Question: I’m the CEO of a non-profit organization who wants clarity about the “Employee Experience” and what it is? My company had moderate turnover during and post Covid. I’ve prioritized keeping employees engaged. However, it increasingly feels like employees are requiring more. In attempting to expand my knowledge on the matter, I’ve read various articles and repeatedly encountered the term “Employee Experience,” but I don’t grasp the full meaning.
Answer: The Employee Experience encompasses how and what people expect to gain from their relationship with their employers. Said differently, it’s what employees value and what they prioritize in exchange for their time, talent, creativity, innovation, and commitment.
Evolving Employee Needs
The post Covid workforce is an entirely different dilemma. Studies show a few things:
- The people that left offices during Covid are not the same ones that returned after.
- Worker’s needs and priorities have shifted.
- People want to work for companies willing to prioritize their needs as well as the company’s workplace culture.
- They want positive & inclusive experiences.
- They want flexibility.
- They want to work in alignment with their values.
- They want to learn and grow.
- They want to work to live and not the opposite.
Prioritizing The Employee Experience
As the workplace evolves, HR professionals, consultants, and progressive leaders understand the need for people strategies and priorities to change with it. Hence, the focus on the employee experience. In a 2021 Willis Towers Watson Employee Experience Survey, 92% of employers worldwide said the employee experience will be a priority for the next three years. Given the ongoing challenge to keep positions filled, I’m confident it will continue to be a focus long after that.
Millions of workers left jobs during the pandemic. This enduring pain prompted many employers to reflect on what worked and change what didn’t. It also afforded employees the opportunity to consider their priorities, how work affected them personally and shift focus to what truly matters.
- Reducing benefit eligibility waiting or vesting periods.
- Creating space to access learning & development opportunities.
- Focusing on creating mental health friendly workplaces.
- Offering additional or unlimited leave programs.
- Offering four-day work weeks.
- Focusing on psychological safety.
- Shifting leadership & management competencies, expectations, and accountabilities regarding team building, interpersonal leadership, empowerment, inclusion, and self-regulation.
Planning Tip: There’s no magic solution for improving the employee experience and transforming your workplace culture. You, your senior team, and HR may have ideas about what employees want and what can make a difference. However, the best place to start is by collecting data from your people. Survey them to better understand what they value and need. This puts you in an ideal position to analyze, align and evolve.
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