Lately we get a lot of questions about the importance of employer branding within companies. You might have heard it on the news or radio. Well let me explain. The war for talent in the last decade has pushed companies into innovation, constant execution, and a firm trend of reverting back to 1-on-1 care for their employees.
Whether you're the McDonalds or Steve's Small Farm of this world, engaging with your workforce has become an inevitable factor in the quality of life of each employee.
Today we will be discussing what exactly "employee experience" is, the importance of Employer Branding and how we can collectively create an empowered workforce. If you enjoyed this read, please be sure to share this article with your friends or colleagues who you think would value it.
What is "Employee Experience"?
According to Forbes, employee experience is defined as "...the combination of three distinct things that exist within any organisation regardless of industry, size, and location. These three "pillars" of employee experience are:
- Company culture
- Physical environment
Over the past years, companies have focused heavily on creating meaningful culture for their employees. This includes how employees feel at work, the company vibe they get, how the structure for organisation works, compensation & benefits, leadership style, and so on.
While culture is important (and should always remain relevant), there are the other two factors that need to be accounted for when creating an employee experience strategy.
The first of the two is technology. Think of it this way: what tools and resources am I giving the employees to succeed at their jobs? Are these tools up to date? Is the technology relevant in today's world? Is there something else I can introduce to help improve performance without sacrificing quality of life?
The third pillar is physical environment. This can range anywhere from the food you serve to the chairs that your employees sit in. Things that they can hear, see, smell, touch, or taste will have a dramatic effect on the outlook your employees have in their day-to-day life- we are only human after all.
*note: Although the technicalities of this term might shift as our work-world evolves, the foundations of it will remain the same for every sector.
Why Focus on Employee Experience?
As I mentioned in the beginning paragraph, the war for talent has never been more vicious than it is now. Over the course of the last decades, there has been a tremendous shift towards the perspective an employee has on themselves.
Back in the day it was "I should be thankful to be in this job- even though I'm not necessarily happy in it".
Now it's "I provide value to this job- I should feel happy in it".
It's a phenomenon that, personally, brings a smile. This change in behaviour signifies that job-searchers, as a whole, have a greater self-esteem than they previously had. Candidates now value their skillsets and are not willing to comprise to anything that doesn't meet them halfway.
But what does "meet them halfway" mean? It means providing an inspiring employee experience. It means going into detail on how you structure your employee experience strategy. Gone are the days where a good salary is the determining factor for a candidate- and, to be clear, a study from Glassdoor shows that nearly 60% of candidates think that compensation & benefits are a major factor when making their decisions.
What Are Some Ways To Improve Employee Experience?
One way is to determine which benefits are the most attractive to your employees/candidates. A study from HBR.org to over 2.000 employees found out that most people care about:
- Health, Dental & Vision Insurance
- More flexible hours
- Extra vacation time.
- Additional work-from-home options
It may be expensive
This tells us a few things. The first is that even though the top option is expensive, the following options don't have to be. Take for example the "more work-from-home" option. When structured properly, this option is very attractive to employers looking to manage overhead costs. These options usually come close to costing nothing & can actually save you money. The same goes for the "more flexible hours" options. If performance is what you care about, then why bother micro-managing your employees when they are able to integrate their job with the rest of their life priorities.
Unlimited vacation days
The second thing to consider is something like the "unlimited vacation days" option that (obviously) employees find attractive. When a company gives this freedom/responsibility to their employees the following happens: the impact they have is tangible to them (they're responsible for their own performance), the "on-the-leash" feeling disappears, and your overall employer brand gets boosted because you are transparently giving freedom of responsibility to your employees. Also, this situation is win-win given that in the U.S.A., there is $224 billion left on the table from employees who don't take vacation days- which the employer will need to pay at the end of the contracts.
Creating and establishing a successful employee experience strategy doesn't need to be tough or expensive. The truth is, there are many things an employer can do to keep costs down, performance up, and employee satisfaction high by just looking around and seeing what fits their company.
Instilling the correct mindset for company culture can have enormous advantages. If the employer takes the first steps in, the employees will be motivated to follow- just as long as everyone wins in the end.
Another way to increase employee experience is to do proper market research on the technology and tools you give to your employees. You can also find out what their interests are with surveys and see if there are things in your work environment that can be modified to better suit their likes.
The Wrap Up: Employee Experience
Truth be told, there is an endless array of options out there for your company to take advantage of. The benefits of creating a powerful employee experience have an impact in every department, every role, and every step your organisation is taking to ensure a successful tomorrow. Always staying relevant in the different areas of your employees' daily life can give you great insights on how you can improve and optimise collectively.
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I loved making it! We take employee experience as a priority when working with our clients and always ensure that the strategies that are put in place today will give healthy fruits tomorrow.
Want to learn more about us? Schedule a free demo with us and we'll be happy to show you how we are creating impact within organisations!