5 reasons to focus on the employee experience next financial year
The employee experience (EX) is the result of every interaction your people have with your company – from on-boarding through to L&D. Here's why enhancing the EX is the key to achieving your most ambitious goals in the coming financial year.
The turn of the financial year is a busy period.
Beyond the reams of paperwork and presentations, getting off to a good start takes two things: reflection and planning.
A time for reflection
What went well and what didn’t? How are you going to respond to the shortfalls and how will you celebrate the wins to increase motivation for the year ahead?
A time for planning
New goals need setting and fresh initiatives need unveiling. How are you going to mobilise your workforce to work towards these common goals?
What is employee experience?
The employee experience is the result of every interaction an employee has with a company, from on boarding through to career development. It's how organisations interpret the EX that decides whether cultures flourish or stagnate.
It's estimated that as much as 61% of the UK’s workforce are disengaged. This combination of absence, employee turnover and retraining costs UK businesses a huge £340bn a year. Clearly, for companies to succeed in the coming year, they need HR’s strategic partnership and teams that want to deliver.
So just as our commercially driven marketing colleagues support the customer experience (CX) to stop churn, HR and managers have a golden opportunity to nurture the employee experience.
Here are five reasons to consider kick-starting your year with an employee experience platform
1. Celebrate successes and incentivise high performance
An employee experience platform will help you identify and celebrate the work that achieves your organisational goals. By setting individual, team or company challenges, you can structure the way reward and recognition are issued, while increasing company performance. All in all, a good way to get the year off to a good start.
2. Attract new talent and retain top performers
The kind of people capable of driving companies forward have their choice of employer, so you need a standout employee value proposition (EVP) to get them through your door. Similarly, it's in your best interest to support, reward and encourage the ones already hitting your targets.
By mapping out the employee journey you can identify at which points to add value beyond salary. Could salary sacrifice schemes help your people spread the cost of larger investments? Perhaps a flexible working policy would help people balance life and work more effectively. Healthcare benefits might help empower people to proactively support their physical and mental wellbeing.
"The kind of people capable of driving companies forward have their choice of employer, so you need a standout employee value proposition (EVP)"
A carefully chosen employee benefits package will underpin the EX, helping people to perform better and giving them more reasons to continue delivering.
3. Introduce a meaningful people metric
When it comes to goal setting for the year ahead, measurability is key. The challenge for HR – and any function that values its employees – is that a person’s performance doesn’t always covert directly to a numerical outcome.
When Van Gogh put down his brush after finishing Sunflowers, the masterpiece was worth very little. But today, few would say the venture was time wasted. There’s the small matter of its current £70m value, together with invaluable contributions to the Impressionist movement. Often it’s the intangible things – positivity, creativity, personal relationships – that make people valuable.
"The challenge for HR – and any function that values its employees – is that a person’s performance doesn’t always covert directly to a numerical outcome"
Perkbox Insights, our new pulse survey tool, measures the 10 drivers of employee experience to give you a meaningful EX score. Based on a library of organisation psychology-backed questions, it enables you to segment your results by time, team and location, and compare how EX changes across your organisation.
4. Enhance communication
If improving organisational communication isn't on your year's to-do list, here's one stat the will make you reconsider: 97% of employees say communications affects how they perform tasks every day. Communication is the lifeblood of the employee experience.
It doesn't need complicating. Employees with a good rapport with their colleagues and managers are more likely to stay on the ball; those who feel ignored or misunderstood are more likely to disengage. The trouble is, in many companies, regular one-on-ones aren’t always possible.
"Communication is the lifeblood of the employee experience"
Centralised platforms are the way forward. Whether that’s email, Whatsapp, recognition platform or pulse survey tool, you need to regularly check in with staff. Make sure you know how they're spending their time, that problems are discussed and, when possible, face-to-face meetings are arranged.
5. Get serious about health and wellbeing
HR professionals tend to spend a lot of time on the procedural tasks that keep employees ticking over and less time helping them to excel – on both a professional and a personal level. In order to make real, company-record-breaking waves this year, investment needs to go into keeping your people on top for.
Because wellness programmes don’t just reduce absenteeism, they increase engagement, performance and retention too. But to get these results, we need to think beyond purely physical fitness: the best programmes also cater for employees’ financial, emotional, and mental wellness. Here's how to kick on off.