The battle to retain employees has officially begun for businesses the world over. As job vacancies are opening faster than firms can fill them, starting salaries for permanent staff climbed at the second-fastest rate on record in February, driven by competition for workers and the impending cost of living crisis.
With vacancies rising and the candidate pool shrinking by the day, retention is more important than ever. In such a competitive market, ‘churn and burn’ workplace cultures are unsustainable and costly for organisations seeking to grow and thrive in an increasingly difficult economic landscape. Instead, a new approach is needed. One that puts people-first and prioritises their need sufficiently enough to convince them to stay. And that all starts with the employee experience.
Building Exceptional Employee Experiences
Employee experience encompasses everything an individual sees, does, learns and feels during their time as an employee. Arguably, it starts way before their first day at the application stage, where a candidate gets a taste of an organisation’s way of working based on the application and interview process. And it extends all the way through to off-boarding and exit.
As you might imagine, there are many factors that influence the employee experience ranging from tools, resources and training, to culture, communication and the working environment - and all of them can be shaped and influenced in order to provide an exceptional employee experience for workers.
Tools & Resources
In 2020, the average company used 137 unique software as a service apps on average. On top of this, a 2018 report found that employees switch apps more than 1,100 times a day. It is clear from these statistics that even prior to Covid, technology was a key enabler for a large majority of businesses. Exactly how working from home mandates has affected these numbers remains to be seen, but the core point is: how your employees experience technology within your organisation is a core factor of the employee experience.
A good, well-connected technology stack makes work easier for employees, which is why employee experience layers, like HulerHub, are gaining in popularity as they pull disparate tools and systems together, allowing for personalisation and accessibility across diverse and distributed workforces.
The Physical & Digital Workplace
Both the physical and digital working environment are important contributing factors to the employee experience. All too frequently we make the mistake of seeing these as separate entities, but more often than not they go hand in hand.
As more and more organisations turn to hybrid ways of working, it’s increasingly important to consider how the digital workplace and physical workplace interact with one another, and how they impact the employee experience. Consider a meeting taking place in an office with a number of employees dialling in from other locations. How does everyone experience that situation? Is it accessible for everyone? Is the environment productive from all angles? Or do remote employees find themselves at a disadvantage due to frictions between the physical and digital workplace?
Communication & Culture
Workplace culture is more important than ever. Employees want equality and inclusion, alongside a sense of purpose and belonging from their work. How organisations deliver on that has a direct effect on the employee experience.
There are many ways to build a great inclusive, welcoming culture. But all of them hinge on transparent, regular, clear communication. Employees need to know how they are being supported to thrive in the workplace both personally and professionally. Moreover, they want to feel recognised and rewarded for their hard work regularly, and have their voices heard on the things that matter most to them.
After the events of the past 2 years, the world of work has been irrevocably changed. Because of this, businesses can’t go back, even now as we slip into a world that feels somewhat normal in comparison to the extraordinary times we have lived through.
The only option, then, is to move forwards in prioritising employee experience. And it’s not just down to HR teams. Everyone in a business has a part to play when it comes to creating exceptional employee experiences as it is interwoven throughout the working day and reaches all corners of an organisation.
Want to know the secret of improving employee experience in your business? Book a free demo of HulerHub to find out.