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How to Optimize Employee Experience in 2024

Goals for a Productive 2024 Workplace

 

The workplace has changed a lot over the last few years. According to a  McKinsey’s study of over 1,000 people, employees crave trust, social connections and meaningful impact at work. Employees want to feel their contributions are appreciated and recognized.

Developing an exceptional employee experience is crucial for businesses to attract and retain talent in a skills-short market. Companies face an “exodus” of overwhelmed, exhausted, and burned-out employees looking for better opportunities.

Failure to adapt to the evolving needs of the modern workforce places businesses at risk of lost productivity, damage to their employer brands, and rapid turnover.

Fortunately, business leaders can invest in more robust employee experiences in various ways.

Benefits of Improving Employee Experience 

Understanding the core motivators of today’s top talent is crucial. Purpose, personal growth, and a sense of belonging have become pivotal factors. Creating an outstanding employee experience is no longer a luxury but a necessity to unlock the full potential of the workforce.

Why is this important? The answer lies in the transformative power of employees who feel valued, heard, and supported. When people experience a genuine connection with their workplace, their passion becomes a driving force. This, in turn, propels them to exceed expectations and contribute to innovative strides that propel companies forward.

Numerous studies conducted by Gartner underline the correlation between employer support for team well-being and a substantial increase in high performers—specifically, a remarkable 21% uptick. Leaders who cultivate cultures of inclusivity, where every employee feels welcomed, valued, and empowered, unlock substantial benefits for both individuals and the organization as a whole Some of these benefits are: 

  • Reduction in turnover: Many employees who quit their roles cite a lack of recognition and positive experiences as a critical reason for leaving. If you improve this part of your culture then you will retain more of your people.
  • Improved engagement: Employees who are happy at work are more engaged and more committed to supporting business growth. One study found that organizations in the top quartile for employee engagement achieve up to 21% higher levels of profitability.
  • Greater access to talent: A positive employee experience shines through in a company’s employer brand, helping to attract talent. This makes recruiting top talent easier.
  • Enhanced productivity: Engaged, happy employees put up to 57% more effort into their work than their counterparts. 
  • Improved company culture: A better company culture, built on satisfied and engaged employees, not only strengthens your employer brand but also leads to more collaborative, cooperative teams who can work together to innovate and unlock new opportunities

 

Key Ideas and Strategies for Employers

Studies show that companies with personalized employee experiences see a boost in productivity. But how do you achieve that? McKinsey provides the answer: a systematic approach that considers your workforce’s unique needs throughout their journey with your brand

1. Identify and Transform Employee Journeys

The first step in developing an incredible employee experience is identifying the key elements of the “employee journey” and how employees interact with your company. Leaders in the company should have a clear and aligned view of a great experience, based on their knowledge of their team members and priorities.

It makes sense for most organizations to start with the onboarding experience. An excellent onboarding experience can improve new hire retention by up to 82% and increase productivity by more than 70%.

Create a comprehensive plan for the new employee’s first few weeks, focusing on making them feel connected to the company culture and supported by the business. Help your new associate cultivate relationships between teams, feel comfortable in the office environment and answer any questions they may have about the business.

2. Create a Positive Work Environment

94% of business leaders and 88% of job seekers say a healthy culture is crucial for success in the workplace. Creating a positive work environment goes beyond simply designing contemporary offices.

Businesses today need to focus on nurturing inclusivity, diversity, and psychological safety. Excellent DEI initiatives are critical to creating innovative, forward-thinking organizations, where team members thrive. Train your managers and other team members to demonstrate inclusivity in everything they do, and watch for instances of unintentional bias.

Other factors that can improve a work environment include:

  • Transparent leadership: Ensure leaders consistently share insights and knowledge with team members. Focus on ensuring employees are informed and have a clear view of the vision and mission of the business.
  • Constant communication: Commit to facilitating open and consistent communication between teams. Invest in tools that allow remote and virtual employees to connect with in-person employees on a deeper level.
  • Collaboration: Facilitate the development of cross-departmental relationships by encouraging collaboration between teams. Introduce regular team-building exercises that bring people with different perspectives together.

3. Commit to Employee Development and Growth

Employees value access to resources, training initiatives and experiences that facilitate growth. Up to 69% of employees say they’ll stay with a company longer if that business invests in their professional development.

Investing in mentorship opportunities, career development plans, and training strategies helps empower every employee to achieve their full potential. These initiatives help deepen relationships between team members and increase “buy-in” for the business.

Plus, developing and training your team members ensures your organization can stay competitive as the marketplace continues to evolve. Even giving team members access to short courses and classes online can make a huge difference.

4. Recognize and Reward Team Members

92% of millennials say recognition of their hard work and accomplishments is either important or very important to their satisfaction. Regularly recognizing team members for their work is crucial to cultivating long-term engagement and a positive culture.

There are various ways to show employee recognition, from bonuses for achieving specific goals to simply thanking employees for their work (especially if someone has gone above and beyond their role).

The key to successful employee recognition is finding out what motivates and engages each person on your team and then recognizing them in that way.

 5. Invest in Work-Life Balance

Research shows people who believe they have a good work/life balance work up to 21% harder than those who don’t. This increased effort comes from increased feelings of engagement with both the company they work with, and their role.

Investing in work-life balance can include everything from implementing remote work policies to offering flexible schedules. Encourage employees to take regular breaks and take advantage of paid time off.

Additionally, consider implementing wellness programs and resources that support good mental and physical health. This will reduce absenteeism and enhance workplace morale.

6. Introduce the Right Technology and Tools

The right workplace technology transforms employee experiences for the better. How? By eliminating frustrating and time-consuming tasks that hurt productivity.

 For example, upgrading tools with intuitive, user-friendly solutions removes frustrations. This prevents bottlenecks in key workstreams. With seamless systems aligned to exact team needs, people get more done with less hassle.

 Unlocking the Value of Employee Experience

Investing in excellent employee experiences isn’t just crucial to enhancing your employer brand and attracting critical talent. It’s vital to ensuring high levels of engagement, increased innovation, and reduced turnover.

With the help of a recruitment team, you can bring focus on employee experience into every aspect of your recruitment and retention journey, paving the way for business growth.

When your employees are happy and engaged, your business thrives. Implement the strategies above, and remember to collect regular feedback from employees.

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Written by

Lileah Akiode

919-813-2454

lileah@theblackdiamondagency.com
Lileah Akiode is the Managing Director of The Black Diamond Agency, a recruitment firm dedicated to connecting talented people with rewarding career opportunities. With a strong background in Talent Acquisition across different corporate retailers, Lileah brings a wealth of experience to ensure a seamless and positive candidate experience. In addition to corporate retail, Lileah also experience supporting the Financial Services and IT industries.

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