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Tips for Strategic Approach to Employee Experience

Employee experience is a conjugation of experiences imparted through an organization’s cultural, physical, and technological environments. All these environments might differ from organization to organization, but all hold undifferentiated importance throughout. Therefore, organizations need to put special focus and energy on designing these environments in favor of the employees.

But why should employee experience be of utmost importance for organizations? Simple – employees are an organizations’ first and most important customers, and thus their experience must be prioritized. It is rightly said by Doug Conant (Former Fortune 500 CEO and New York Times bestselling author), “To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.” At AgreeYa, we believe that winning the confidence of your employees by providing the right set of environments is the best way to win at your workplace. Once an organization starts to enhance employee experience and appreciate their work, profitability comes by default. According to us, there is an interrelationship between the three most significant pillars of a successful organization

Once the employee experience is taken care of, the other two, i.e., increased profitability and improved productivity, are derived automatically. But first, how can organizations deliver optimum employee experience?

The recent pandemic has taught us a lot in this domain. In the new normal, the significance of employee experience has increased to a level like never before.

So here we want to talk about the right approach to attain optimum employee experience starting from the employee onboarding phase through the tenure of their time with the organization. We follow some of these practices at AgreeYa, and it has worked well for us.

Unique employee onboarding

Employee experience starts right from day 1. Employees’ onboarding procedures and processes leave a greater impact on an employee than organizations can even think of. But, as per a study by Deloitte, 50% of the organizations don’t consider a structured onboarding solution and end up losing their employees at a very early stage. Also, according to Gallup, only 12% of the employees think that their organization is efficient at job onboarding.

Running an engaging orientation process is not just enough for building a good impact. This is why organizations need a structured and well-rounded employee onboarding strategy.

Please note that the first day, of the employee on the joining day and the last day (or the time of notice period) are very important from the perspective of employee experience. The experience they have on the first day could be the reason for them to stick or leave the organization. Similarly, the last few days and the exit interview could be the reason for them to come back to your organization.

We challenge you to reconsider your onboarding strategies to create the best first and last impression. Hence following onboarding strategies will bring more success in terms of both employee experience and the organization’s future performance.-

  • Putting more focus on initial learning and development during onboarding– Many times newly hired employees have to wander around to understand their routine tasks and to understand other functionalities of the organization. Proper induction and training will help the employees to be productive at the earliest. Besides this, it is important to have an early conversation about what is expected from the candidates for defined timelines. This will ensure both the organization and the newly hired candidate are on the same page. This is very important to reduce the turnover rate, which is around 50% in the first 18 months according to SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management).
  • Increasing the involvement of the hiring managers in the onboarding process- As many other tasks lie under the responsibilities of a hiring manager, at times, some key details are missed out during onboarding. To avoid this, it is important to inspire managers to be more involved in the onboarding processes. In fact, at AgreeYa, we ensure that hiring and reporting managers are the owners of the hiring and onboarding processes. We ask them not to hesitate in getting into any kind of conversation with the new joiners to get real feedback on their early days in the organization.

Apart from this, small initiatives like direct welcome notes from the CEO and the managers improve the impression ratings to a whole new level.

  • Initiate the onboarding process even before the joining day– The rate of an employee leaving the organization is highest before the joining day. This leads to a massive loss of hiring costs and the energy of the talent acquisition team. Recruitment and employee engagement teams at AgreeYa ensure that the onboarding experience starts way before the joining date. They make sure that the time between the joining and the day a candidate has accepted the offer is effectively utilized to make them acquainted with the organizational culture and environment.

Consider sending them a company-branded welcome kit. Such small gestures reduce the chances of the candidate backing out from the offer and will appreciate such a welcoming experience.

  • Analyzing employee-specific needs and designing the onboarding process accordingly– For multi-national organizations or big organizations, implementing a one-size-fits-all onboarding model is not practical or effective. There will be employees joining from different demographics and hence it must be designed accordingly. The requirements can be analyzed by organizing pre-joining surveys and connecting on a one-to-one basis. At AgreeYa, we add This element of personalization to the onboarding process and that l further helps improve the employee retention rate.
  • Conducting virtual onboarding process as real as possible– When most organizations are working in a hybrid model, the onboarding process also needs to be modified. We realized this when all of us were working virtually due to the global pandemic. Our teams realized that the challenges of a virtual onboarding process are very much different from physical onboarding. However, we also realized that these challenges can be dealt with success if the virtual onboarding process is clearly explained to the new hires.

It is important to ensure the new hire builds the right rapport with the new team members. This calls for involving both the professional and personal components in the virtual onboarding process. You have to be professional enough with the company’s newly hired employees to make them aware of all organizational policies and help eliminate any sort of anxiety during the initial days of onboarding.

At the same time, you have to provide enough personal connection and warmth so that they can open up to you for any concerns they might have and show active participation in decision-making and team meetings. The new joiners should also be encouraged to put up even the most bizarre questions regarding their job role or organizational culture during their onboarding and induction time.

Now when you have left a great initial impression through an excellent onboarding process, half the job is done. Building a successful employee experience from thereon will be easier, yet equally significant. The workplace environment, be it physical or virtual, counts and contributes the most to employee experience. According to a Warwick University study, happy employees are 12 % more productive. This further strengthens the equation –

An engaging working environment brings out positivity in employees that in turn makes them more productive and motivated.

But what makes a working environment more engaging?

From our own experience, here we are sharing some of the components and some considerations that you can integrate within your workplace to enhance employee experience. –

  • Modern workplace culture– A modern workplace culture keeps employees at priority and is not bound by time constraints. For creating such a modern workplace, flexibility and transparency are the keys. The environment of a modern workplace culture is more proactive and is clear on expectations. More the workplace is rooted in trust rather than deadlines; better is the employee experience.
  • Frequent workplace environment review– Reviewing is the best way to judge the changes made, and the same is the case with the work environment. It is essential to review the work environment by taking feedback from employees. At AgreeYa, we run reviews and surveys to get a pulse of employee feedback. This is not only limited to the physical work environment, as a large portion of the workforce is working from home. With the help of frequent surveys, organizations can keep track of the real-time employee experience and act at the earliest.
  • Modern workplace culture– A modern workplace culture keeps employees at priority and is not bound by time constraints. For creating such a modern workplace, flexibility and transparency are the keys. The environment of a modern workplace culture is more proactive and is clear on expectations. More the workplace is rooted in trust rather than deadlines; better is the employee experience.
  • Frequent workplace environment review– Reviewing is the best way to judge the changes made, and the same is the case with the work environment. It is essential to review the work environment by taking feedback from employees. At AgreeYa, we run reviews and surveys to get a pulse of employee feedback. This is not only limited to the physical work environment, as a large portion of the workforce is working from home. With the help of frequent surveys, organizations can keep track of the real-time employee experience and act at the earliest.
  • Optimum workplace technology- Technologies have changed the way businesses operate and communicate. With work operating more and more remotely, technologies need to be more advanced and efficient. Once the employees get access to the most advanced technologies, their work becomes hassle-free. Once the employees’ work is better managed, the better their experience is. Thus, for optimum employee experience, workplace technology must be top-notch. We are utilizing some of the most advanced technology tools and remote working solutions to ensure that our employees and customers have seamless communication and working experience.

These are some of the most important components of a successful workplace. Yet, we have not talked about one of the most important criteria of employee experience – the role of managers. An employees’ rapport with his/her manager reflects in their performance and their behavior within the organization. Let’s understand the role of managers in enhancing employee experience in detail.

Role of Managers and Team Leaders

A motivated employee is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager. Once the rapport between the employee and the manager is built, every other dimension starts falling into place automatically. Hence the selection of the right manager plays a great role in an organization. The company’s future depends on the working of the teams and which further depends on the managers and the team leaders. Here are some of the qualities that must be looked out for in a manager–

  • They should believe in the organization’s work culture and be passionate about it
  • They should appreciate employees’ strengths and be vocal about it
  • They should avoid micromanaging
  • They should help employees in developing careers paths
  • They should remain transparent when it comes to communication
  • They should value and listen to employees’ ideas and suggestions

Once a manager masters these skills and traits, the employee experience undoubtedly gets better. It is important to analyze how many of your managers possess all the qualities mentioned above. At AgreeYa, we frequently organize managerial-level training to ensure that our managers are equipped to handle their roles and responsibilities in the best way.

As per an IBM study, employee experience holds a direct link with the returns on both assets and sales. Also, the significance of employee experience is at the summit due to the rise of popularity of company review websites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, etc. You would find no candidate who would not measure a company’s reputation through the reviews posted on these websites. It can take just a single review to lose the perfect candidate. In summary, the time is gone when organizations used to rely upon the employer branding campaigns and all. 2021-2022 is the age of real-time reviews that mostly revolve around the employee experience. In a nutshell, your organization’s profitability depends a lot on your employees’ experience and thus needs to be prioritized.

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