By Natanya Rutstein
What is the Ideal Employee Experience?
There is no doubt that creating superior experiences for your employees is the only way to proceed if you’re serious about attracting and retaining the best talent and remaining competitive in today’s highly competitive market. However, “What is the ideal employee experience?” and “How should you go about creating it?”.
The notion of an ideal employee experience may be slightly misleading as the very thing that gives rise to this experience is determined by the individual needs and expectations of each employee. These needs and expectations will therefore vary from one employee to another, as well as one organisation to another and, will fluctuate throughout the employee life cycle. Employee Experience is therefore a very personal, as well as a largely subjective experience.
How do we create them?
There are numerous approaches and frameworks which can be used to enhance the employee experience within your organisation. Tracey Maylett and Matthew Wride in their book “The Employee Experience: How to Attract Talent, Retain Top Performers, and Drive Results”, argue that in order to create a great employee experience and maintain engagement, it is essential to ensure the continual alignment of expectations in the employment relationship. This alignment takes place through what they describe as “The Contract” between employee and employer. All expectations and operating rules for the relationship are founded in this contract. The contract is subdivided into the Brand, Transactional and Psychological Contract.
Maylett and Wride argue that Expectation Alignment (EA) is a foundational element of the Employee Experience (EE) and when expectations are aligned, the employee will be satisfied, as he/she will be experiencing what they expect from their job. Misalignment will however result in employee disengagement, with the consequent negative impact on performance. In these situations, the manager must proactively take action to facilitate re-alignment of expectations with the end-goal of getting the relationship back on track.
The author Jacob Morgan in his book, “The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces they Want, the Tools they Need, and a Culture They Can Celebrate” takes us through the process of how to build great employee experiences through the re-design of the organisation to create an “Experiential Organisation”. He describes an Experiential Organization (ExpO) as” one that has been (re) designed to truly know its people and has mastered the art and science of creating a place where people want, not need, to show up to work. The Experiential Organization does this by creating a Reason for Being and by focusing on the physical, technological, and cultural environments.”
This post is the first in a series where we will delve into some of the different options available to create ideal employee experiences for your workforce. However, DO NOT FORGET, that regardless of the approach or framework that you choose to implement, an ideal employee experience is not possible without – OPEN, HONEST AND CONSISTENT COMMUNICATION.
The commitment to this practice will assist you in developing a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the needs of your employees and how they are actually experiencing their jobs. This, in turn, will provide you with the data necessary to design and influence experiences that will facilitate their successful and fulfilling journey through the organisation, always with the end-goal in mind – TO CREATE A SATISFYING EXPERIENCE FOR EACH AND EVERY EMPLOYEE.