13 min read
Learn how to improve employee experience and address burnout in the workplace. Discover strategies for promoting work-life balance, creating a supportive work environment, and fostering inclusivity and diversity.
It’s probably safe—and unfortunate—to say there are many companies that don’t care about it, much less be concerned about how to improve employee experience (EX).
But you care, right?
Employee experience is defined as the sum of all the interactions an employee has with an organization throughout their tenure—even before, as their experience would include their time through recruitment and onboarding. The daily work environment, culture, and opportunities for development and growth all play a part and should all be considered if you’re wondering how to improve employee experience.
EX should never be considered inconsequential—it has a direct impact on engagement, productivity, and retention. When employees have positive experiences, they’re more likely to be motivated, productive, and probably happy to stick with you long-term. So yes, employee experience is about them first but ultimately, it can be about an organization’s bottom line.
If you care about your bottom line, you need to care about EX. And to do that, you need to focus on employee success. What is employee success? All the things that contribute to their effectiveness, engagement, and fulfillment while on the job.
There are employers who would rather ignore that the culture of work has changed since the onset of the pandemic, but it’s an undeniable fact.
Employers are pushing to get people back in their cubicles five days a week, and it isn’t going well. Employees are pushing back at being treated like drones, especially after proving they can still be effective, efficient, and productive while working from home.
There’s a good chance employers who are rigid when it comes to work arrangements aren’t opening themselves up to new paradigms. They’re not thinking about how to improve the employee experience, and they’re likely blind to the potential cost.
This doesn’t mean employers have to allow everyone who can to work fully remote. Alternatives include:
Do everything you can to promote and support a good work-life balance. Doing so can help you maintain their well-being, productivity, and job satisfaction.
And in case you’ve missed it so far, the better, healthier, happier your employees are, the better they are at their jobs. You should hear a cha-ching here as you wrap your head around the fact this type of employee typically makes the company more money.
So what can you do? First, be open to the flexible hours mentioned above, and then consider these:
A supportive work environment will go a long way in improving employee experience—in fact, it’s critical for their well-being and success. A supportive workplace is engaged, innovative, and successful, making it attractive to new talent and easier to retain current talent.
This refers to the belief that somebody is able to take risks, share ideas, and express their concerns without any fear of negative consequences. An employee who feels psychologically safe is more likely to engage, innovate, and collaborate effectively—all leading to an improved workplace experience.
Here are some tips on how to encourage psychological safety:
The right kind of culture can lead to employees who feel valued and empowered. Employers can foster this type of culture by:
Most employees value opportunities to grow and develop in their careers. Employers can support this by:
It’s probably safe to say that—at least to some extent—a healthy work environment couldn’t exist without effective communication and feedback. Additionally, most successful organizations have a foundation of effective communication, since it ensures that information in any form is shared clearly and accurately among employees and teams.
Here are some key elements of effective communication to help develop a framework for employee experience:
When it comes to communication, transparency means being honest and open about your company’s goals, strategies, challenges, and decisions. When employees understand the bigger picture, they’re more likely to feel engaged and motivated.
Clear and open communication channels can include in-person meetings, emails, messaging platforms, and even anonymous suggestion boxes. Make sure employees are aware of how to communicate their ideas, concerns, and feedback.
When considering how to improve employee experience, one aspect is employee development and growth—and those feedback and performance evaluations are critical in this area.
Here’s a few ideas on how employers can effectively manage this:
If you want a motivated, engaged, and high-performing workplace, then it’s necessary to recognize and reward your employees. When they feel valued and appreciated, they’re more likely to remain committed to their work and to the organization.
Here are a few key areas where this aspect of an effective employee experience framework can be achieved:
These are structured initiatives designed to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions and achievements of your employees. And while their primary goal is to create a culture of appreciation, these programs can take various forms. Having said that, regardless of the form, each type of program should adhere to the following:
Further reading: 6 types of employee recognition
When considering how to improve employee experience, keep in mind that incentives and rewards are excellent tools to motivate employees to achieve outstanding performance.
Recognition programs focus on acknowledging past achievements, but incentives and rewards are typically forward-looking and can be used to encourage your desired behaviors and results.
Want to elevate employee experience and create a productive and satisfied workforce? Then promoting work engagement and motivation by encouraging autonomy and ownership is essential.
First of all, autonomy in the workplace refers to giving employees freedom and authority to make decisions on how they perform their work—within your set boundaries. This allows them to take ownership of their tasks and responsibilities.
The benefits of autonomy:
Providing employees with a chance to grow and advance in their career path encourages engagement, which can lead to employee retention, better performance, better talent, and more.
Here are a few opportunities that can help deliver a better employee experience:
These are important initiatives for any organization that wants to create a healthy, supportive, and productive workplace, and also include efforts aimed at promoting employees’ mental and physical health.
Consider implementing the following in your organization to beef up employee experience:
Over the last few decades, there’s been growing recognition of the importance of mental health in the workplace. Employers are increasingly taking steps to reduce the stigma of mental health issues and promote open conversations about mental well-being.
Support can be offered in several ways:
Access to counseling services: Many organizations offer access to counseling services or employee assistance programs that provide confidential support for any employee dealing with personal or work-related stress, depression, or any other mental health challenge.
Flexible work arrangements: If you do have employees struggling with mental health issues, consider offering flexible work arrangements to help them manage their issues. This allows them to create a work environment that best suits their needs.
Stress reduction programs: This could include things like mindfulness training, meditation sessions, or stress management workshops. They can help employees develop the coping strategies they need to deal with any workplace stressors.
In addition to the above, consider the following:
Improving employee experience isn’t one and done. It’s important to regularly review and update your strategies while being open to feedback and making necessary changes when they arise.
Here are some ideas on how to accomplish that:
First, you’re going to need to align your strategies with your broader organizational goals and objectives. Regular reviews help ensure that your strategies remain consistent with your company’s mission and vision.
Pay attention to the following and develop some new rules for a better employee experience:
Taking time to research how to improve employee experience is admirable. Implementing new strategies is certainly a step in the right direction, but something else is involved. Since employee experience is ultimately about the employee, you need to pay attention to feedback.
Here’s a few suggestions on how to do that:
Clearly, there’s a lot involved in improving employee experience. Creating a workplace where employees feel valued, engaged, and motivated requires a holistic approach.
To recap, we’ve discussed:
Create a supportive work environment by:
Recognize the importance of effective communication and feedback by:
Reward and recognize employees by:
Promote work engagement and motivation by:
Provide wellness and well-being initiatives by:
Ensure continuous improvement and adaptation by:
Investing in employee experience is a strategic necessity. Why? It enhances retention, attracts top talent, boosts productivity, fosters innovation, and ensures a positive workplace culture. These benefits translate into cost savings, improved brand reputation, and overall resilience in the organization, meaning it can be a critical driver for success.
In one simple, succinct sentence, good employee experience equals organizational success.
Jostle’s employee success platform is where everyone connects, communicates, and celebrates at work. Find out more at jostle.me. © 2009–2023 Jostle Corporation. All rights reserved.