The role employees play in the success of an organization has never been more visible than during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Navigating anxiety and uncertainty, many workers are striving to accommodate a new working reality that’s affecting every aspect of their lives. Whether working from home, or working differently, employees across the world are experiencing a new normal – a normal that brings with it, greater expectations for the workplace of today, and tomorrow.
Now, more than ever, the Employee Experience (EX) should be seen as an integral part of your business strategy. Revenue, productivity and customer satisfaction are all a direct result of employee engagement – a challenging proposition in the face of these unprecedented times.
For true engagement, we believe the Employee Experience needs to be crafted with four fundamental elements in mind: Culture, Environment, Communications and Technology. Each one playing an integral role in the future of work.
Created through shared values, beliefs, behaviors and rituals, a successful company culture is a fundamental driver of a superior employee experience. It inspires and creates a sense of community. It has the power to attract and retain top talent and drive a productive workforce towards a common mission. And as we move into the future normal, companies must find new ways to foster and deliver on their culture.
Much thought goes into the workspace itself. Creating an environment conducive to collaboration, innovation and productivity has played an integral role in the employee experience. In the wake of COVID-19, the workplace will need to be re-imagined in order to accommodate new habits, new behaviors and safety regulations. And in consideration of the workspaces you can’t control – tips, tools and recommendations on how employees can create the ideal workspace outside of the office should remain a priority as the remote workforce continues to grow.
Communications are vital to an organization and have the ability to provide meaning to an employee’s role within the organization, inspire action and create overall engagement. Now more than ever, employees have been relying on corporate communications to guide them. A recent Edelman survey suggest that over 61% of employees are relying on their organization for important info regarding the pandemic – and trusting it above other sources like government and news. Employers should build on this trust, and continue to provide authentic, open and transparent communications moving forward. A continuous, on-going dialogue between leadership and employees should be the baseline expectation for the “what” and “how” of company communications going forward.
Ready or not, companies and workers have been forced to adopt new technologies to replace what once were face-to-face activities. From recruiting techniques like virtual job fairs, traditional meetings turned zoom video chats, and social interactions gone digital, the act of connecting now relies on the use of technology not seen before. And with the remote workforce continuing to grow, company leaders will need to look towards technological solutions to facilitate training, development, automation and innovation.
Where to begin?
• Start with input. Understanding what’s top of mind for employees is critical.
• Re-evaluate your company’s mission and vision. Has COVID-19 magnified your company purpose or changed your business goals? You must understand where you’re heading before building the road to get there.
• Understand your current experience. What is your employee experience today? What’s changed during this pandemic? And why? Know where you began, so you can measure the change.
• Accept what you can and can’t control. Always remember, some of the employee experience happens organically. Foster the good stuff, try to mitigate the bad.
• Employees are everyone. These are trying times for all of us. When focusing on the employee experience, remember to include everyone. From the C-Suite to the frontlines, needs may vary but the desire for engagement doesn’t.
• Prioritize and focus. Trying to reimagine the entire employee experience can be daunting. Identify and understand the big picture, but carefully choose key touchpoints that align with business goals and objectives. Have hiring needs? Focus on onboarding. Need training and development programs? Dive into mentorship programs.
At the end of the day remember – it’s called the employee experience. Ask yourself: What do they need? Why should they care? Start there and the rest will follow.
Contact us to help you reimagine what comes next.