March 29, 2022
Creating an incredible employee experience — an environment where employees are engaged in, eager about and excited to do their jobs — is challenging. If it were easy, every company would do it.
After all, what business wouldn’t want to have a happier workforce? More than nine in 10 employers indicate that enhancing the employee experience (EX) will be a priority over the next three years, according to Willis Towers Watson.
This includes engagement, well-being and how work gets done. More satisfied employees are more engaged with customers, more productive and more likely to stay — and they are strong contributors to the bottom line.
Companies that want to boost their EX ratings should think about adding the following ingredients to their plates:
1. Promote open communications and capture sentiment.
Do your employees trust that they can be honest with you and that you’ll respect their perspectives on issues affecting their experience — enough to act on them? Conducting surveys only at specified intervals and analyzing them are restrictive and long processes, respectively; by themselves, they are not conducive to proactively and quickly addressing concerns.
Leadership should make it a priority to move fast in response to legitimate issues that affect the employee experience before problems get out of hand — as they easily might when it comes to things like technology. In that case, companies should take steps to analyze sentiment on an ongoing basis to stay apprised about how employees feel about their technology experiences at work.
Remember, there’s no point in getting constant feedback without acting on it.
2. Provide the right tools to get the job done.
Try tightening a pipe without a wrench, or digging a hole without a shovel. It’s probably not going to work out very well.
It’s the same thing when it comes to technology. Employees want to do the job they were hired for with the tools they are most comfortable with — they don’t want to waste time trying to make the wrong technology work for them.
That means your company needs to be able to match employees’ hardware, software and process requirements to their job roles. And it has to be as easy for them to choose the right device, data and applications they need to do their jobs as it is to place an item they want to buy online in their cart. That also goes for updating their tools or getting new software.
Also critical: Offer accessible, personalized and self-service IT support options. You’re aiming for a frictionless environment.
3. Rethink collaboration.
As the hybrid workplace expands, it’s more important than ever to create an inclusive collaboration environment so that all members of teams feel valued, adding to a better employee experience. Call it collaborative equity. Valuable for this are tools such as Microsoft Teams with its Whiteboard visual collaboration workspace, and Google with Workspace that lets multiple team members work on the same document at the same time, and get instant feedback on ideas and projects.
We’re also seeing mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR) evolving to help businesses operating in a hybrid model provide a better employee experience for meetings, training and more. For example, we’re already testing some innovative use cases, like using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist and its HoloLens 2 AI-enabled computing headset for walking remote individuals through the process of setting up devices that are shipped to them.
Using next-generation voice, video and web conferencing, along with mixed reality capabilities, opens the door to creating “one world” of work for users. As virtual collaboration tools mature, innovation may happen faster because people will be able to collaborate in new ways anytime, with no logistical obstacles.
4. Create avenues for socialization.
Qualtrics, whose technology we leverage for gathering continuous employee sentiment feedback, has research that shows that more than one-third of people who work virtually today would look for a new job if they were asked to go into the office permanently. But we also know that in today’s hybrid work world people still want to interact with each other in a live venue.
Clearly, for many of them that’s no longer going to be a traditional office. So, companies have to create new safe spaces for employee interaction, and that includes the metaverse. That should be on the horizon for every company.
It comes down to this: In the world of talent wars, employees want to know what you’ve done for them lately. Taking steps like these to improve your employees’ experience will have you well-prepared to provide a positive response to that question.