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06.08.2023

HR & New Work

9 min read

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Five people are sitting on wooden stairs and using mobile devices

10 effective ways to improve your employee experience today

Employee experience is about more than free coffee, and neglecting it could be costing your business precious time and money

What do you think separates the winners from the losers in your industry? A good product? A large customer base? A strong vision? All of these factors, and many more, play a role, but you might be surprised by how vital one element is - employee experience. 

In IBM’s report ‘The Financial Impact of a Positive Employee Experience’, organizations in the top 25% of employee experience report nearly three times the return on assets and double the return on sales compared to businesses in the bottom quartile. 

Perhaps you’re surprised by what a gigantic impact employee experience can have on a business’s bottom line, but if you consider that satisfied employees are more likely to work hard for the company, and high engagement rates lead to lower turnover and absenteeism, the numbers start to add up. 

All that to say - if you’re not paying attention to your employee experience, then you’re likely missing out on huge financial returns. In today’s ultra-competitive business landscape, you can’t afford to let something so important slip, so it’s time to take action. In this article, we’ll outline ten effective ways you can start to improve your employee experience today. Take note, take action, and take care of your employee experience!

What is employee experience?

Employee experience, also known as EX, is all the ways that your workers interact with your business on a daily basis. This starts right from recruitment and onboarding, all the way to offboarding when your employee leaves the company. Interested to learn more about EX? Read about the power of employee experience management in driving business success to learn more about EX and the employee lifecycle.

How to measure employee experience

A quick word on metrics before we move onto the practical examples of how to improve your employee experience. It’s important to establish your baseline first so that you can track and measure if your EX initiatives are successful or not. There are several methods for measuring employee experience, including:

  • One-off employee surveys
  • 1-1 interviews
  • NPS scores (how likely are your employees to recommend the company out of 10)
  • Regular pulse surveys
  • KPIs such as employee retention rates and absenteeism

By taking stock of where your company is at with employee experience, you can better gauge how effective your new initiatives are. It might also be worth setting some goals to keep the team responsible for EX motivated. For instance, if your current NPS score is 3, you could aim to increase the score to 6 after three months.

A visual portraying different ways to measure employee experience

How to spot if your company has poor employee experience

In case you’re in doubt about whether you need to make any changes, there are certain tell-tale signs that indicate if you have poor EX. It’s worth keeping in mind that Gartner reckons only 13% of employees are largely satisfied with their work experiences, so the chances are high that you’ve got some improvements to make. While the quantitive metrics outlined above are your first step to measuring employee experience, there are other qualitative signs or red flags to look out for.

One clear indicator of something amiss is employee complaints or grievances, especially if the number seems to be increasing. Frequent and unexplained absenteeism, high employer turnover rates, low engagement, and a general lack of enthusiasm are all signs you should watch out for. Try to gauge the general overall team morale and co-operation, especially in regards to feedback. If your team is ignoring calls for feedback, that is sending a red-hot signal that something is wrong. 

Businesses should also pay attention to things like signs of burnout, a downturn in productivity, or a rise in workplace conflicts, as these can all stem from poor employee experiences. Like a rotten apple in the middle of a barrel, low morale can quickly spread to other areas of the business, and even all the way to the customers, so it’s vital that you pay attention to these tell-tale signs. 

10 ways to improve employee experience

Now that we’ve established how to determine if your employee experience is in need of some help, check out these ten ways you can improve EX today.

1. Gratitude

No one likes to feel taken for granted, and that includes your employees. Make sure to bake recognition and appreciation into your organization by training managers and supervisors to give regular positive feedback for a job well done. An employee recognition or awards program is also a great way to create a public arena for gratitude that will help your workers to feel proud of their contributions to the overall business.

2. Growth

Establish a learning and development program that empowers your workers with new skills. You should also offer clear opportunities for career growth and advancement within the company. By investing in your employees’ personal and professional growth, they’ll see that their development is valued, which increases satisfaction and a sense of belonging.

3. Flexibility

Whether your employees work on-site in an office, remotely, or in a frontline environment, organizations must respect workers’ need for a healthy work-life balance. One of the best ways to support them in this is to offer flexible work arrangements wherever possible, whether that’s flexible working hours or days, or digital scheduling that allows employees to pick the shifts they want.

4. Communication

While it might sound obvious, poor communication is one of the top reasons that employees leave a company. Therefore, it should be one of the first things you address when trying to improve EX. Ensure that you have open and clear channels of communication between all levels and teams, especially if you have a mix of office and frontline workers. A tool like Flip’s employee app democratizes this process, as all workers can receive the latest news and updates via their smartphone, no matter where they work.

5. Environment

Prioritizing a safe and supportive environment is paramount for a good employee experience, so ensure that you provide adequate training, equipment, and protocols. If you have remote employees, it’s important to educate your workers about ergonomic working conditions and the importance of a proper at-home set-up. Besides the safety element, a positive environment is one where employees feel comfortable discussing concerns or reporting issues to their superiors, without fear of any repercussions. Make it known that you encourage feedback, and more importantly, accept it with grace and listen to what your staff has to say.

6. Empowerment

90% of organizations say success depends on empowering frontline employees to make autonomous decisions. By enabling your workers to make decisions, solve challenges, and offer suggestions for process improvements, they will feel a greater sense of autonomy that will translate into engagement. No one likes to feel like a cog in a wheel, and if your workers have no opportunity to make a tangible impact, they will quickly disengage.

7. Team building

No matter your team set-up, it’s important to include aspects of team building into your organization to strengthen camaraderie and boost morale. This can include basic social events such as breakfast, lunch, or dinner provided by the company, as well as physical activities like an escape room or adventure course. If your team is fully remote, you should still continue to prioritize team building, focusing on activities that can be done separately, such as a remote yoga class. While these activities might sound unimportant, team building is essential for fostering a sense of belonging and improving the overall employee experience.

8. Remuneration

While all the aspects discussed in this article contribute to a positive employee experience, the basic fact remains that your employees work in order to earn a salary. It’s important that the compensation and benefits you provide as benchmarked to ensure your workers receive competitive packages, or they’ll quickly be looking elsewhere. If it makes sense for your organization, you can also consider profit-sharing opportunities like shares, which also help workers to feel more engaged with the overall company’s success. 

9. Wellness

Data suggests that as much as 60% of employees currently feel anxious and 56% are experiencing symptoms of depression. With so many hours of the week spent in the workplace, employers have a duty of care to consider both the physical and mental health of their employees. Consider offering resources like stress management workshops, free counseling, and health screenings. Not only will this improve your employee experience, but by taking a proactive approach to your staff’s health, your organization could save billions.

10. Feedback

An important aspect of a good employee experience is feeling heard, and that workers’ opinions matter. Create a culture of feedback at your organization by implementing several ways for employees to share their feedback, concerns, and ideas. An employee app, like Flip, has an in-built survey feature so you can always keep your finger on the pulse of how your staff is feeling.

A cluster showing ten different ways to improve employee experience

3 bonus fun ideas

  • Gamification: create friendly competitions, leaderboards, and rewards to add an element of fun and engagement to daily or repetitive tasks.
  • Reverse mentoring: ask your younger or digital-native workers to mentor senior executives in tech tools and social trends to promote mutual respect and understanding.
  • Creativity spaces: set up areas in your workplace where employees can unwind and connect through art, such as painting or drawing, which is known to reduce stress.

Enhance employee experience with technology

Like almost every aspect of our modern lives, the workplace can also be enhanced by embracing technology. Digitalization of the employee experience is a fantastic way to boost engagement with your workers, as the latest HR tools can streamline everything from holiday requests to shift scheduling. Not only does so-called ‘HR tech’ reduce the burden on the HR personnel side, but self-service portals that allow workers to access information autonomously increase their overall engagement and satisfaction. 

Organizations that have a mix of employee experiences, such as remote, hybrid, office-based, and frontline, would benefit from a communication tool tailored to these needs. Instant messenging, video conferencing, and real-time information sharing are all important aspects of fostering teamwork and enabling quick decision-making. 

Flip, the employee app, combines all the benefits of HR tech with social media-style communication apps to empower your workforce to stay connected, efficient, and engaged. elasto, an advertising material supplier, reduced internal emails by 50% by implementing Flip. Read more about how they have improved their employee experience and created a culture of feedback. 

Ellen Scheibl wears a black blazer and a white shirt

Flip is much more than communication to us.

Ellen Scheibl

Marketing & communication elasto

How celebrating diversity and inclusion improves the employee experience

Embracing diversity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do, but it also has a strategic advantage for businesses. More than 3 out of 4 job seekers and employees (76%) report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. 

That statistic illustrates that paying attention to diversity and inclusion will pay dividends when trying to improve your employee experience. Additionally, companies with diverse teams are better equipped to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions, so if your business hasn’t yet looked into the topic, it’s time to roll up your sleeves.

How exactly do you foster a diverse and inclusive company? The first step is creating an environment where every employee feels valued and respected, which you can achieve by following the ten ways to improve employee experience outlined above. 

Your HR team should also review its hiring practices to ensure there is adequate training against unconscious bias, and equal opportunities for all candidates. 

Create a safe space where employees can freely express who they are, such as by sharing updates about their personal lives on an employee app, and you will organically foster a sense of belonging and a positive employee experience. 

The future of employee experience

Advancements in technology, especially in the AI space, are rapidly changing the business landscape, and you must be poised to adapt your employee experience initiatives accordingly. Automation might impact some job roles, and workers will need support to upskill and reskill to stay up-to-date. As we move into Industry 5.0, there will be a bigger emphasis on employee well-being and how humans can leverage technology to improve their lives. As an organization, you need to stay on top of these trends to ensure that you’re offering competitive support, or you could risk losing your talent to employers with better EX.

Overall, you must see improving employee experience as an ongoing process, not something that is checked off a list and never examined again. Take on board the feedback you receive from your workers, listen to their challenges, and adapt as necessary. With this continuous test and learn approach, you’ll be able to adapt faster to any major changes in employee experience, and ultimately come out on top.

Make improving employee experience a priority today

We hope that this article has been helpful and has inspired you to start implementing some EX improvement initiatives at your organization. Even if you start small with just one or two measures, you will still be contributing towards better overall employee engagement and productivity. Good luck!

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