5 Skills Needed to Deploy an Effective Employee Experience Strategy

Employees have experienced quite a bit of shall we say, “stuff,” these last few years, which should come as no surprise to those reading this because in all likelihood you either are or recently have been an employee yourself. Deploying an effective employee experience strategy has become more important and more difficult to accomplish than ever as workforces have scattered across the country and the veil has been lifted on empty culture tactics like ping pong tables and fridges stocked with IPAs.

Today’s People Teams need to have an employee experience strategy that is mindful of the human-centric side of what it means to be a worker. While every organization’s situation is unique, the path to a positive workplace doesn’t have to be complicated. Honing the skills below will set you up for success when deploying an employee experience strategy and will foster a thriving work environment for years to come.

What is “Employee Experience” Exactly?

Many companies have their customer experience dialed to a “T.” From the first touch point to the last, every step of the buyers’ journey is thoughtfully laid out in an effort to delight customers and gain repeat business. The same mentality should be used toward an organization’s employee experience.

Companies who demonstrate that they truly value their people should consider every step their people go through as an employee. From the application process to the exit interview, delivering a positive experience to your people will keep employees engaged, turnover low, and create an army of advocates for your brand. Companies that do this poorly will be treated like a turnstile for top talent.

1. Joy From The Jump

You can do yourself several favors by knocking the interview and onboarding process out of the park. We know there will be pressure from managers to get butts in seats as soon as possible, but rushing an interview and onboarding process can lead to a cold and confusing start to an employee’s tenure and have them thinking, “Hmmmm do they have their act together? Did I make the right decision?”

When day one is a dreadful dud, it can sow seeds of doubt that day two through two-week notice will be any better. Provide a consistently intentional and warm onboarding experience for all new hires to remove that worry and set your people up for a positive employee experience out of the gate.

2. Let Voices Be Heard…And Then Act

A major mistake that employers make is likely not intentional, but can be damaging to the employee experience nonetheless. Oftentimes organizations think they’re doing right by their employees by conducting anonymous surveys as a mechanism to allow their people to voice their opinion, but where they fall short is what they do once the feedback is collected.

Embracing, not just collecting, ideas from the bottom up is a vital element of any employee experience strategy. An employee who feels they can enact change within their organization are more likely to feel that their input is valued just as much as their output. So if you’re asking for feedback from your employees, make sure you have a plan in place to take action, and if you can’t take action, be transparent and honest as to why.

3. Empathy in the New World of Work

One of the most important skills to have in your employee experience toolbox is empathy. As hallway hugs have given way to Slack “how r u doing?” being empathetic is more important than ever in order to establish trust, strengthen relationships and improve communication in the workplace.

It’s also not a bad way to just live your life in general, but that’s outside the scope of this blog article. Now more than ever employees need to know that their feelings are understood, that their perspective is being taken into consideration and that they’re being treated as an equal to their peers.

4. Make Life A Priority

Empathy in the workplace requires empathy for what happens outside of the workplace too. Stress and burnout rates are on the rise, and requests for leaves of absence are matching the pace. The best employee experience strategies take into consideration the support of their people when they need time away from being an employee. 

Making the leave of absence experience a smooth, simple, and positive one can pay major dividends on employee satisfaction and retention. Furthermore, making sure their transition back to the workplace is smooth, after their leave of absence has concluded, is just as important. Educating employees and their managers on the dos and don’ts while an employee is away from the office can help ensure their employee experience is a positive (and legally compliant) one.

5. Be Virtually Virtuous

We live in a world where perception is reality, so whether your organization is fully remote or in-person, it not only matters what you present as your company’s values and virtues, but how you demonstrate them from the top down. In a virtual or remote work environment that might include setting guidelines for how and when managers can communicate with employees, or how you recognize hard work when you can’t gather for an in-person praise session. 

Employees can sense when an organization’s virtues are lip-service, and it starts with leadership. A company might tout its emphasis on work-life balance by offering unlimited PTO, for example, but that can have a negative impact on employee experience if every time someone requests time off work they’re met with judgment or passive-aggressive remarks from a supervisor. If time is mismanaged throughout your company, employees might look at that benefit as disingenuous at best.  

An effective employee experience strategy must have virtues employees believe in and feel from the moment they log in until the moment they log off. Deploying that strategy takes buy-in from leadership to deliver on their virtues by living them.

About Tilt

Tilt is leading the charge in all things leave of absence management through easy-to-use tech and human touch. Since 2017, our proprietary platform and Empathy Warriors have been helping customers make leave not suck by eliminating administrative burdens, keeping companies compliant, and providing a truly positive and supportive leave of absence experience for their people.

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