Employee Experience: The Emerging New HR Trend Of 2019

Passion and motivation for work is something that comes from within. While companies can take up endless initiatives to fuel these emotions, it boils down to how employees experience it. If you are a company looking to ways to increase your global footprint, organizational culture and employee experience should be a top priority.

A positive and productive employee experience has now become a new mode of contract between employer and employee. Marketing and product teams have moved beyond customer satisfaction and now focus on customer experience, same goes for HR. They are currently refocusing their efforts in designing programs, strategies, and teams to understand and continuously improve the entire employee experience.

What is employee experience?

According to Jacob Morgan, author of In The Future of Work describes employee experience as the combination of an organization’s cultural, physical, and technological environments. Employee experience is much more than having “cool” perks and fancy office decor. Employee experience is making sure that employees have a good, positive and meaningful interaction with a company from the time of recruiting to the day they leave. This can only happen when  employees are aligned with the company's vision, connected to their purpose and feel a sense of belonging and ownership in every task they do or contribute. Any problem or discrepancy in employee’s interaction with a colleague, manager, management, HR or admin can hamper employee experience. Employee experience is therefore is more than feeling good at work. It is in fact creating a holistic experience at work.

Why Employee Experience?

Employees mindset and behavior towards the work they do each day has a great impact on the impression they have about the company. Employees stay engaged, motivated and driven, when companies are able to meet their basic psychological needs like belongingness, transparency, trust, etc. Unfortunately there only a few companies that are able to meet those needs. Which is why, worldwide, there is a minority of only  15% of employees who truly feel engaged at work. Apart from that there are other factors like employee-employer relationship, complicated team dynamics, that needs to be factored in before planning an effective employee engagement. This is where employees experience comes into the picture.

Employee Experience - An Emerging Trend

Gone are those good old days when internal branding, investing on beautiful office infrastructure and having “casual Fridays” was enough to keep employees invested. Companies now need to rethink everything from culture, environment to communication, both in person and through digital channels.

It has become harder for organisations to fake employment brand. Experiences of employees can quickly get shared and archived in Glassdoor and AngelList, as well as throughout your company (through word of mouth). And guess what, it’s not only future employees but also future investors who can read those reviews. This makes stakes (for good and bad) higher for companies now more than ever.  Hence, employee experience is the emerging trend and a strategic priority for leaders and decision makers today.

How to cultivate a good employee experience?

  1. Positive work environment -  First of all, it is not about the company, but how the employee feels in the company. It's good to hear that your organisation is open and airy, but does your office has a place for relaxation, privacy, and innovation? Do you really care about your  employee well-being – not just physical but also mental and emotional? Is your workforce diverse? Are your leaders open, available and trustworthy? And most importantly what is your organisations take on work/life balance ?

Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage says, "Only 25% of job success is based upon IQ. 75% is about how your brain believes your behavior matters, connects to other people, and manages stress." It means that good care of employees emotion, behavior and daily functioning cultivates happy employees. And as the statistics suggest, that happy brain functions at a higher level, therefore, increasing happiness of your team that overall enhances the job success.

  1. Technology and tools -  We are all living in the world of apps, and people who are using  these apps are largely millennials. By 2020 millennials are forecasted to make up 35% of the global workforce. So it's always better to be updated/upgraded to accommodate such talented, informed and future largest age group of workforce. However, this change should not handicap or hinder the working style of the current workforce. As an organisation it then becomes the responsibility of an employer to use app, equipment and software that enables employees become more efficient. Make sure the tools employees are using is bridging the gap of communication within employees instead of breaking connections. And most importantly, is your technology replacing quality interactions between employees rather than facilitating them?

For example: Golf Town, Canada’s top 50 employee friendly workforce uses Nudge employee app to improve communication between upper and frontline workers. This has increased engagement on in-store initiatives and promotions. Within a week of launch, Golf Town achieved 78% adoption rate across workforce, bringing employees closer to each other.

  1. Culture -  Forming and managing a good work culture is imperative for any organisation.

Research says that  there are 6 elements -  purpose, opportunity, success, appreciation, wellbeing, and leadership, if done well has the power to create an irresistible workforce culture.

Google, a.k.a employee satisfaction champion is the best example to this. In the last few years, their employee satisfaction performance further increased by 37% due to their strong work culture and employee support initiatives. They not only imbibe to the 6 elements, but go above and beyond to make their employees happy.

What’s the future of engagement looks like?

We are heading towards a new world. A world that is driven by technology and transparency. Talented professionals with skills and stamina to combat with fast- pacing industries will become the center of contention. The story that employees tell to the external world will become your brand image- a critical competitive differentiator.

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