Putting effort into creating a positive work environment for employees can have a considerable impact on a business as a whole. From increased productivity to improved talent acquisition and retention, getting the employee experience right can transform an organization regardless of what industry you're in.
But how do you make your workplace a great place to work and develop an employee experience that performs time and time again?
1. Make a great first impression
First impressions count, especially when it comes to the workplace. How would you feel if an interview candidate turned up with a crumpled shirt and dirty shoes? No matter how impressive they were, you'd probably be showing them the door. You need to do the employer-equivalent of being suited and booted; from the interview process you should be aiming to wow each and every professional.
However, it has to have meaning and reflect your brand authentically. If you pride yourself on being a laidback employer, having sofas, magazines and even a drinks cabinet for people to help themselves makes a great impression. On the other hand, if it's championing your staff you're particularly proud of, make sure employee awards are clearly displayed.
2. Prioritize company culture
Company culture isn't just something you can put down in a job ad; it needs to be something that HR, management and C-level executives are consistently working at and reviewing. Strong culture encourages employees to stay at the company longer, be happier and more productive in their role, and ultimately generates a positive employee experience.
However, what's most important about introducing any element tied into company culture is that it's something your employees want. Do regular surveys to find out what people are happy about and what they want to see changed. Of course, you can't please everyone all of the time, but doing this will help you get a litmus test on general morale.
3. Be authentic
The only way you can create a genuinely great employee experience is to ensure the message you're communicating to them is as authentic as possible. No matter how clever you think you're being, people - including clients - will find out if you're trying to make claims that don't stand up.
Your brand identity should be built on core beliefs that you and your employees are truly passionate about. This can concern what kind of employer you want to be, issues surrounding social justice, or how you define ethical conduct. Whatever it is, it needs to be a genuine factor driving your organization.
4. Direction and motivation
Demotivated employees can quickly hamper any efforts you've made to create a positive working environment. Ensuring everyone has clear goals and direction in their role will not only help them feel integrated in the organization, but also keeps them driven to realize their potential.
For this to be effective, it needs to be implemented across the board. Whether you're the company's CEO or have just started in an entry-level position, it's important that you have a career path to motivate you.
5. Empathy is key
In order to have great employee experience, you need to first understand what it's like to be in their position. Businesses often become resented if they have an 'us' and 'them' attitude to their employees, and it's easy to slip into this mindset if you're not careful.
Empathizing with the workforce is the only way you can make meaningful changes that improve their day-to-day life. Although it doesn't mean you need to bend to every demand employees make, it puts you in a much better position to understand why they might want such changes and how you can compromise.