Employee experience is how the employee views and feels about their experience in the workplace from the time they start to the time they leave the company or end their career. Employee experience can be affected by the physical workplace, culture, and technology. Examples of a workplace with good employee experience are when employees feel valued, physically safe, and safe to be themselves, opportunities for growth and autonomy, and a good work/life balance.
The absence of many of those aspects of employee experience can have a negative impact on how the employee perceives their career at the company. A job is a partnership where the employee and the company contribute. Let’s review the employee and company’s roles regarding employee experience and how each can improve it.
7 Ways Employees Can Improve Workplace Experience
Remember, no one else cares about your situation more than you do, especially in the workplace. If aspects of your job need to be changed, work to change those aspects so your experience can be improved. Below are seven ways employees can improve their experience in the workplace.
1. Speak Up
If you need help understanding something, let your management/employer know. They will not know that you don’t understand unless you say something. Nothing is more frustrating (for the employee and employer) than an employee that doesn’t understand their tasks and work assignments.
2. Take Initiative
Taking the initiative on tasks shows your management (as well as yourself) that you can perform your duties at work and any extra you may feel like tackling. Taking the initiative to perform these tasks also facilitates learning and employee satisfaction. It is more beneficial for employees to continue to expand their education throughout their careers, and taking the initiative to perform duties helps with that.
3. Be Clear On Your Workload Bandwidth
When meeting with management or team leads (as well as co-workers), it is vital to be clear on how much work you can realistically handle. If management and team leaders want more from you than you can handle, express your concerns and find a way to balance the workload. Helping management find a solution shows that you are concerned and want the task completed. Still, it may be an unrealistic expectation for you to handle it alone or in a specific timeframe. Similarly, employees should ask for more work if they feel not challenged or have too much free time.
4. Request Feedback
Requesting feedback is an excellent way for management to give constructive criticism and let the employee know what they are doing well or need to work on. Requesting feedback is essential to the employee experience because it provides room for growth in their career. Feedback can be given during stay interviews, at the end of a project, or when an employee feels they need some direction. While management and team leads may be “in charge” of providing feedback, the employee is in charge of how they react to the input.
5. Work Well With Others
A workplace where co-workers get along impacts the culture and general “feel” of the workplace. Employees can help take control of the workplace culture by striving to get along with their co-workers, team leads, and customers (if applicable). Of course, this should be a two-way street. However, suppose an employee is experiencing consistent problems with specific management or team members. In that case, it should be brought up to HR and another leader in the workplace so it can be resolved respectively.
6. Be The Example
Being an example for co-workers and employees is a great way to improve the employee experience. Being an example of hard work and “being the bigger person” also helps employees get noticed by management (in a good way) and hopefully move up in their respective careers and positions.
7. Make Clear Expectations
Setting clear expectations in stay interviews, meetings, and at the beginning of a career in the company helps employers know what to expect. If clear expectations are set at the beginning of a career and revisited often by employees and employers, then both parties will likely meet the expectations.
7 Ways The Employer Can Improve Workplace Experience
An important way companies can improve employee experience is to remember that employees are assets/investments to the company, not liabilities or consumables. Companies with that mindset are more likely to have a positive workplace culture and employee experience. To understand more ways to build a positive workplace culture, read here. Companies can improve the workplace experience for their employees in many ways. Below are seven to get started.
1. Explain Clearly and Effectively
As a leader in the company and of a team, it is vital to explain tasks and other job aspects clearly. Helping employees understand what their duties are is helpful for them and prevents frustration. A way team leads can do this is by explaining how the employee would understand (from their perspective) instead of through the eyes of a manager or team lead. Remember, the employees complete tasks and duties, so they need to understand what is expected.
2. Be A Good Example
If management and team leads want their employees to act and perform their duties in a certain way, then they (management) should also be doing that. It is unfair and unrealistic to expect employees to act a certain way if you aren’t willing to do that yourself.
3. Delegate Responsibly
Delegating roles judiciously and responsibly is helpful for the employee experience because it helps everyone have a reasonable workload balance.
4. Learn Weaknesses and Strengths of Employees
Learning the employees’ strengths and weaknesses helps employers in many ways. The first way is knowing who can handle what, which makes delegating more effective. Another way knowing strengths and weaknesses is helpful is by helping employees utilize those strengths effectively and helping employees improve their weaknesses (while remembering that not everyone is perfect).
5. Hire The Right Employees
Hiring employees that fit the company culture and team is helpful for a positive employee experience. It is also important to remember the difference between hiring for an excellent cultural fit versus hiring for personal preferences. Hiring should be equitable and inclusive. To learn more about hiring for cultural fit, check out this article from Indeed.
6. Communicate Expectations
Employers should communicate the expectations they have for employees clearly and right away. If these expectations change, they should be expressed immediately to the employee to prevent confusion and frustration.
7. Provide Feedback
Employers can provide feedback many times. Employers should take advantage of stay interviews and use these to provide feedback (positive and constructive) to help the employee know where they stand, give room for growth, and let them know they are valued. Read more here about 15 stay interview questions employers can utilize. Management should remember to provide feedback so it will be received positively and the input will be implemented (this will affect the employee experience significantly).
3 Effects Of Good Employee Experience
Positive employee experience affects many aspects of a company. Here are three effects of good employee experience to understand why it matters so much.
Employee experience has a great impact on employee retention. Employees who are happy and satisfied in the workplace will be more likely to stay at the company. If employees are unhappy and have a negative employee experience, they will likely start looking elsewhere. To learn more about why employee retention matters, read here.
Employee experience affects employee satisfaction because happier employees are more likely to be more productive. Think about it, if you feel unhappy in the workplace because of your experience (whether it be affected by culture, poor management, etc.). You will unlikely perform as well as you would if you were satisfied with the experience.
Employees that are satisfied with their experience at a company are more likely to communicate positively and effectively with customers. Employees are also more productive, which leads to more output, which impacts the customer experience, leaving customers happier and more satisfied. This helps the business grow, and everyone wins.
The Role of Human Resources in Employee Experience
In productive and progressive companies, human resources and management would ideally be working together in the hiring and recruiting process. Handling the hiring and recruiting together ensures that the company is hiring employees that would benefit their overall company culture and employee experience. Human resources can also be responsible for getting to know the employees better and offering quarterly and yearly opportunities for family and employee fun. Human resources can also take part in requesting feedback from employees (and responding accordingly). Finally, human resources can be involved in providing staff appreciation (hint: Kudoboard has great staff appreciation boards that everyone can contribute to!). Having human resources play a part in requesting feedback, recruiting, and workplace appreciation affects employee experience.
Employee Experience is affected by management, Human Resources, and employees. Employee experience impacts the employee the most, but when mismanaged, employee experience affects the business the hardest. Employers and employees can be responsible for employee experience. Employees who are unhappy in their workplace can work to make changes. However, it is essential to know that management and the company are the ones who also have to make changes.