Over the last several months an employment trend known as the Great Resignation, or the Big Quit, has taken the working world by storm. This unprecedented increase in attrition and turnover continues to create reverberations for businesses and consumers alike.
Of course, it’s crucial to address the fallout from turnover that’s already happened. But many companies are failing to address more systemic issues around employee experience and the Great Resignation that will keep this trend going. Employee engagement is at the top of the list of those issues. According to one Gallup poll only 34% of North American respondents report being actively engaged in their current job, with almost 50% actively looking for new employment. Numbers like these prove that we have a lot of work to do to create more effective employee experience strategies.
So, what can we do? By focusing on these seven important employee experience strategies, your company can retain and attract the best talent, even in the face of the Great Resignation:
1. Foster a rewarding and respectful culture
Business experts have already made the case for the connection between effective culture, strong employee engagement, and loyalty. The shift to remote and hybrid work environments, combined with increased turnover, has created a valuable opportunity for companies to take a fresh look at their company cultures to ensure that the corporate mission and its values are reflected within the day-to-day work environment.
This means creating new ways to provide recognition for above-and-beyond service to customers to show that you are paying attention and demonstrate that you don’t take great customer service for granted. It also means demonstrating deep respect for your employees’ points of view, opinions, and ideas. If you want to grow and sustain employee engagement, fostering a culture of respect can have tremendous return. While this isn’t an easy task, it’s the first step to creating an employee experience where your team feels their skills are appreciated, and that their efforts are recognized in meaningful ways.
2. Prioritize the employee lifecycle
Retaining top talent requires empowering every member of your team for the entire duration of their employment. Just as your customers’ needs evolve over time, so too do the needs and preferences of your employees. Your employee experience needs to demonstrate that each person’s career growth, desires, and goals are understood, and that they’ll be met whenever possible. That includes providing consistent upskilling opportunities to show that you understand and support their long-term goals.
Another critical factor in prioritizing the employee lifecycle is to design feedback loops that gather information at every point in the lifecycle. As you’ll see later in this article, this helps create an environment of continuous improvement that recognizes the employees’ needs and preferences as they evolve, just as you do for your customers.
3. Map and understand the employee journey
While career growth is an important part of the overall employee journey, each person’s individual path will vary depending on their role, work experience, and other factors. Much like mapping a customer journey to meet unique needs at specific moments, it’s vital to consider the different kinds of support, from onboarding to day-to-day duties, employees will need. Conducting an employee journey mapping exercise to uncover the different employee personas in your company can help make the employee experience more engaging and productive right from the start.
4. Enable your agents and employees with the right tools and resources
An engaging, robust employee experience must be supported by the right tools and resources. Cloud-based solutions provide several benefits for remote and hybrid work environments, including more efficient and effective ways to collaborate and communicate. While many front-facing solutions were the primary focus as companies moved to remote work, updates to foundational systems like your CRM, data management platform, and contact center solution should follow close behind. These systems provide the underlying support for long-term, sophisticated employee experience strategies and need to incorporate new innovations as much as possible. Speaking of innovation, you should also consider the value of modernizing your operation by incorporating automation and machine learning technologies that can relieve your employees of non-critical, routine tasks.
5. Help your employees find purpose and meaning
A robust benefits package is of course a given, but your company needs to examine the underlying company culture to ensure that employees feel engaged and motivated by a true sense of purpose. As evidence of the connection between purpose and engagement has come to light, more organizations are discovering new ways to drive employee engagement by giving employees a deeper sense of meaning about their work. While purpose-driven organizations often provide more opportunities for employees to contribute to causes they care about, creating purpose in the work itself begins by articulating an authentic purpose statement. Make this statement a regular feature in your organization’s messaging and give employees the tools they need to understand and articulate this purpose. This can help enable your employees to beat the drum of your company purpose on their own as well.
6. Make employee experience a strategic, company-wide initiative
Along with communicating your company’s purpose, you also need to let your employees know that their experience is a top priority. That means asking them about their experience throughout the course of their employment. Understanding what the onboarding process was like for each individual, for example, can help inform the hiring process. Auditing other people processes like performance reviews, interviewing, and training should be done on a regular basis. This means ensuring that management is engaged as well. Coaching needs to be consistent, teamwork needs to be encouraged, and managers must constantly be on the lookout for ways to help their employees achieve their goals.
7. Create constant employee feedback loops and measure employee satisfaction
Employee feedback loops are critical to promoting continuous improvement within your organization. Employee satisfaction must be measured on an ongoing basis to determine whether or not your employee experiences are meeting and exceeding expectations. Conducting employee focus groups and surveys on a consistent basis can be helpful to gather this information. Creating employee committees, developing mentoring programs, and designing workgroups to tackle specific issues are all ways to build engagement and deepen the employee experience. Above all, consistent and transparent communication must happen for your employees to really feel like part of the effort.
With deep partnerships with major companies like Microsoft and Genesys, Avtex is an expert in customer and employee experience. Understanding the links between the employee experience and the Great Resignation can not only combat the impacts of this trend, but build stronger, more robust total experiences for your organization.