The COVID-19 pandemic caused severe disruption to daily life. People had to be extra vigilant about their hygiene and wear masks to protect themselves from the deadly virus.
It could take a while for things to return to normalcy, even with the availability of vaccines. Nevertheless, many people felt that modern society needs to adjust to a new norm. What does this mean for employee experience?
COVID-19 was a global pandemic that brought employee well-being and health to the forefront of every company in 2020. As the effects of the pandemic spread, there will be significant increases in healthcare costs by 2021.
Global pandemics have fundamentally altered the way employers and employees interact. For example, most of us don't see our coworkers every day in the office. As a result, employers and employees should be looking for other ways to engage with each other to improve the overall employee experience.
Companies are increasingly looking at healthcare as an investment in employee experience (EX), a meaningful way for both employees and employers to connect.
Healthcare utilization was historically viewed as a cost center. However, companies keen on employee engagement and experience consider it a net benefit when their employees receive the right care at the correct time.
The solution to HR teams' EX problems is a new human resource management that focuses on EX more than ever. It allows them to increase their EX and ensure the well-being of their employees.
It makes sense to start with the customer, as most companies aim to make customers happy and sell them the products or services they desire. Customers will purchase products and services that they enjoy if you create something they love.
According to John Plaskoff, the employee experience is similar. Rather than the traditional transactional human resource strategy, the organization tries to understand the employee's needs, expectations, and fears. It is important to create an environment that shows care for employees in the context of their work. Therefore, it is important to understand how employees experience a situation to identify problems and find solutions.
Employee experience and employee engagement cannot be used interchangeably. EX influences engagement. Employees are more likely to feel engaged if they have a positive experience at work, whether because of the culture, technology, or physical space. If they have a negative experience at work, even though they enjoy the work, it can make it difficult to remain motivated and work hard. While some people are naturally less engaged than others or because of external factors beyond their control (EX), it can be difficult to minimize the impact.
"Engagement Alone Cannot Define Employee Experience."
Engagement is an outcome of positive EX. HR can be more efficient if they concentrate their efforts on EX rather than engagement. It's easier to take action, and it's easier to implement. EX can be directly influenced by HR, while engagement is more difficult to control. A positive EX can result in employee engagement and performance. This is more effective than just reacting to grievances or issues raised in surveys.
Corporate culture is something we all have heard about and in many different ways it can be described. Some believe it is what happens when the manager leaves the room. Others believe culture is determined by the values, beliefs, and mission of an organization. Some others believe the CEO or other executive leaders manage culture. It doesn't matter what culture means or where it came from; culture is all about feeling. It is the feeling you get when you enter a workplace.
The leadership style is an important element of designing and creating the employee experience. Corporate culture is often what energizes trains, motivates, discourages, and empowers us. Every day we are exposed to the corporate culture in our workplaces, regardless of whether it is positive or negative. Making sure that the culture of your organization is positive & your workforce exudes your corporate values.
The technology environment refers to the tools that employees use to accomplish their work. This covers everything, from the company's internal social network to mobile devices employees’ access. It also includes software, apps, e-learning, and any user experience and design elements that affect how employees use these tools. Technology is the heart of any organization. Many concepts and themes that are related to the future work environment cannot be achieved without it. Therefore, it is essential to create a great cultural environment by using tools focused on employees and not business requirements.
The physical workspace is what we can touch, feel, smell, and taste. It includes the artwork on the walls, the office layout, the demographics of our coworkers (older, younger, more diverse, etc.), and any perks employees might receive, such as a cafeteria or a gym onsite. This environment is affected by factors such as workplace flexibility, autonomy, and access to multiple workspaces. All of these are vital components of the role having a physical workspace plays in the overall employee experience.
Reimagining Employee Experience: Post Covid Talent Management
Today, employees expect their experiences at work to be similar to their experiences outside of work:
While processes and tasks in the workplace are structured with many steps and long runways to make them feel personal or human, those processes are tedious and time-consuming from an EX perspective.
As with user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX), employee experience (EX) requires design thinking, which focuses on crafting a solution for the desired outcome rather than simply getting rid of the perceived problem. This allows you to avoid solving the wrong problem, or worse, a problem that is a symptom. Here's how to improve employee experience using design thinking.
Step 1: Determine your EX goals.
HR is not a profit center but a cost center. Therefore, it is important to link your EX goals with the business objectives to get executive support for EX resources. Create a business case you can use metrics to show how an EX can affect talent acquisition, cost savings, efficiency, etc. People's success is the key to business success.
Step 2: Plan the employee journey.
Start by mapping the employee journey in your company. This will help you see where EX can be improved. Next, assess each engagement point. For example, if employees require something from HR What is your experience today? What is it? What would it look like ideally? Finally, do a gap analysis to determine what needs to be changed.
Step 3: Plan your approach.
Now that you have a clear vision of where your organization wants to go with its EX, you can start to think about the steps needed to get there. Is there a routine? Manual processes that can be automated What are your thoughts? Would it not be simpler for employees to find the information they require or ask HR for help?
Step 4: Apply technology.
Technology is not enough to ensure great employee experiences, but it is a crucial component. Technology can help improve the EX by making it easier and more manageable. For example, a self-serve knowledge database makes it easy to find HR policies. Technology can speed up lengthy processes such as onboarding paperwork and a request for maternity leave. It can also help HR become more productive, allowing them to focus on providing high-quality, engaging employee services, which leads to a better customer experience.
Step 5: Measure & evaluate.
Go back to Step 1. Make sure that every engagement point is tracked with a metric or KPI. Indicate whether your EX has been effective. Take, for example, the time it takes for an employee to complete a task. This will show you if your processes are as intuitive and easy as you intended.
A focus on employee experience will result in more engaged employees who are in turn more productive. A higher productivity level generally leads to increased profits and shareholder value. So to achieve higher results organizations should focus on providing a better employee experience for higher productivity & in turn higher revenues.
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