In an era when unemployment levels are near record lows, the war for great employees is tightening the bond between employee recruitment and employee retention more than ever before. The time, money, and effort spent on recruitment are wasted if you can’t keep the employees you hire.
How can you get the top people to want to work for you? How can you keep them once you’ve hired them? The answer lies in creating a great employee experience, also known as EX.
What is EX?
At its core, EX means looking at your workplace through the eyes of your employees. Focus on the needs and wants of your people just as much as you do on your customers. What happens on a day-to-day basis in the employee’s life, and how you can you use that in a positive way, are your EX building blocks.
In the same way you map out your customer journey, think about the life cycle of your employees. A well designed EX is like a thread that runs from the moment you hire your employees until the moment they retire.
Improve employee experience through effective on-boarding
When bringing new people into the team, you have a great opportunity to help them become part of the company culture. Picture yourself as a new employee…
- How is communication in the workplace?
- Would you find everything overwhelming or clear?
- Would you feel supported and welcomed, or as if you were thrown into the job too soon?
Make on-boarding a company-wide event. Cater breakfast that morning and involve the existing team. Let everyone mingle over coffee and snacks, so the new folks feel comfortable with their new peers. That way, when questions come up during the training process, there won’t be any hesitation to ask for help.
Provide company logo’d swag, or even personalized office supplies. Consider pairing new employees with a veteran employee who acts as an “EX Specialist.” Focus him or her on making sure the new hire has a positive experience.
Move from performance management to performance development
You might be surprised, but raises and promotions aren’t always the best way to reward good performance. Why? They promote a “what’s in it for me” attitude among employees. Employees perform well so they can get the raise or promotion, not because it’s what’s best for the company. Instead, create a culture where employees feel more like owners.
For example, when you’re choosing a technology system for the business, involve the people who will be using it before you make the decision. Use surveys and focus groups to find out what your employees want and need.
Asking for input is a good idea, but be careful not to overload them. There is such a thing as too many requests for feedback. If their e-mail box gets filled with questionnaires, it will feel like spam.
Once you get the feedback, make sure to do something about it. Asking for feedback and then not using it can be worse than not asking at all. It can lead employees to wonder, “Why did you even ask me in the first place?”
Share your strategy for how you’ll use the feedback. “We heard what you suggested, and these are the two things we are going to focus on first.” Clarity and open communication go a long way toward enhancing EX and strengthening company culture as a whole.
Recognition and the employee experience
One way to keep your people happy and give them a great employee experience is to recognize them for doing good work. In fact, research by Gallup shows that you should recognize employees every seven to 10 days.
If that kind of frequency feels like it might be hard to keep track of, use a management reminder app like Rise to help with consistency.
For a system that operates best in a structured environment, take a more strategic approach with a formal rewards program, where employees can earn awards for great work and top performance. Base your selection on specific criteria and eliminate ambiguity. Employees crave clarity and focus. When they’re able to focus their attention, they perform at a higher level. High levels of performance lead to higher levels of job satisfaction.
In a less formal setting, a simple “good job” compliment makes anyone feel better. A handwritten note can be a powerful way to share a quick, yet sincere, moment of appreciation with an employee.
This type of recognition isn’t just for manager-to-employee relationships. Encouraging an atmosphere of peer-to-peer recognition has an organic effect on building employee experience.
Executing on employee experience
Overall, the best way your company can attract top talent and then keep them is to create a workplace where employees want to be.
Start by enhancing on-boarding, so new hires feel at home and welcome. Move from a policy of performance management to performance development, so employees feel like they are a part of an organization that wants them to grow personally and professionally. Finally, a culture of recognition and appreciation reinforce and enhance the employee experience.