Each season brings the next flock of employee engagement “must-have’s.” A new perk, paid laundry service, extra vacay time, surprise gift baskets—if it has not been tried yet, it will be soon. Toe the line or lose your talent to your competitor. The 2017 Global Human Capital Trends from Deloitte reads, “employees expect a productive, engaging, enjoyable work experience.” Does your company measure up?
The Deloitte report is an insightful snapshot that takes into account the opinions of over 10,000 HR and business leaders across ten industries in 140 countries. The entire report offers great information, and is partly devoted to the “the employee experience,” a term intended to move us past older siloed terms like engagement and company culture. The employee experience is the common ground onto which your employee walks on their first day of work.
Having trademarked their model of a “Simply Irresistible Organization,” Deloitte identifies the factors in the paradigm that contribute to an enjoyable and satisfying employee experience. Those factors are:
Helpful work environment
Opportunity for growth
Critical to this model is the integration of tools, apps, workspaces, and innovative thinking to “make employees’ lives better,” through design thinking that returns a seamless, supportive, and ruggedly adaptive model for the current and next generation of workers. Initial focus areas for HR managers looking at the employee experience include:
C-Suite and leadership ownership: HR and engagement shifts not wholly backed by the C-Suite stand little chance of success. Ensure department and team leaders are informed and onboard when new ideas are rolled out—or requested.
Keep an eye on the map: Research competitors and “peer companies” for new ideas, applications, techniques, and information on how issues are identified, managed, and resolved. No need to reinvent every wheel when there is good industry research to tell you all about it.
One for all: Concern for experience flows to all segments of the company workforce, from applicants to company alumni, and all the gig workers in-between.
Take advantage of your best resource—your employees: Use the experience and ideas of your workers, managers, freelancers, and administrative staff to streamline processes, develop new techniques, and investigate new tools.
Tending the employee experience is the next step in meeting your workers, especially Millennials, at the level they expect.
The other side of the coin—employee responsibility to engage
It is not only the responsibility of employers to create and nurture a positive workspace. Sometimes forgotten in the search for talented employees is the personal character and qualities the applicant can bring to the table in addition to their skills and experience.
At the end of every day, individuals are responsible for charting their own career, asking for the training they seek, speaking up about problems, and offering solutions. Meaningful work is a two-way street. The employer can provide opportunities, but workers ultimately must find the meaning they seek in how they spend their wage-earning hours.
The shift toward more human-centered workplaces and spaces is all good—but it requires buy-in and hard work from all parties. The employee experience is as much created by workers, as it is provided by employers.