Work isn't just work anymore. Winning the war for talent requires becoming an irresistible organization. The past decade has been mainly about survival. Amidst the global pandemic companies worked with extra pressure to keep their businesses afloat. Now-a-days it is not about survival but the massive transformation into the global workforce backed up with immense competition and strategic decision requirement. As workplaces step up their game to survive and grow in the digitalized economy, the priority has began to shift from generating profit to employee engagement and experience. Employee Experience or EX as it is called is a growing topic of focus in most companies today.
Employee Experience is an emerging business function that shows the relationship an organization has with its employees. More specifically it is the culmination of all processes, spaces and events an employee faces in every touchpoint of their career.
Now that we've acquired an overview of this topic lets go into the deeper parts of EX. Employee Experience includes a series of factors such as job design and satisfaction, employee well-being, health and safety, growth opportunities, technology and management. From industrial energy to corporate strategy EX is necessary everywhere. However is it just about the experience? Workplaces today are focusing on the teams they build and how they communicate with those teams. They key factor to the growth and stability of any business environment is Communication.
Many people fail to realize the importance of communication. In a Deloitte's research, millennials stated that every employee wants to feel like they are unique. They want to feel like they are part of the team and are included in decision making. Employers have to create a sense of belonging and generate equal respect for all the employees. We have evolved from a generation where biases and partiality were the key to top level management. Today the only way to lead a team is by respecting and understanding each individuals differences. By investing in programs that help employees grow and by communicating the purpose of the organization employees feel like they can trust their leaders and this contributes to their advancement.
The use of technology has emerged as a critical factor of employee experience. Workers spend most of their time using tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Workplace by Facebook, text messaging on our phones, or WhatsApp. Conversational interfaces have replaced the metaphorical watercooler, walking over to somebody’s office or desk, or calling them on the phone. Without technology companies cannot get insights into employee experience and requirements. This current generation of young employees long for a positive workplace where they can openly communicate when they undergo workload pressure and stress. What are people stressed about? There are a whole lot of things. According to the research four in ten employees believe global climate change has hit “the point of no return.” Two-thirds believe wealth is unfairly distributed and the cause is “greed and self-interest by business/wealthy people.” And six in ten think systemic racism is widespread.
For an irresistible organization to flourish, we must consider a framework for EX providing support to the digital workplace, an emphasis on integrity throughout the organization, on how to create trust in organizations and how to focus on holistic well-being and health of the employees. Practices related to trust, transparency, inclusion, and caring have a disproportionate impact. The framework consists of six parts which are as follows:
When people link their values to their work, they perform with more productivity. The Job and Values fit together and employees create more value for themselves and their company. Individuals today like to create and generate ideas for the company and in turn favor autonomy. Many companies have taken a cross functional approach where all functional departments have actively come together to work with each other to come up with effective solutions. Work becomes more meaningful for the employees where they are offered competitive wages, better work environment, and vast experiences.
2. Human Centric Leadership
Setting goals for the company and its employees has always been critical to the success and the smooth management of every organization. When employees know their exact contribution and value towards the organization, they tend to perform better. Apart from that learning and training never hurts anyone. Managers must make sure to inhibit in themselves the habit of continuously engaging with the employees and providing them with the best possible work life experience possible. Managers are role models to the employees and therefore managers must themselves be trained to motivate their juniors. Performance management must take place through a collaborative communication based process where employees and management work together on performance while making the workplace more human.
3. Positive Workforce
With the onset of the pandemic, the business world has changed the way it works. Everything has transferred online and companies have incorporated multiple technologies and tools to survive in this digital era. One value that has gained a lot of importance in today's workforce is being grateful. The behavior of thanking and rewarding employees has been very successful and motivating. Home is the new workplace. Along with this trend comes flexibility in time and place for the employees. Apart from this, the element that makes the workforce exceptional and better is the diversity. Diversity is not only good for the people but also the company in general.
4. Health and Well-being
This is probably the most important part of the framework. After the global pandemic, companies have taken the effort to prioritize keeping employees physically, mentally and emotionally well. Workplaces that help employees expand well-being programs and help employees face ambiguity and uncertainties have a five times higher chance of building outstanding business results.
5. Growth Opportunity
The current workforce composed mainly of Millennials and soon Generation Z are looking for various career options. Flexible working conditions, job stability, options for remote working conditions and different forms of learning are what employees are looking for in the present workplace. A culture that facilitates and supports positive learning and well-being has become a priority.
6. Trust in Organization
It is essential for leaders to be transparent with their employees about the mission and vision statements of the company. This helps employees become more engaged with their job, think outside the box and focus more on environment and the global community. When workplaces take small steps towards the development of employees, invest in their well-being and treat them with empathy and respect it increases their trust for the organization as a whole.
Employee Experience or EX is a business imperative and not just an HR program. Companies with great employee experience simply outperform in every possible way. As the famous saying goes "As you sow, so shall you reap" stands true in this case. When the company takes care of its employees, the employees take care of the company.
Digital Communication Associate.
Check out this video on The Real Meaning of Well-Being at Work.