It’s no longer about mere satisfaction. Today’s products and services look to create a complete customer experience. And this holistic experience is also what employers need to create for their millennial employees. However, no matter how much intention is dedicated towards creating a positive experience for employees, their engagement levels show little progress. The 2017 Global Human Capital Trends research shows that organizations’ ability to address such challenges has dropped by 14 % since last year!
What isn’t working? Here’s some insight:
- The understanding of ‘experience’ is skewed. Its measurement is restricted to annual surveys and reactive measures when something goes wrong. There’s no all-encompassing approach.
- The responsibility of creating inspiring employee experiences rests with HR teams, or a sole ‘Chief Experience Officer’. This siloed approach brings limitations. First – who delivers the solutions to all employee levels, is not clear. Second – it’s difficult to obtain resources to address a vast range of priorities such as management practices, benefits, work culture, etc.
- The line managers lack an in-depth understanding of what the talent they employ expects and values.
Addressing these roadblocks won’t be easy. Productivity in the USA is rising by only 1% annually, though people are working more hours. Infact, the average vacation time is down to 16 days in 2016 from 20 in 2000. Result – employees feel strained, and maybe undervalued. So how can you counter this?
Measure it consistently. When it comes to employee experience, real time data is the way to go. Bi-annual or annual surveys are a passé. Capture the regular pulse through exit interviews. Set up open and consistent feedback mechanisms. Gain inputs from platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. Or establish relationships such that your employees have the autonomy and safety to share their stories.
Customize the solutions. Your company does not consist of the same kind of people! Account for the multiple demographics, offices at different locations, people from different cultures, and even identities or needs we may not be aware of. Hence, what engagement means to working mothers, will not mean the same to fresh graduate employees, or gender neutral individuals. And don’t forget the consultants and part-timers.
Help line managers own it. If the responsibility of creating an experience rests with siloed teams, the resulting measures won’t be holistic. Instead, involve the heads and managers of all functions. They know their teams best. Get inputs from them, and help them engage their respective teams daily. HR can then focus on maintaining the overall experience, and not drilling down to details.
Still need ideas? Visit your peers and discover how they do it. Or just study your employees deeply to learn what they are doing every day, and discover new ways to simplify/ improve their work-life.