Employee trends: retaining employees

Employee experience is one of the biggest trends of 2017 and will continue to be a major part of company design in 2018. 

In previous years, organisations focused their main efforts on shareholders, then customers and then lastly employees. However, recent studies have proved that the reverse order of priority actually increases customer satisfaction and helps retain employees. 

Essentially: if your employees are happy, your customers and shareholders will be happy. 

Work/life balance is essential to all individuals, especially with the recent rise in remote working. It is becoming more difficult to separate personal and work priorities, making it even more important that employees are comfortable with their organisation's values and culture. Organisations should note that employees are taking 16 holiday days off a year instead of the average 20 days off back in 2000, yet efficiency has only increased 1%. This can increase stress and create higher dissatisfaction. 

Potential employees see the future organisation as a place of growth and values, being sure to evaluate their fit within the company. They immediately make assumptions about how the company will treat them and how they will experience the culture and benefits within the organisation. As competition over talent increases, companies are beginning to take notice of the need to transform their workspace into one that supports and prioritises their employees. 

Happy young team working at a desk

Employee experience

Employee experience can be identified as the totality of employee experiences with an organisation, which includes organisational culture and engagement. 

Improving employee experience has an indirect effect on customer satisfaction and organisational success. Deloitte has identified the major areas that create a holistic experience for employees: 

  • Meaningful work
  • Supportive management
  • Positive work environment
  • Growth opportunity
  • Trust in leadership

To achieve a better employee experience, organisations should focus their efforts on developing an experience design across multiple dimensions that is easy and accessible for all staff. 

When developing this new program, managers should offer an easy way for employees to provide feedback. Much like offering the customer access to be a part of the product, employees should take part in creating their ideal experience. 

This can be achieved by integrating feedback applications into the company’s portal or through different survey applications that can be easily accessed among multiple devices. 

There are many different applications that can be integrated into the employee experience. A few areas that applications could be beneficial for your employees include: 

  • productivity and collaboration
  • engagement and feedback
  • performance management
  • well-being 
  • employee services

These applications improve the experience and remove some of the unnecessary tasks from HR personnel, allowing HR to focus on different goals for the organisation. 

Man explaining pictures on computer screen

How to start

Take lessons from the major companies, such as Facebook, Google and Ford, in creating custom employee experiences that offer growth, creativity and a little fun. 

To start developing your employee experience model, Deloitte suggests the following: 

Make it a priority

It is important to establish that the employee experience is a major part of the organisation’s success and is equally as valuable as the customer experience strategy. 

Assign a team

Designating a team or individual to the functions of the employee experience will help involve all employees in the design process. This will allow the entire team to offer feedback on the process and ensure one person isn't overloaded with responsibility. 

Say 'yes' to design thinking

Actively listen and learn about what employees are doing each day to help identify areas that can be simplified. Seeing what the employees need can improve productivity, performance and engagement. 

Consider your entire workforce

All individuals involved in your organisation, including freelance and event staff, will expect certain aspects of an employee experience. Design the experience with inclusions of all staff. 

Learn from others

Use data from Glassdoor surveys, LinkedIn articles and other opportunities to gain insight. Similar companies may give a fresh outlook for employee experience. 

Don't forget about performance

Senior management can play a pivotal role in the employee experience by setting goals and implementing rewards and other performance programs. 

Is your company international?

Employee experiences are different for every individual and may need to be altered for international offices. Cultural differences need to be evaluated to determine employee priorities and ways to create the same high level experience across all locations. 

Finish with feedback

Pulse surveys and open feedback systems are the only sure ways to know if the system in place is successful and also to find out new ways to expand and improve the program. Exit interviews, ongoing performance evalutations and other conversations will help management build a complete understanding of the perception of the employement program, leading to a higher success rate.

Business team examining data

Employee experience leads to a more successful company and ensures that your employees will want to stay with your company for years to come. This reduces turnover costs and may lead to higher customer satisfaction in the long-run. If your employees are happy, they will make sure your customers are happy, too.