Picture this: You just got your hands on the car of your dreams, and you’re ready to drive it on the smoothest country roads. You’ve double-checked everything back at home - yes, the door’s locked, and the gas stove is turned off, but Murphy’s law kicks in - and everything that could go wrong goes wrong. Midway through your drive, the car comes to a screeching halt. However much you press the accelerator, it refuses to budge. And then, you notice it – a small red light, blinking – check engine. Moments later, another one lights up – low gas. This is a nightmare.
The same analogy can be applied to an enterprise workforce. They’re the engine that keeps your company running smoothly, and you must ensure they’re taken care of. In a modern workplace culture that unknowingly applauds hustling and burning the midnight oil, employees go above and beyond till they can. This leads to a poor employee experience, leaving your employees disengaged, demotivated, and disconnected. The company may ignore the blinking warning lights till it is too late.
Positive employee experience is not an unachievable urban legend in the hybrid workforce of today – and we’ll show you the best ways to achieve a culture that promotes good employee experience (EX).
What is employee experience?
Employee experience is an employee’s perception of their journey across touchpoints within your organization. EX begins with your hiring process and the interview, and continues right through milestones within the company such as promotions, achievements, and anniversaries, ending with the employee’s retirement or exit and their alumni experience thereafter. In other words, it is the sum total of all the experiences and encounters your employees have directly or indirectly.
Why is positive employee experience important?
Your employees are your organization’s heartbeat. Several pieces of research point to the benefits of maintaining positive employee experiences, and to quote a recent Mckinsey report: “In a world in which so many people are reassessing why and where they work, EX is at the heart of how organizations set themselves apart.”
Employees with a positive EX are more productive
One doesn’t need to refer to HR manuals to infer that happy employees are more productive. In fact, people who report having a positive employee experience have 16 times the engagement level of employees with a negative experience, and they are eight times more likely to want to stay at a company.
1. Low talent turnover
Amber’s data suggests that engaged employees with positive experiences in the organization are 33% more satisfied with their career advancement and developmental opportunities than unengaged employees. The most successful organizations have strategies that retain top talent. Employees with good experiences are more likely to remain within an organization – Gartner reports that when positive employee experience is the norm, 60% of your workforce will likely stay with your company.
2. Positive employee experience leads to better customer experience
Employees with a positive EX are more likely to be in a happier mood, and the customer can feel this pulse. Proof? The same Gartner report states that employees with positive EX are 69% more likely to be high performers, and Mckinsey research reveals that employees at leading EX companies are more inclined to surpass work expectations, having a 40% higher level of discretionary effort*. This directly translates into an improved customer experience for your business.
*Discretionary effort refers to an employee’s effort that exceeds the bare minimum required of them.
What are the pillars of a healthy employee experience?
The traditional top-down approach to implementing employee culture as the beginning and end of employee experience is no longer sufficient. The post-pandemic workforce is more evolved and covers nine elements across their social, work, and organizational experience.
People and Relationships
Am I seen and treated by my leaders and peers as a significant contributor to the organization?
Do I have a clear role and responsibilities, interesting work, and the resources I need to be successful in my role?
Does my company have a purpose that resonates with mine?
Do the people I work with trust and care for each other to create a collaborative and innovative environment?
Work control and Flexibility
Do I complete my work efficiently? Is my enterprise accommodating to my life events – are flexibility and hybrid working factored?
Does my enterprise’s technology enable efficiency at work?
Am I welcome in this community? Do I feel like I belong?
Growth and Rewards
Am I given incentives and opportunities that help me learn, grow and provide for myself and my family?
Physical and psychological environment
Are my surroundings physically and psychologically safe, comfortable, and human-centered?
Three steps to EXcellence with Amber
We have identified three steps to help you build a holistic employee experience strategy that keeps your people at its core.
Step 1: Establish a baseline and build on it
Measuring your baseline employee experience is crucial to building a positive EX. In this exercise, your senior management and HR leaders must align on why they want to improve their EX. An honest appraisal of employee requirements supported by insights is a good starting point. Improving employee experience is not a one-and-done activity, rather it requires a continuous re-evaluation. Having a baseline ensures that everyone within the organization is aligned and agrees.
Measuring your current level of employee experience is a significant step towards improving it. Leveraging AI-powered conversational EX platforms provides you with the insight you need on demand. For example, Amber by inFeedo automates feedback collection, helps you to retain top talent, and empowers you to build a winning culture of action rather than reaction by providing the ability to continuously and actively listen to your employee at scale.
Use continuous employee feedback to correct the course when required. More often than not, your employees will tell you exactly what they need to have a positive EX. Once such insights are collected, Amber’s dashboard helps you gain science-backed insights you can trust and make data-driven decisions based on your employee's pulse. From knowing exactly how effectively your managers are leading employee engagement to learning what inspires your employees to do their best work – closing the loop on employee feedback is simplified with Amber’s timely actionable nudges.
However, the first step becomes almost redundant if your top management is unwilling to invest in products, tools, or software to transform your EX. The problem is that HR leaders are unable to communicate the Return on Investment of such products, tools, or software to the c-suite. The moment HR leaders translate the output of such tools from intangible benefits to business impact, it will be easier to secure top-level buy-in. Remember, your tools do solve actual business issues. Happy employees stay longer within an organization; your enterprise becomes a high-talent-density company with a low churn and turnover rate.
Step 2: Identify and transform employee journeys
The employee journey begins from the first interview the employee has with your Talent Acquisition team. Amber helps you increase offer acceptance rates by leveraging real-time insights on hidden gaps in your candidate experience, powered by intelligent conversations with your hiring pipeline.
The next step in the EX journey is their onboarding experience. Harvard Business Review reports that 33% of new hires look for a new job within their first six months – also known as infant attrition. HBR correlated employee onboarding experience to such infant attrition. Amber can prevent infant attrition through constant check-ins, guided onboarding, and answering FAQs regardless of the time of day. Your company can set up new hires for a successful & long tenure by closing the gaps in your onboarding journey with Amber’s AI-driven insights.
How much time has passed since you joined your current organization? A few months? Or a year? Maybe two? Now think of your colleague with the longest tenure in your company.
Now imagine if both of you were sent the same feedback survey with the same 10 questions.
Not the best way to go about collecting feedback across the employee journey, right? Imagine performing this activity in an enterprise with tens of hundreds of employees in different locations.
Recognizing moments that matter and reaching out to employees is critical to discovering employee sentiment and experience. However, as enterprises grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to track and capture this sentiment in real-time, with questions that are individualized to get the best insights.
This is where AI-powered conversational bots make this critical activity scalable. With Amber, you can continuously engage your employees with automated reach outs. Amber triggers intelligent conversations during key milestones such as 30, 60, and 90 days, manager changes, performance reviews, and even exit interviews. Employee requirements change with their maturity within an organization. A fresher might need more managerial guidance, whereas an employee completing their 1st year at your company may need a certification or course.
AI-driven technology such as inFeedo’s Amber can analyze employee requirements by conducting milestone-driven interviews with employees. Rather than sending generic and point-in-time surveys, Amber allows you to customize your approach and gain more meaningful insights. Amber enables you to start your employee listening journey without writing a single line of code with 17+ ready-to-use pulse templates.
Step 3: Equip Managers for continued EX transformation
Managers are the connection between your workforce on the ground and top management and have a significant role to play in enhancing and maintaining positive employee experiences. Employees are focussing more than ever before on where and why they work. InFeedo’s research suggests that employees report twice the engagement, approximately 3X commitment and job satisfaction when the immediate managers are seen as inclusive and foster a sense of belongingness within the team.
Managers need to empathize with not just employee milestones at work but also recognize and celebrate personal milestones. As the enterprise grows, each team grows larger, and a manager may be unable to provide one-on-one attention. Amber can respond with empathy to your people, at scale. She understands emotions & picks her responses accordingly, and ensures your employees have a positive experience.
Managers play another pivotal role in bridging the gap between HR deploying tools and employees actually using them.
Building a culture of happiness, at scale
A winning culture with a human-centric approach to employee experience boosts business growth and creates competitive benefits. At a time when only 13% of employees are fully satisfied with their experience, your EX strategy may just help you come out stronger on the other side of an economic slowdown, or even act as your unfair advantage to win over top talent from your competitors.
The pandemic has propelled a systemic re-think, but as an organization grows and adapts to a new work model, Human Resources often lose the human touch - it's simply impossible to maintain a one-on-one with each employee as you scale past 1000 employees. It takes more effort and deliberate research to truly feel the pulse of your workforce and understand what makes a difference. This doesn’t necessarily mean your team needs to go out of their way and get creative – all they need is a medium to actively listen to employee requirements and enough EQ to act on the feedback they receive, in real-time.
This is where AI-powered conversational bots such as Amber can help you overcome the challenge at scale. With textual analytics, engagement drivers, early warning systems, and real-time engagement scores, your HR team is empowered with meaningful insights that matter.