3 Reasons to Focus on Employee Experience and Work Culture
Editor’s note: This blog was written for Checkr by PEOPLEMETRICS.
At your business, you have a lot to focus on from everyday management like operating the business bank account to planning new opportunities for growth and marketing outreach. With so many balls in the air, even highly dedicated business owners can forget to regularly check in with their employees and ensure they’re creating a positive experience.
Even when you’re busy, improving your employee experience and building a winning work culture should still be high on your to-do list. This is true for businesses of all sizes and in all industries, from retail and manufacturing to banks and even hospitals.
A business without a deliberate employee engagement framework might be unsure how making an investment in their employee experience would make a difference at their organization. To help illustrate just how transformative a better employee experience can be, this article will explore three major benefits and strategies for attaining them.
1. Improved retention
Retaining top talent provides consistency in your workplace, reduces administrative time and resources spent on hiring, and allows you to form a stable work environment. Additionally, high retention rates are seen as a green flag by job seekers, helping boost your business’s reputation when it is time to recruit new employees.
Employees who have positive day-to-day experiences and feel like their employer takes active steps to remedy negative experiences are more likely to stick with a business long-term. You can improve your retention by:
- Gathering employee input. All employee experience programs should start with talking to employees to learn what their day-to-day experiences are like, what is going well for them, and if there are recurring pain points. By routinely reaching out via surveys, you can keep your finger on the pulse of your entire business and generally understand how employees are feeling and what you can do to persuade them to stick around long-term.
- Providing flexibility. The workplace has transformed over the past few years, and many employees have come to expect or highly prefer flexibility over how and when they come into the office. Listen to your employees to understand their preferences, consider how they would impact your work model, and strive to find a flexible solution that drives productivity and meets employees’ needs. Plus, if an employee has to move or needs to travel, giving them flexible work options can help you retain them.
- Understanding how employees see your business. When you reach out to employees, make sure you’re speaking to them in ways they’ll resonate with. This is called the voice of the employee, and it essentially means understanding how employees feel about your business and building improvements and initiatives around the topics they care about.
Above all, retaining employees requires listening to their concerns, making collecting feedback a regular part of your management process, and approaching employee concerns with empathy.
2. Increased motivation
Motivated employees work hard, are committed to your business, and feel invested in their work. Motivation plays a core role in everything your employees do, from performing their daily tasks to going the extra mile to even filling out surveys providing feedback about their experiences.
As with other aspects of your employee experience program, boosting motivation begins with understanding what goes into your employees’ daily workplace experiences and what you can do to improve those experiences. After all, employees feel more motivated trust and respect their employer if issues they elevate are quickly resolved.
You can also help keep employees motivated by sharing how their work fits into your business’s overall purpose. If employees aren’t sure what other departments are doing or what their work is accomplishing, they may feel like they’re working in a vacuum, which can potentially result in a drop in productivity. By showing them how their work contributes directly to your business’s success, employees will feel like a core part of your business, boosting motivation.
Additionally, reach out to employees not just about their ongoing experiences but about what they would like to do in the future. Showing employees clear growth pathways and seeking their input for new ones will motivate them by giving them a goal to aim for.
3. More positive work environment
Your work environment impacts how well employees perform, how they feel about coming into work, and whether you have a strong, productive work culture. Your work environment encompasses how employees interact with one another and how they’re incentivized to feel about your business and their work.
For example, a business that has active employee engagement programs and takes steps to have new employees get to know their colleagues will have a very different work environment than a business that encourages competition among employees and has few or no programs unrelated to work.
Your work environment depends on decisions leadership makes, as well as your employees’ interests and values. This means forming a positive work environment starts right at hiring when you’re deciding who would fit into your company culture.
Outside of hiring, you can improve your work environment by:
- Ensuring your company values and work culture are aligned. What are your business’s stated values and how do you apply those values in the office? For example, a business that prides itself on transparency should encourage employees to feel comfortable admitting challenges they’re facing and mistakes they make to help fix them.
- Creating a volunteer program. Employees appreciate employers who give back to their community. You can cultivate an environment of motivated, engaged employees by allowing them to be a part of your corporate philanthropy through a dedicated volunteer program.
- Allowing employees to plan events. Let your employees have a hand in shaping your work culture by empowering them to plan events. These might be afterwork get-togethers, lunches, or volunteer opportunities. Plus, giving employees this responsibility frees up time your leadership would need to spend on coordinating engagement events.
Keep in mind that different employees may want to engage with your business differently. For example, an office’s sales team might be full of sociable extroverts who are happy to meet up for open-ended social events, whereas the tech team at that same business may consist of individuals who prefer to participate in your business’s work culture in other ways.
A positive employee experience can influence employees to work harder, form strong teams with their coworkers, bring a positive attitude to work, and stay with that business long-term. Start improving your employee experience by reaching out to employees to collect their feedback and learn what parts of their everyday experiences are going well, what could be improved, and how you can make those improvements as efficiently as possible.