Solving problems for customers, unlocking opportunities for innovation, bridging communication gaps — here are the compelling reasons to launch an employee experience program.
Employee experience is a hot topic right now. Finally, right? The Great Resignation really turned the focus onto employees and understanding what’s driving them to switch jobs, move to other industries, or leave the workforce altogether. Many studies have been conducted to better understand how employees feel about their jobs and the workplace. Sadly, it’s too late for some, but the learnings are important as we consider the future employee experience.
Medallia conducted research among 1,471 workers in the United States who either recently left their jobs or were thinking about quitting. The findings are highlighted in the report, Insights Into the Great Resignation: Understanding Why Employees Leave Their Jobs, and the top five reasons employees left at the height of this trend included:
These findings are comparable to what I’ve seen in other research as well.
MIT Sloan School of Management also took a look at a ton of data across a couple of different sources to find the greatest predictors of turnover during the Great Resignation. Most of the conversations revolved around wages and employee dissatisfaction, with wages being at the root. Instead, compensation was actually 16th on the list of predictors of turnover.
Corporate culture was the top predictor — specifically a toxic corporate culture — and was 10 times more important than compensation in predicting turnover.
So, you’ve got a lot of data points and a lot of details to consider as you think about employee retention and employee experience. But what exactly is employee experience?
Here’s how I define it:
It’s the sum of all interactions that an employee has with her employer during the duration of her employment relationship. It includes any way the employee “touches” or interacts with the company and vice versa in the course of doing her job. And it includes the actions and capabilities that enable her to do her job. And, importantly, it includes her feelings, emotions, and perceptions of those interactions and capabilities.
Those actions and capabilities mentioned in the definition are some of the things that both Medallia and MIT highlighted in their research: career development, meaningful work, knowing how the work impacts the business, wellness / wellbeing, leaders who care, open and honest communication, camaraderie and collaboration, and more — not to mention having the tools, training, and resources to do the job and do it well.
One thing that you must know about employee experience is that it doesn’t just happen by accident. Well, it does, but it likely isn’t the experience employees want or expect. The experience that employees deserve is one that is designed to be that way – based on their needs and desired experience. That means you’ve got to have an employee experience program in place that ensures that you do all the work needed to design and deliver that experience.
The first thing you’ll need to ensure your employee experience program is successful is both executive commitment and alignment.
Leaders must commit to putting employees and employee experience at the top of the priority list. People first. That commitment comes not only in a verbal form but also in the form of resources — human, time, capital, financial, and beyond — to show employees that ‘we put our money where our mouths are.’ And they must all be aligned; if only some executives across the organization are on board, then employee experience will be siloed and disjointed.
To help you get that executive commitment and alignment, you’re going to need to answer the
‘why’ behind it. Why do we need an employee experience program? In Medallia’s latest guide about how to build an employee experience program, experts list some of the benefits of designing and delivering a great employee experience.
Clearly, it’s important to design and deliver a great employee experience. You can start by talking to your employees. Get to know them. Understand them on a human level, a personal level. There’s no better way to ensure they have a great experience and can do the work and deliver the customer experience you expect than by talking to them and involving them in the whole process.
Tasked with introducing an employee experience program within your organization? Check out the guide Expert Insights: How to Build an Employee Experience Program, which offers step-by-step instructions from leaders who have firsthand experience. You’ll find out what it takes to become an employee experience leader, transforming your workplace along the way with higher employee engagement and retention.