What is Employee Experience (EX) Management?
Employee Experience (EX) management is an approach to deliver excellent experiences to employees through their interactions, engagement and connection with an organization. It’s the journey of events, activities and development that they enjoy through their employee life-cycle.
You may have heard it differently as ‘hire to retire’, ‘life-cycle management’ and ‘human capital management’…. whatever term you use – its about an employee being able to discover and unlock their full potential with the support of the organization.
Over the past few years, the corporate world has seen an emergence of Employee Experience management, which is now something that managers and leaders need to focus on to attract, retain and grow their talent base.
A recent Global Human Capital Trends survey, based on more than 7,000 responses in over 130 countries around the world, framed the evolving HR landscape perfectly:
A few years ago, only a handful of companies took the time to invest in Employee Experience management, because the power was retained firmly in the hands of employers. So what changed?
Today’s Workforce – more mobile and connected than ever
The world has become more agile, mobile and connected than ever, and employees now recognize that their skills and networks provide today’s job security, not corporations.
This calls for employers to invest in their employee’s success, and provide them with the level of engagement they require to, in return, fully invest themselves in the company’s success.
They need the right environment, the help of their leaders and peers, and to feel like they are having an impact.
Whilst traditional Human Resources management had been largely focused on building and maintaining company policies and procedures, it’s clear that there has been a paradigm shift to Employee Experience management in recent years. Human Resources departments of today need to focus on employee well-being to augment broader company success.
Today’s employees are seeking jobs with purpose where they can co-create with colleagues, feel connected with the organization’s mission, embrace flexibility and be exposed to new development opportunities.
If your company is using any form of modern workforce communication tools like Slack or HipChat, then you know this all too well. A few years ago none of this modern, gamified collaboration software existed – today’s employees want to send Emojis, share multimedia, celebrate team wins, and drag-and-drop files into any application.
Often labelled as ‘Millennials’, these employees are not going away. In 2015, millennials became the the majority of the world’s workforce, and by 2025, they will make up roughly 75 percent of the world’s workforce.
Re-aligning what Employers Offer
The old view that employers simply needed to list a job, hire a candidate and provide a place to do that job has changed. Employees today are seeking continuous improvement, not planned obsolescence. Therefore the biggest challenge is that employees expect more, and managers need to focus on investing in their well-being.
‘EX’ is something Human Resource teams should be embracing, not hiding away from.
Companies like Nitro, a San Francisco based document software company, have helped pioneer the Employee Experience movement, and see it as a highly-strategic function for their business.
And Nitro is not alone, Airbnb has a dedicated team to “drive the company’s health and happiness” and even Adobe Systems has established a ‘Customer and Employee Experience’ team, that combines the “customer experience organization – the people who are on the front lines of helping our customers utilize our products – with our human resources”.
The Core Components of EX
Leaders in HR need to embrace the changes that are reshaping the workplace, the workforce, and work itself – the successful organizations of tomorrow will be built around highly empowered employees and teams.
It can be overwhelming to list the factors that contribute to Employee Experience success; onboarding, day-one orientation, engagement, empowerment, offering the right perks, designing awesome workplaces, using the best technology, connecting staff with development opportunities and more.
However, breaking these factors down into four key components, we believe that Employee Experience success can be best understood through:
The sad reality is that most onboarding programs have not kept up with the modern workforce. Human Resources and IT departments can end up in chaos navigating employee onboarding through a complex web of fragmented systems, workflows and training content that impedes company ROI.
Early engagement with organizational history, culture, team and environment improves employee efficiency and confidence. Employers should seek to give new hires a consistent experience that enables them to finalize their paperwork, create their employee profile at the company and understand their first few weeks on-the-job.
New employees who go through a structured onboarding program are 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years.
Employers should keep employees in the know about what’s happening within the organization with updates and interactive resources. People directories are also becoming increasingly important, especially for distributed teams as employees seek to foster deeper connections and discover other people in the organization that they may not interact with during the normal course of their day.
Companies should seek deploy a modern approach through providing employees with a centralized repository for employees to find organisational information, be it important HR policies, brand guidelines or functional playbooks.
Management and upkeep of these “Intranets” and “Wikis” can often pose problems for organisations, so it’s important to enable employees to intuitively solve their own problems and navigate company processes effectively.
If organizations hire correctly and trust their employees, then everyone on the team should to be able to make independent decisions that align with the company’s objectives.
With that in mind, employers should seek to foster a culture of development and provide employees with modern learning opportunities in the right environment, which will enable them to make better decisions.
Development and coaching is the most important thing that managers and leaders can do for their team, and we believe that it won’t be long before mandatory learning and development benchmarks arrive.
It’s important to understand that it can typically take eight months for a newly hired employee to reach full productivity. Simple training roadmaps can reduce chances of employee anxiety and accelerate their ramp-up time.
No matter how great your company is, employees will leave for a variety of reasons. Employers need to recognize the importance of doing this process effectively and put the departing Employee Experience front of mind.
The new world is a connected ecosystem of referrals and reviews – sites like Glassdoor, Contenders and Indeed make it easy for past employees, freelancers and interns to share their Employee Experience.
Employers need to recognize and appreciate the ecosystem – everything is connected, and employee success breeds employee success.
The best offboarding programs provide a great experience, ensure paperwork is completed and company hardware collected. Employers should seek to use feedback to strengthen their profile as Employer of Choice, while providing a great experience for departing staff.
How EX supports Company Success
If company success is the core objective, forward thinking leaders need to put the foundational pillars of employee engagement and development in place from day one. That means embracing the fact that today’s employees are more mobile and connected than ever, and aligning what your organization offers them, with what they want.
Simple Employee Experience management practices can be seamlessly integrated with company DNA, and companies should seek to build a culture around helping their employees succeed.
By putting the Employee Experience front of mind, we believe that organizations will not only be able to develop and retain the best talent, but they’ll become a beacon for new talent and increase their chances of long-term company success.
Building a productive, scalable, and engaged workforce starts with providing new employees with a great onboarding process. Download the Sapling Guide to Employee Experience Success to see how Sapling can help you build better connected, more engaged, and higher performing teams.