Do we have another HR buzzword? Is Employee Experience just another phrase for Employee Engagement? If not, what exactly is it?

Employee Engagement has been on the agenda of forward looking organisations for a number of years. Managers across all sectors and sizes of business appreciate the benefits to the bottom line and their people of an engaged workforce.  So where does Employee Experience play its part?

Inputs and Outputs

We like to think of Employee Engagement as the output that follows the experience employees are exposed to, from recruitment right through to their exit from the organisation.   A bit like customer experience, it includes all the touch points an employee has with their employer; its culture, people and systems.  These touch points can be a positive experience (leading to greater engagement) or a negative experience (leading to reduced engagement).

Starting from their time as applicants and candidates, employees look at everything that happens at work as an integrated experience that impacts daily life in and outside the workplace.  Employee experience includes overall physical, emotional, professional, and financial well-being.  Candidates assess future employers from the very start of the recruitment experience and make quick judgments about what life will be like for them in the organization, based on how they interact with the company throughout the recruitment process

In other words, employee experience is an employee-centric way of thinking about the organisation.  When decisions are made with employee experience in mind, managers and business leaders ask “how will our people perceive this?” and “What impression are we giving our people if we act this way?”  Employee experience takes into consideration how employees see, hear, believe and feel about all aspects of their employment.  These aspects stretch from the recruitment process, through to their last day at your company.

Employee experience encompasses the physical, technological and cultural environment of a business.

For example, during recruitment, managers should be considering:

  • Do all candidates feel treated fairly and equally?
  • Have their contacts from within the organisation “lived” the stated company values?
  • Have they had a positive experience of the meeting places, technology and tools used through the process?

During induction, managers can ask:

  • Does the employee know how to use the various technologies and tools the company relies on?
  • Has the new employee been made to feel part of the team?
  • Does the new employee know where they can get the support and resources they need?
  • Does your new person know exactly what you expect of them?

Through the early stages of employment managers will want to know:

  • Does the employee feel they are getting enough feedback?
  • How often is the employee meeting for a one-to-one with their line manager?
  • Does the employee feel supported and encouraged by those around them?
  • Does the employee feel they are part of a well-functioning team?

As part of their career development:

  • Does the colleague feel they have fair and equal access to development opportunities?
  • During periods of stretch and learning, is their physical and mental wellbeing supported?
  • Do they have access to the technology and tools they need to develop?

Finally, at the “exit” phase:

  • Does the employee feel valued for the work they have done for your business?
  • Does the employee feel that sufficient measures were put in place to ensure they had a good experience at your company?
  • Did the employee feel fairly treated throughout their employee journey?

Customers will notice

There are many reasons for an increased focus on employee experience.  Companies are looking to combat the shortage of talent in a high employment economy and want to retain good people.  Another important point to consider is social media’s role when it comes to employer brand, recruitment and retention.  Your reputation as an employer, good or bad, can reach thousands of potential future employees (and customers) in seconds.  Employee experience won’t remain a secret for long as job applicants, staff and ex-employees share their interactions with the organisation.  Poor employee reviews spread quickly and affect whether good people will even apply for a job.  Glowing reviews on the other hand help recruiters like First Base to attract the very best people.

Another vital reason is that employees tend to treat customers as they themselves are treated.  Loyal, engaged staff inevitably results in loyal engaged customers.

Have you taken a look recently at your organisations employee experience?  If you would like to know more about how we can help you create a positive Employee Experience during your recruitment process call Tricia Hay on 01453 755330 or email tricia.hay@first-base.co.uk