Understanding the everyday moments across the employee lifecycle that matter to your employees and your business.
Aside from the psychological factors behind the employee experience, there are also tangible, operational factors that are equally as important. After all, companies can’t just be great at inspiring employees, they have to be well run companies also. Experience management encompasses aspects such as ensuring your employees are equipped to do their jobs well, maximizing transitional experiences such as the candidate experience, onboarding, off-boarding, and most recently, hybrid work. Experience management also includes personal growth and ensuring things that affect the employee on an individual level are considered, such as training, development, and mental health.
All workforces include psychological factors like engagement; diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; and culture that change slowly over time. These factors are important but shouldn’t be over-measured or the process begins to feel mundane to employees (i.e., “how many times do I have to answer these questions?”).
There are additional aspects to the employee experience that happen “in the moment”. Employees generally expect a response or prompt action to these events. At WSA, we refer to these as experience management moments or moments that matter.
Are your employees equipped with the tools, the equipment, and the training they need to do their job correctly? Equip factors are essentially the factors that enable your employees to do their jobs. In manufacturing, this might be a safety policy on the warehouse floor. In a corporate setting, it may be a reliable IT department or a business cell phone. In retail, it may include training on the use of a scanner and knowing how to check prices or have the training to know how to deal with angry customers.
We’ve all experienced jobs where we don’t have what we need to do our job to the best of our abilities. This slows down production and impedes the performance of employees. Ensuring you know what your employees need to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities and that they have access to those things to be equipped properly is an important piece of the employee experience.
There are moments when employees go through major transitions in the employee lifecycle. These transitions start as a candidate with the experience of the application and interview process. The candidate experience gives the first impression to employees on what the internal processes will be once they are fully employed. From onboarding to off-boarding to most recently transitioning to a hybrid workforce, or work-from-home status instead of in-office, there are expectations around these transitions, and it is important that leaders and managers handle them appropriately.
The candidate experience is the series of interactions a candidate has with your organization as they journey through the recruitment process with your organization. These include any communications they receive like brand messaging, software systems, and management or other employees. Clear, honest, and open communication starts the moment a candidate enters your recruiting process. There are multiple moments that matter to candidates and potential new hires. Identifying and knowing what these are for your organization is a critical part of beginning the employee experience journey on a positive note.
Employee onboarding is the first impression of what it is like to work at your organization, and often, it is the first moment of determining engagement or disengagement. It is important to remember that onboarding is not just about teaching and acclimating to the job, it is also about connecting emotionally with employees. Both aspects matter, from ensuring an employee knows where to park and what door to enter on their first day to feeling like others are truly interested in who they are personally.
Off-boarding is too often times dismissed because an employee is leaving the organization. However, there are critical moments within off-boarding that make a critical good or bad, last impression for the employee. There is also valuable feedback that can be gained from a proper exit or off-boarding process. When done effectively, both onboarding and off-boarding save the company time and money.
The transition to hybrid work has entered most organizations at an accelerated speed. Many employees went from a full-time-in-office to a part-time or even no-time-in-office job. This introduced a large transition for employees and managers. Identifying and understanding what is important to your employees when transitioning to a hybrid model is imperative to maintaining their trust, engagement, and long-term dedication to your organization. There are multiple factors to consider from ensuring employees are equipped with the right tools to understanding the cultural impact to maintaining a high level of performance.
Each employee is unique, and therefore, each employee, just like us, has things that are important to them in their personal career journey. It is important that leaders and managers understand what these personal and individual importances are by collecting one piece of feedback from one person at one particular moment in time. Once collected, whenever possible, take personalized action on that feedback or build a communication plan around the aggregate data to reflect the employee feedback.
Examples of a personal growth journey would be gathering feedback from individual development and career programs — was the training valuable and did the employee learn from it? Another example is deeper or more sophisticated feedback programs such as a 360-degree-feedback survey. In the last year, mental health has become more prevalent, how is each individual employee doing at this certain point in their life, is there work-life balance, are they feeling overwhelmed or unchallenged? Whenever possible