The HR industry has strongly focused on employees. Even 86% of recruiters admit that nowadays employees call the shots in the modern labor market. Over the last few years, understanding and optimization of the employee experience have become a key element in the strategy of many organizations. A properly built bond with employees determines whether the company attracts and retains the talents necessary for its development. Often it has an impact on the company’s reputation. Patrick Harris in the publication for the Journal of Brand Management pointed out that “It [customer experience] begins at the heart of an organization. It begins with employees who are being the strategy and living the brand.”
Employee market era
The lively economy brings changes in the conditions of the Polish labor market. Increasing GDP, falling unemployment, increased salaries, and high demand for qualified personnel resumed in the struggle for talents. In August 2018, the unemployment rate was 5.8 %,
that means it was about 1.2 p.p less than in the previous year. That’s one of the reasons why today’s job market is determined so strongly by employees. A human is the main asset in the company. What’s more, it’s not a customer but the employee who also becomes the main recipient of the services offered by the company. The new organization’s image requires a strategy based on tightning bonds with its members, which consists of creating a positive employees experience (EX).
In the article for Forbes magazine issued in 2016, a futurist Jeanne Meiste described a phenomenon of the consumerization of HR trend. She pointed out that: ‘’The new objective is to create one employer brand which provides a seamless experience for current employees, potential employees, and consumers… to create the type of memorable employee experiences we associate with extraordinary customer experiences.”
In Poland, the trend of focusing on the employee is starting to gain momentum. According to the analysis carried out by Deloitte in 2017, in our country, about 60% of responding employers introduced an action or a full strategy based on building employee experience into their companies. This is the result at 14 p.p. lower compared to the global scale. What caused such a situation? First of all, the main reason was the lack of enterprise awareness, communication barriers, as well as difficulties caused by the pace of changes and the pressure of rapid implementations of new solutions.
Employee experience in practice – challenges in building a relationship
Customer experience is the sum of all customer’s interaction with the organization. Similarly, employee experience includes all the touchpoints between employee and employer – from the first contact as a potential candidate – to the exit interview. Everything that the employee receives from the company sums up into his experience and opinion about his employer. The essence of building an employee experience is the care for each stage of employee participation in the life of the company. Each of these elements affects creating an organization’s image in the eyes of the employee. To create a satisfying and seamless employee experience, employers should be able to put themselves in employee’s shoes. Keeping in mind that the experience consists also of emotions accompanying the above-mentioned interaction.
The essence of building an employee experience is the care for each stage of employee participation in the life of the company.
One of the challenges in building the right relationship is creating a truly employee-friendly environment. In many companies, the focus on processes rather than on people is still noticeable. Everything needs to begin with the understanding that employees are the greatest value for the organization. Even the most effective process will not bring expected benefits if there are no motivated and committed people working on it. To create an environment focused on employees, a company has to start with the well-prepared recruitment process. Requiring jobseekers to fill an unnecessarily complex online application or prolonging a waiting time for feedback after each stage of the recruitment process shows lack of empathy and is a quick way to lose the new candidate’s interest.
Even the most effective process will not bring expected benefits if there are no motivated and committed people working on it.
Keeping in touch with the candidate from the very first meeting until the first day of work is very important. It’s good to provide the new employees with a package of information about the company before they formally join it. Explaining what to expect in the first few days shows that the company cares about the employee’s work comfort – trying to make beginnings less stressful. In turn, the organization gains an effective employee, focused on what needs to be done from the moment of crossing the company’s threshold.
Engage, trust, and understand
Pizza Thursdays or Casual Fridays are pleasant initiatives. However, in the great employee experience pattern, they constitute only a small piece. Offering positive experiences to employees means understanding the factors that really matter and motivate them. To create an environment where people are involved, one should look more broadly than a package of benefits. It’s worth to encourage employees to autonomy. The employers should trust managers they hire. The managers, in turn, should rely on teams they manage. The perfect situation is when even the smallest teams are included in the decision-making process. Employees cannot be expected to invest their time and energy in a company’s success if they have nothing to say there. Employee experience is also giving them a chance to express their opinions. A well-done task should be rewarded with a statement of appreciation. It is incredible what kind of motivation provides even simple “thank you”.
Employees cannot be expected to invest their time and energy in a company’s success if they have nothing to say there. Employee experience is also giving them a chance to express their opinions. A well-done task should be rewarded with a statement of appreciation. It is incredible what kind of motivation provides even simple “thank you”.
At the most basic level, people go to work to get their livelihood. However, they still should know what their position in the company is and how their future in the organization looks like. They need to be equipped with a clear career path and promotion opportunities. This will encourage them to climb to the next professional levels. What if they have a home, a family, an original hobby? Even better! Employees don’t live in the office and are not supposed to. Understanding this by an organization and providing flexibility in employment results in a stronger relationship with their employees. If these crucial factors are missing employees most likely will start looking for another company supporting work-life balance.
The right workplace solutions
Another challenge in creating a seamless employee experience is with collecting employee data and taking effective data-driven actions. In this case, technology comes on the rescue.
What solutions are worth investing in? The market is receptive to this type of tools and offers many of them. Regardless of which solution will be chosen, it should be solid and easy to integrate with the existing IT infrastructure. What’s the most important, such solution should make employees life easier, not complicate it. It can’t be another deadwood but a pleasant tool used by everyone in the organization. Before choosing the most appropriate solution, it’s good to observe your employees for a little while. They are probably connoisseurs of smartphones. What does this have to do with the choice of technology in the company? It is highly unlikely that any of their mobile apps were difficult to use or simply had an unaesthetic interface. Otherwise, nobody would use them. This should also be a tip for you.
The quality of IT solutions and systems offered to employees undoubtedly contribute to building their positive experience. The outdated, clumsy technology is not only frustrating and ineffective. It also presents ignorance of the employer and the lack of involvement in the basic functioning of employees in the company. It can negatively affect retention.
In a world dominated by technology, focusing on increasing transparency of relationships with constant demand for talented specialists, a positively created employee experience becomes an increasingly important dimension of competition for employees. It’s also a way to involve them in the company’s life. On the other hand, the employees’ brand and history, which they talk about outside, create an image of the company that is important from the point of view of the clients. For this reason, employee experience begins to be a decisive distinguishing feature also in the struggle against the competition.
 Nysha King, Recruiter & Employer Sentiment Study, MRINetwork 2016 r.
 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/palgrave.bm.2550123, (access: 24.09.2018 r.)
 Data of the Central Statistical Office.
 https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2016/01/07/consumerization-of-hr-10-trends-innovative-companies-will-follow-in-2016/#4e067806b5a8, (access: 24.09.2018 r.)
Author: Sylwia Golas
Source: Outsourcing&More Magazine
A Point of View by:
Sylwia Golas – Product Marketing Specialist at Enxoo, passionate about HR, smart tech, and creating amazing experiences for employee, user and customer.
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