- The characteristics and needs of employees differ as they progress over their life cycles within the organization.
- Since employees look at what happens in the workplace as an integrated experience, organizations also need to craft a program that integrates all their needs.
- A robust employee experience provides a more holistic approach that brings together both HR and management practices to impact people on the job throughout their whole employee life cycle.
Retaining top-notch employees are one of the main challenges that organizations are facing in today’s market. Companies today generally underestimate the actual cost of losing a good employee.
Losing good employees can result in significant recruiting, hiring, training, administrative, and productivity costs. Consequently, the risk of losing consumers also increases with employee turnover, thereby affecting the organization’s overall bottom line.
Most companies are doing little to nothing to increase employee retention. Some are not even making serious efforts to understand why their employees leave. One of the reasons for this lack of concern is that organizations generally undervalue the cost of losing a good employee. Since there are no objective methods to calculate the real value of losing a good employee, managers would just accept it as part of an inevitable cycle.
Improving Employee Experience to Retain Employees
Organizations need to be concerned about employee experience. Rather than narrowly focusing on developing strategies for employee retention, forward-thinking organizations tend to focus on the entire employee experience.
A Deloitte study noted that 80% of executives rated employee experience as very important. However, only 22% reported that their companies have an excellent employee experience program.
Some organizations fail to notice the obvious fact that improving employee experience will also help the company gain a competitive advantage in today’s global economy. Providing an excellent employee experience will help companies succeed in attracting and retaining their top-notch employees. In the long run, a robust employee experience will also drive strong customer experience and promote the company’s employer brand.
Companies that are dedicated to improving their employee experience tend to have a robust corporate culture, heightened employee engagement, proactive employees, and an inclusive work environment.
The characteristics and needs of employees differ as they progress over their life cycles within the organization. A robust employee experience provides a more holistic approach that brings together both HR and management practices to impact people on the job throughout their whole employee life cycle.
Here are several strategies for enhancing employee experience throughout an individual’s life cycle in the company:
This phase begins immediately after hiring when a new employee is introduced in the company. When employees are generally new and inexperienced, this is the phase that presents the most risk for turnover. An employee’s progress in the introduction phase is heavily influenced by their experience during the recruiting and hiring process.
Here are several strategies to enhance employee experience during the introduction phase:
- Establish what new employees expect from their careers and make sure that the company meets these expectations.
- Welcome new employees with genuine enthusiasm.
- Provide excellent orientation regarding the company.
- Show personal interest to each individual and encourage managers to do the same.
The growth phase is the time when an employee tries to accelerate through the firm’s learning processes. This is the stage when the employee becomes productive and valuable to the company within their defined role to the team. An employee’s growth stage varies depending on the experience of the employee and the nature of the job. There is no specific event or milestone that will mark its transition to the growth phase.
Employees who are in their growth phase will rarely look for other career opportunities outside the company. It is essential to think of strategies to prolong the growth phase to see improvements in the company’s employee experience.
Here are some suggestions for enhancing employee experience during the growth phase:
- Deliver outstanding training and development, both formal and informal.
- Provide exposure to different parts of the firm and different job functions.
- Recognize that the shape and length of the employee’s growth curve will be different.
- Don’t neglect performance reviews.
Eventually, the learning curve for the growth phase will reach its peak. As employees begin to enter their maturity phase, their output reaches a plateau. Employees that reach the maturity phase have already mastered their jobs and are now at the risk of stagnation.
Here are several strategies to enhance employee experience during the maturity phase:
- Make sure to provide people with fresh and meaningful challenges on the job.
- Continue communicating frequently and openly with your employees.
- Encourage mature employees to serve as mentors to the newbies in the organization.
- Invite mature employees to define new roles and encourage them to think innovatively and creatively.
Maturity is sometimes, but not always, followed by decline. The best way to manage employees on the decline phase is to prevent them from getting there. However, only a few employees would reach this phase as most of them leave their jobs in the introduction or growth phase to start over with another company.
Here are several strategies to enhance employee experience during the decline phase:
- Encourage employees to retain or reinvent themselves.
- Negotiate specific expectations and hold the employee to them.
- Identify transferable skills and figure out how to reapply them in other jobs or other parts of the firm.
Starting your own employee experience program
Since employees look at what happens in the workplace as an integrated experience, organizations also need to craft a program that integrates their needs for improved employee satisfaction, wellness, career and development, and overall physical and emotional well-being.
Innovative organizations use employee experience to improve their engagement strategies and integrate all their needs in a more holistic manner. But how do organizations kick-start a good employee experience program? Deloitte has several ideas that will help you get started:
Elevate the employee experience and make it a priority.
Organizations need to recognize that a good employee experience program is essential to help the firm thrive. They need to ensure that the program is integrated into all aspects of the work, workplace, and workforce experience in the company.
Designate a senior leader or team to own it.
Assign a designated team to take the helm in implementing this program. A senior leader that will focus on the process of creating the entire employee experience program is needed to ensure that strategies, engagements, and participation in the plan are integrated.
Consider experiences for the entire workforce.
Every employee in the company from interns, freelancers, full-time, part-time to executives at all levels need to be part of the program. To attract and engage all segments of the workforce, everyone needs to have a unique employee experience program designed for specific roles within the company.
Enlist management support.
Engagement with upper management impacts the overall experience of employees. This is why active involvement of executive management and senior leaders is essential to make the employee experience program successful.
Go beyond the usual engagement surveys and open feedback systems. Consider using candidate interviews, stay interviews, ongoing performance conversations, and exit interviews as your tool to gain a comprehensive understanding of the issues that your employees face. This will continually help refine and improve your organization’s employee experience program.
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Council Post: Five Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Employee Experience. (2019). Forbes.com. Retrieved 29 June 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2018/05/10/five-things-you-can-do-right-now-to-improve-employee-experience/#7789445d61a3
Smither, L. (2003). Managing Employee Life Cycles to Improve Labor Retention. Leadership & Management in Engineering, 3(1), 19. https://doi.org.ezproxy.upd.edu.ph/10.1061/(ASCE)1532-6748(2003)3:1(19)
The employee experience: Culture, engagement, and beyond. (2019). Deloitte Insights. Retrieved 25 June 2019, from https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/focus/human-capital-trends/2017/improving-the-employee-experience-culture-engagement.html