What is Employee Experience and Why is it Important
The employee experience refers to all of an employee’s unique interactions with their company at each stage of their employee lifecycle. As the job market is becoming more competitive, companies are understanding the importance of creating a positive employee experience to attract and retain top talent. Since the pandemic and The Great Resignation, retention is even more critical than ever. In 2021, over 40% of employees considered leaving their jobs because companies were not meeting their expectations of flexibility and various definitions of wellbeing. This is when we started to see companies implement strategies to improve employee retention, such as prioritizing mental & physical health, offering growth & development opportunities, transitioning to remote/hybrid work, investing in digital transformation, and creating a culture for feedback. In other words, prioritizing the overall employee experience.
Wellness, Well-being, and Employee Experience
Employee well-being has become a growing trend in the workplace as companies recognize the importance of prioritizing their employees’ mental and physical health. The definition of employee well-being can vary from employee to employee depending on where they are in life. Generally speaking, well-being refers to the overall state of an employee’s health, happiness, and fulfillment both in and out of the office. Factors such as work-life balance, mental health, emotional health, and physical health play a role in how individuals rate their state of well-being.
Wellness vs Well-being
While wellness initiatives focus mainly on promoting physical health, like gym memberships or healthy eating programs, well-being covers a broader range of what makes up the whole person. implementing well-being programs can look like anything from offering flexible work hours to mental health resources to well-being challenges.
Prioritizing employee well-being has several benefits for both employees and companies. Research has shown that employees who feel supported and valued in the workplace are more engaged, productive, and less likely to experience burnout. This translates to better business outcomes, including increased retention rates and improved organizational performance.
Learn more about how to improve employee wellbeing
Employee Well-being Examples
Real-world examples of organizations that prioritize employee well-being include:
- Patagonia offers its employees onsite childcare, meditation sessions, and paid time off for activism
- Airbnb provides its employees with a wellness allowance to cover gym memberships, wellness apps, and other wellness-related expenses.
- Buffer has adopted a “remote-first” approach, offering their employees the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, allowing them to prioritize their mental and physical health.
The trend of increased emphasis on employee well-being is crucial for companies to retain and attract top talent, foster a positive work culture, and improve overall business outcomes. By providing resources and support to employees to prioritize their well-being, companies can create a positive and productive work environment.
Prioritize Both Physical and Mental Health
Creating a positive employee experience requires organizations to focus on several key areas:
- Prioritizing physical and mental health
- Offering employee development opportunities
- Transitioning to remote work
- Investing in digital transformation
- Creating a feedback culture
Physical Wellness Programs: Providing employees with access to physical wellness programs such as gym memberships, fitness challenges, and healthy eating programs can help employees prioritize their physical health and well-being.
Ergonomic Workspaces: Investing in ergonomic workspaces can help reduce employee stress and physical strain, leading to improved overall health and productivity.
Work/Life Balance: Supporting a healthy work/life balance can help employees manage stress and feel supported in their personal lives. This can include offering flexible work arrangements, paid time off, and encouraging employees to take breaks throughout the day.
Volunteer Opportunities: Providing opportunities for employees to engage in volunteer work or community service can help promote mental health by fostering a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Employee Appreciation: Showing appreciation for employees through recognition programs, bonuses, or other incentives can help employees feel valued and motivated in the workplace.
Yearly Employee Gatherings: Hosting yearly employee gatherings that incorporate families can help foster a sense of community and support for employees outside of work, promoting mental health and well-being.
Learn more about how Fringe can be part of your total wellbeing solution
Offer Employee Development Opportunities
Investing in employee development is a win-win for both your company and you people. By providing opportunities for growth and development, companies can increase employee satisfaction and retention while also improving overall business outcomes.
Employee Development Examples
Conference/Seminar Attendance: Encouraging employees to attend relevant conferences and seminars can help them stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices.
Increased Training: Offering regular training sessions on relevant topics can help employees improve their skills and feel invested in their professional development.
Academic Growth: Providing opportunities for employees to pursue academic growth through continuing education programs, certifications, or degree programs can help them advance in their careers and contribute more to the organization.
Tuition Reimbursement: Offering tuition reimbursement programs can help employees pursue academic growth and advance their careers while also promoting employee retention and loyalty.
Companies that do Employee Development Right
Google: Google is well-known for its focus on employee development, offering a wide range of training programs and resources to its employees. This includes its Google Career Certificates, which provide training in high-demand fields such as IT support and project management.
Accenture: Accenture is committed to investing in employee growth and development, offering its employees access to training and development programs through its Accenture Academy. The company also provides opportunities for its employees to pursue academic growth through tuition reimbursement programs.
Salesforce: Salesforce is another example of an organization that prioritizes employee development, offering its employees access to a range of training and development resources through its Trailhead platform. The company also provides opportunities for its employees to attend conferences and events to stay up-to-date with industry trends.
Transition to Remote Work
Increased Flexibility: The ‘work from home’ concept quickly rebranded into ‘working remotely,’ allowing employees to work from anywhere. This adds more room for flexibility to their work schedules, freeing up more time to manage their personal lives.
Reduced Overhead Costs: Companies are able to save on overhead costs, like office rent, utilities, and office supplies, by opting for their employees to work remotely.
Improved Productivity: Everyone has their own ideal working environment. Remote work allows employees the freedom to work wherever and however they feel most comfortable. In doing so, their employees have fewer distractions and are able to be more productive.
Expanded Talent Pool: Offering remote work options can expand the talent pool, allowing organizations to attract top talent from anywhere in the world.
Companies Working From Home Permanently
Shopify, a leading e‑commerce platform, transitioned to a remote-first company in 2021. The company now allows all employees to work from home or from an office, depending on their preference. Shopify has also launched initiatives to help employees feel connected and supported, such as virtual team-building events and mental health resources.
Dropbox has been offering remote work options to its employees since 2013, with a focus on providing flexibility and autonomy. The company has implemented a hybrid work model that allows employees to work from home or from an office, depending on their role and preference. Dropbox has also invested in virtual collaboration tools to support remote work and collaboration.
HubSpot, a marketing and sales software company, pivoted to remote work in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has since adopted a hybrid work model, allowing employees to work from home or from an office. HubSpot has also launched initiatives to support remote work, such as virtual team-building events and a remote work policy guide for employees.
Atlassian, a software company, has been offering remote work options to its employees for years. The company has implemented a flexible work policy that allows employees to work from home or from an office, depending on their preference. Atlassian has also invested in virtual collaboration tools to support remote work, such as video conferencing and real-time messaging platforms.
Invest in Digital Transformation
Digital transformation (DX) is the process of integrating digital technology into all aspects of business. DX allows businesses to streamline their operations, improve customer experience, stay on top of technological trends, and have a competitive edge in a digital world.
By investing in the latest technologies, companies can streamline team communication both for remote and in-person teams. For example, using project management tools like Monday or Asana can help teams stay organized and communicate effectively. Additionally, adopting customer relationship management (CRM) software can help businesses better understand their customers’ needs and deliver more personalized experiences.
Using data analytics tools can provide insights into customer preferences and behavior patterns, which can inform product development and marketing strategies. Investing in chatbots and other automation tools can also help businesses provide quick and efficient customer service, improving overall customer satisfaction.
Digital Transformation Examples
Walmart has been investing heavily in technology in recent years, from using artificial intelligence (AI) to manage inventory to developing its own voice-activated shopping assistant. They have also adopted a hybrid model of retail that incorporates both online and in-store experiences.
Domino’s Pizza: has been using technology to streamline the pizza ordering process for years, from its early online ordering platform to more recent investments in AI-powered chatbots and delivery tracking. By investing in technology to make the customer experience more convenient and efficient, they have been able to maintain their position as a leader in the fast-food industry.
Ford Motor Company: Ford has been investing heavily in digital transformation, from developing its own electric and hybrid vehicles to incorporating new technologies like AI and 3D printing into its manufacturing process. By adopting new technologies, Ford has been able to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and remain competitive in an increasingly crowded automotive market.
Royal Caribbean has been using technology to enhance the customer experience on its cruise ships, from providing passengers with smart wristbands that allow them to access their cabins and make purchases to using facial recognition technology to speed up the boarding process. By investing in technology to improve the customer experience, Royal Caribbean has been able to differentiate itself in a crowded market and foster customer loyalty.
Create a Feedback Culture
Effective communication and feedback are essential to creating a positive and engaging company culture. When employees feel that they are heard and that their opinions matter, they are more likely to be invested in their work and committed to the success of the company. Communication and feedback also promote transparency and trust, which are crucial for building a strong team.
To prioritize communication and feedback as a pillar of company culture, it is important to create an environment that encourages open and honest communication. This can look like setting up regular check-ins between managers and employees, providing channels for anonymous feedback, or using tools that allow for easy communication and collaboration.
In addition, it is important to actively solicit feedback from employees and to take action based on that feedback. When employees feel that their feedback is valued and that their concerns are being addressed, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. Companies can also use feedback to identify areas for improvement and to develop new strategies for growth.
Feedback Culture Examples
Google is known for its commitment to employee engagement, and a large part of that is its focus on feedback. Google encourages open communication between employees and managers, and it provides employees with regular opportunities to provide feedback on their experiences.
Airbnb has a company culture that emphasizes open communication and collaboration, and feedback is a key part of that. The company uses a platform called “Airbnb Pulse” to solicit feedback from employees, and it also encourages managers to hold regular one-on-one meetings with their team members to provide feedback and support.
HubSpot is a company that has made a name for itself by prioritizing employee engagement, and feedback is a key part of that. The company has an open-door policy that encourages employees to speak up and share their ideas, and it also provides regular opportunities for feedback and recognition through its “HubSpotter of the Month” program.
Microsoft has a culture of feedback that is built on trust and transparency. The company encourages employees to provide feedback on their experiences and to share their ideas for improving the company, and it also provides regular opportunities for employees to give feedback to their managers.
Buffer is a company that has made transparency and open communication a core part of its culture. The company uses a tool called “Know Your Company” to solicit feedback from employees, and it also provides regular opportunities for feedback and recognition through its “Kudos” program. Additionally, Buffer encourages its employees to share their thoughts and ideas openly on internal communication channels.
Learn more about how to make your employees feel valued.
Employee experience is a critical aspect of building a successful company, and it encompasses a wide range of factors that contribute to the overall well-being and satisfaction of employees. From physical and mental health to career development opportunities, remote work, digital transformation, and a culture of feedback, there are many strategies that companies can use to prioritize the employee experience.
Ultimately, the employee experience is an evolution of the traditional focus on employee well-being. By taking a holistic approach to employee satisfaction and engagement, companies can create a positive and supportive work environment that benefits both individual employees and the organization as a whole. Investing in the employee experience is an investment in the future success of the company, and it is essential for attracting and retaining top talent in an increasingly competitive job market.
Learn more about how Fringe can boost your company’s employee experience by visiting fringe.us/talk-to-our-team.