Moments that matter for your people
As an employer, leader, or manager, it is your responsibility to maintain engagement and ensure productivity continues. The term ‘employee engagement’ is used often, but how we achieve this can seem somewhat of a mystery. Many HR professionals are now beginning to use the term ‘employee experience’ to describe the employee lifecycle and how this corelates with increasing employee engagement.
Research shows that customer satisfaction is directly linked to employee satisfaction. Therefore, focusing on the employee experience to increase your engagement will give your organisation a competitive advantage.
Creating a memorable employee experience is embedded in the culture of your company, the tools you provide your employees to do their jobs and succeed, and the environment in which you work. The employee’s journey from onboarding right through to offboarding, should be a positive and fulfilling one. This begins with recruitment and selection and may be referred to as the ‘candidate experience’. Attracting the right talent for your business is vital in ensuring you can deliver the service you have promised to your customers and clients. Are you fair and consistent in your recruitment process? Are the candidates contacted in a timely manner? Do you sell your organisation as much as the candidate sells their experience to you? You want that candidate to value their time with you, even if they do not secure the position. You want them to leave the process and tell friends and family what a great experience it was, and what a great company it would be to work for.
When a candidate has been successful, your onboarding process is important in keeping the employee excited to join the company. This starts with the offer. Be ready to negotiate if necessary, be timely with the offer letter and employment contract, and give them a glimpse of the culture so they can already begin to feel part of it. When day 1 approaches, be prepared. The employee is likely to decide within their first 4 weeks if they are to stay with the company, or look elsewhere, so these first few weeks are crucial in maintaining engagement. Ask the team to welcome your new hire, set goals and expectations with them and talk to them about your culture. Every organisation is different, so how can they succeed with your business? Remind them why they were successful in gaining the position and show that you believe in their potential. Onboarding arguably continues for up to 12 months, when the employee can feel fully competent and knowledgeable in their role and the business. Keep this in mind and have regular 1-2-1s and check-ins with your employee.
No matter how long that individual is with you for, you should continue to keep communication open and show they are valued. An employee will experience many things whilst with your company – new roles, promotions, new team members, new management, family changes – and all these transitions will impact the way they work. If you can intentionally design processes that incorporate your culture and values to support your employees through these changes, you will build trust and enable a smooth transition that maintains productivity and engagement. Implement fair recruitment processes, diverse talent pipelines, consistent promotion opportunities, training for managers, and rewards and benefits for employees to create, support and manage moments that matter.
As business leaders, we don’t want to lose talent, and this can feel uncomfortable. However, making your offboarding process as smooth as your onboarding process will ensure the individual leaves the organisation with fondness, joy and plenty of good things to say to others. You can keep their loyalty to your brand without them being employed by you, and this is key to ensuring you can continue to attract good talent in the future.
Take the time to create a consumer experience for your employees, be intentional and thoughtful with your processes, value your people, and employee engagement will follow.