional or HR team tasked with the employee experience function should approach the program “with the same diligence and dedication” used in the execution of the customer experience program.
“Creating a stellar employee experience starts at the top – with leadership providing employees a sense of purpose around the company’s mission, vision and values. What are we collectively striving for, what motivates us to get up every morning, and how does our broader strategy connect to everyday work?”
Evolve and foster employee engagement
It goes without saying that human resources professionals live in ever-changing times. That means teams have to remain flexible and agile in order to stay ahead of and process the changes accordingly. It is in this way employee engagement can be evolved and fostered.
“While the social aspects of any workplace are important, employees are looking for meaningful engagement around their work that helps to motivate, inspire and inform their day-to-day contributions and connection to the organization’s bigger mission and goals.”
But it doesn’t just stop there. Employees want to be intellectually engaged as well. That’s when their skills (one of the reasons they were undoubtedly hired) are put to creative and problem solving use.
For leaders, the key is to make sure flexibility is a high priority especially when it comes to HR technology and collaborative tools. These, by their very natures, increase engagement and allow employees to continue doing their best work.
Create a Culture of Belonging
Many of the writers and contributors to the HR Exchange Network spend a healthy amount of time focused on the concept of creating and nurturing culture. Glassdoor takes it a step further in creating a culture of belonging.
Here, leaders should help create a working space that is inviting. Not only that, but it offers new opportunities to collaborate and engage with one another. It also allows for a measurable increase in creativity and flexibility.
“Double down on this message by providing for employees’ wellness. Allow them flexibility and balance in their physical space and their routines. Cultivate diversity on every level. Show your team how much they matter, individually and collectively, every chance you get. These aspects of EX make employees comfortable in their jobs, enabling their best work and positioning them to stay.”
One strategy on how to do that would be design thinking. Wat this video for details on how design thinking cand help create very meaningful and memorable experiences.
Build trust and authenticity
“Trust and authenticity are fundamental to this work. Be genuine. Make room for your leadership role. It’s a full-time responsibility, not an add-on. Build trust purposefully, mindfully and daily.”
There is something also to be said about honesty. This is the key to both trust and authenticity. HR professionals and teams will never be able to achieve greatness as they’ve defined it if honestly does not exist. Taking it a step further, this includes being honest about goals and accountable for results.
Seek out feedback to measure EX
Building on the honesty concept further now, employees must know they are being heard and that their honest feedback is valued. This also includes the necessity of respect.
“Metrics matters, but fundamental to that is to create a culture of listening. Invite input. Create check-in questions for leadership to pose. Recognize great work and to build on its success. This should be an ongoing leadership initiative.”
Not only do leaders have to listen, but they have to follow up. This ensures employees feel heard, but also see some benefit of offering the feedback. To be clear, the benefit of being heard is not seeing a physical change in company policy or action, it’s knowing that ideas are truly considered and not dismissed.
Leaders should also lean on their employees to help shape the culture. As stated previously, the employee was hired, at least in part, for their skill set and ability.
“They don’t have to stand by and watch us build. This enables us to develop our future managers and to earn their buy-in. Give employees the opportunity to do what they do best everyday.”
In doing so, employees will take ownership of their EX, especially when it is demonstrated they too can have ownership over their culture.
“Provide a culture where employees shape processes. Relinquish dependencies on bureaucracies, obscure tribal knowledge or one-off solutions. Pursue streamlined solutions that your team identifies.”
Plain and simple: if an employee has a good idea or suggestion that would ease current practices, leaders should hear them out. Consider revising if it meets muster. These individuals are the experts on the processes currently used because they are tasked with carrying them out each day. They are the best positioned to offer real suggestions and changes that could have a positive impact.
At the beginning of this piece, the statement was made that employee experience strategies are hard to formulate. While it’s still the truth, stepping away from the normal everyday ideation process and embracing these seven steps will provide a much different outcome. It allows leaders and HR professionals/teams to focus on the individual in a way not previously experienced. In short, an individual employee experience program tailored to each employee’s needs and desires.
NOTE: This article was heavily based on an article published by Glassdoor.com. The original article can be found here.