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Employee Experience: Paying Attention to the Details

Posted by EmployeeChannel on 5.11.2017


After years of seeing game rooms and coffee shops pop up on large company campuses, the employee experience is evolving into a complete understanding of employees’ needs. HR’s role of embracing those needs requires a 360-degree view into what’s necessary for your team to reach their best at work.

Jessica Merrell, founder of Blogging4Jobs and Workology, understands the high amount of attention to detail needed to embrace employee experience and use it to keep employees on board.

“Focus on one change, get the support of an executive sponsor, focus on measuring impact, and tackle employee retention strategically,” said Merrell.

In order to focus on that one change and get support, you must first understand how to embrace the needs of today’s employees:

Get to know employees as real people

Today’s employees are invested in their careers and they want a personal experience. They aren’t looking to clock-in, get the day over with, and clock-out. Giving these employees the experience they crave requires consistent relationship building.

“Talk to employees. Get to know them as real people,” Merrell suggested. “Eat lunch with them in the breakroom and work hard to understand issues that are important to them and help drive that change.”

Both HR and management should interact in these conversations with employees. As everyone begins building strong relationships, the challenges of understanding employees’ expectations will lessen.

However, it’s important to remember these tight-knit relationships won’t develop overnight -- or even within a month.  

“Trust takes time to build, but it will pay off in reduced turnover, increased engagement, and employees going to HR first instead of contacting the EEOC, DOL, or an attorney,” reassured Merrell.  

Keep the learning coming

Company leaders and HR pros should embrace the excitement employees have for being part of the organization’s overall success. Employees want to continue learning and growing in order to transform and achieve this success. In fact, according to a Bersin by Deloitte report, 22 percent of millennials desire learning benefits.

Unfortunately, a recent OfficeVibe report found 53 percent of employees say they haven’t improved their skills significantly in the past year.

What does this mean for HR? Onboarding and sporadic training isn’t enough anymore.

Personalize learning efforts by providing employees with frequent and consistent coaching opportunities. Through both manager-to-employee and peer-to-peer coaching, your entire team has the ability to develop and learn, but also build meaningful relationships.

Rather than sitting in front of a computer, watching a webinar with only a few applicable takeaways, employees are able to proactively learn about their future with the company.

This naturally builds upon the personalized experiences you’ve been looking to add to your retention strategy.

Provide the best tools and resources

The newest generation of employees expect to have the best resources and tools available immediately and at the touch of a button. While this seems like an obvious point, many companies continue to expect their team to use frustrating tools and processes.

In all fairness, HR may not be aware employees are frustrated. Fight for your team by staying on top of trends and passing information down.

For example, every quarter, go through your current tools, resources, and processes. As employees provide feedback, find new and better ways to enhance their jobs. Decide together what is working and what needs updating.

Based on this feedback, send updates of new tools they can try out on a trial basis. While it’s important to not overwhelm them with too many options, do your best to ensure they feel like an important part of the process.

Go beyond surveys

When we think about retaining employees through employee experience, it’s natural to immediately consider current team members. Their thoughts and opinions on the work experience are extremely beneficial, but we need to stop overlooking the unique ideas of employees who are leaving.

Set up a one-on-one meeting with exiting employees to help you gain a new and honest view of what’s going on within your organization.

Merrell suggested, “Go beyond the employee survey and gain feedback into retention issues that are most important like compensation, manager training, benefits, and employee growth opportunities.”

Gaining this information is crucial to employee retention, but only if something completely different is done with the feedback. Let your team know you’re not just listening, but also taking action.

Making everyone feel like a valued member of the team is the best way to start embracing the employee experience and keeping everyone invested in your company.

Topics: employee experience, employee retention

Human Resources Today