Hiring ‘rock-star’ employees in today’s feisty, talent laden labor market has become like a song and dance routine similar to a first date. As the company, hungry to land a top hire, you must one, make a great first impression. Two, “hook them” with your thrilling qualities, and three, get them to sign on the dotted line…or at least agree to a first interview!
According to Rochelle Dire, Chief People Officer at Blink Health, the People and Culture discipline’s essence, has become the “product manager” for the employee’s experience. Ideally, for the company, a win is enlisting the brightest, most talented, inspired people who love your mission and want to solve big, important problems.
The employee experience from the moment of “meeting” your company to the last interaction you share, is all about the experience – the journey. So, let’s examine what that looks like from your just landed, hi cost, star employee’s perspective?
As a people leader, your job is to provide the most favorable conditions along the pleasure-trip called employment, for employees to do their best work. You provide the ‘transportation’ to enable your team to face and conquer new challenges. How can leadership use the stages of the employee experience to improve the organization’s branding, retention and overall company culture?
The Employee Journey
The employee experience is on-going. It continues every day, every month and every year. As employees’ meander through successes and failures, and as they grab opportunities alongside their fellow ‘passengers’, even the furniture, the smells, the conductors in their coach and the train driver up ahead are all vital parts of what makes their experience an engaging, rewarding or inspiring one.
There’re things you can do, to impact your company’s employee experience. Here’s a list of my favorites:
Start at the beginning with your brand. How are you perceived before the perfect candidate even comes for the interview. Get your hiring process down. Every interaction reflects your company, so be prompt, personal and welcoming. Take too long or appear too bureaucratic and you’ve already lost them at “how about…tomorrow”.
Analyze the physical environment your employees work in. It’s the art on the walls; the floor plan; the demographics of the people, the perks, flexibility, autonomy and access to multiple workspaces which really count. Is the space inspiring? Does it fit the culture and vision you have for your organization? What feedback have you gathered from your employees about the above?
What is your office culture – the feeling, the “vibe” you get when you walk in the door, the mood and the tone that the workplace sets. The written and the unwritten rules of what is and is not acceptable. How do people behave in relation to what is espoused in your values? Typically, corporate culture is what energizes or drains us, motivates or discourages us, and empowers or suffocates us.
What tools and technologies are available to help your employees succeed? How accessible are they? This includes everything from the internal social network to the mobile devices that employees have access to. Creating a great environment requires having tools that focus on employees’ needs instead of business requirements and making sure the tools are consumer grade.
Check in on the reviews listed about your company on Glassdoor and LinkedIn. These have provided employees (and former employees) with a way to do a performance evaluation on their employer…and it isn’t always pretty! Address the concerns on these reviews and take appropriate action to improve the employee experience.
Invest in your current employees – look to promote from within, develop skills from within, and cross-train your teams so that you have a readily available pool of qualified applicants to move up in the company. Think about succession planning. Support non-work-related learning, broad diversity of gender, race, opinion and interests, bring innovative ideas and energy to the workplace.
Have regular check-ins with your employees. Life moves quickly. So do employees who aren’t fulfilled at work! Employees who are not being challenged and are not engaged with the company’s vision in today’s market are out the door before you can say, engagement survey. The time and money you invested in each new hire is only worth it if the employee makes a lasting contribution to the success of your organization in one way or another. So, check in with your people, ask them what works and what doesn’t within the company, and be open to suggestions for change.
Think long-term and don’t confuse engagement and experience. Employee engagement endeavors focus on the perks and quick fixes that grab your employees’ attention whilst the employee experience puts employees at the center and enriches their work lives in ways that are important to them longer term. Instead of trying to force people to fit into outdated workplace practices, redesign the workplace practices to fit with the people.
The employee experience is all about perception. How you view a situation versus how the employee across the table views it will likely be two different pictures entirely. Think creatively to better navigate the scary waters of perception amongst your employees. How can the company culture and work environment perpetuate a positive employee experience from the viewpoint of those on the inside?
ROI’s and profit are not based purely on the success of your product or service, so invest in your employee experience in 2018. Turn that first date into a nurturing and embracing long-term relationship for everyone involved.
Call us if you need help, we are great at listening and understanding what’s happening below the surface, facilitating change and creating a real impact that truly transforms workplace cultures for the better.
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