When it comes to running a business, a lot of attention is paid to customer experience, but what about employee experience? Time and again, research has shown that positive employee experience has a causal link with better employee performance through engagement. What naturally follows from that engagement is improved performance, higher sales, and greater profits.
To put it simply: fulfilled employees will work harder and more efficiently.
So what exactly is employee experience and how can you leverage it for the benefit of your employees, and ultimately your bottom line?
Let's take a look at the three major components of employee experience:
- Physical environment
- Technological environment
- Cultural environment
Each of these three components can be optimized to create a more positive and workable employee experience, and each component interacts with the other two. We're going to take a deeper look at each one, how it affects your employees, and offer up some suggestions you can implement to improve them.
The world of business is rapidly changing. Not only are businesses starting to understand that a more welcoming work environment is better for employees but with the rise of co-working spaces and the popularity of remote work, employees are beginning to expect more from their workspaces as well. For this reason, businesses are breaking free of the cubicle life in favor of a more productive and welcoming environment.
So what can you do to improve your employee's physical environment? Leadership expert Jacob Morgan says to focus on improvements that make it COOL:
- Choose to bring in visitors
- Offer flexibility
- Organization's values are reflected
- Leverages multiple workspaces
Allowing flexibility on where and when to work shows your employees that you trust that they are going to do their best work without being chained to their desks. If your office is a place where people feel a sense of freedom and enjoy spending their time, so much so that they want to bring in visitors to show it off, it will help them stay energized and motivated.
It's important that the technology your employees use and depend on for their work is reliable, fast, and up-to-date. This means physical equipment like computers, printers, phones, etc., as well as any apps, software, and programs they may need.
Upgrading equipment and programs can be pricey, and it's understandable that there is often hesitance when it comes to making such investments. We would urge you to consider, however, the hidden cost of delaying necessary upgrades.
Studies show that small interruptions can take between 10 and 25 minutes to recuperate from. Even phone calls or quick check-ins can necessitate recovery times of these lengths.
Now, imagine how long malfunctioning equipment can set an employee back. Not only do they have to deal with the problem before they can move forward with their work, but they may also take even longer to recuperate from the lingering frustration.
If all of your workspace's technology is running smoothly, your employees' workflow will follow smoothly as well.
While all three aspects of employee experience are important, the cultural environment is the most crucial. Employees may deal with less-than-ideal technology and office spaces if the workplace has a strong and healthy culture, but the opposite is not true. The coolest, most tech-advanced workplace will fail to retain employees if the overall working culture isn't positive. Company culture really is the "make or break" factor in employee experience.
Just a few companies who have a great cultural environment:
A positive company culture promotes clearly defined values, and the leadership consistently holds true to those values. Showing employees respect and trust will help keep employees engaged and productive. Providing intellectual challenges helps motivate and engage those employees.
According to ten years of data compiled by Queen's University Centre for Business and Venturing, an engaged company culture creates a multitude of positive effects including 30% greater customer satisfaction levels, 100% more unsolicited employment applications, and 15% great employee productivity.
Company culture also has a large impact on employee retention. If employees don't feel engaged, or the company culture is for one reason or another not a positive for them, they will be more likely to seek employment elsewhere.
What This Means For Your Business
It is leaders that will be the driving force when it comes to creating a positive employee experience. Taking a proactive approach to train leaders from within the company will benefit everyone involved, from you to your employees, to your customers.
To learn how to develop engaged leaders from within your workforce, download our "Leadership Training Tactics" ebook.