According to a recent Gartner study, 91% of HR managers believe employees will continue to work remotely even with COVID-19 vaccinations being widely available. Most businesses have had over a year to work on remote-work experiences in order to keep employees productive and interested, however, many are seeing varying levels of employee engagement with remote setups.
A key component for ensuring high levels of employee engagement is developing an employee experience that is tailored for your organisation and team members.
What is employee experience?
Employee Experience (EX) is essentially a process for developing employees who are motivated by factors other than a paycheck. Cultivating engaged employees can have a positive impact on your organisation in a number of ways, supporting various business outcomes such as improved employee efficiency, improved customer experience and improved profit-per-employee.
Creating an excellent employee experience can be broken down into three steps:
Set out the intended results: Identify which part of the entire employee experience should be prioritised. Focus on the first interaction an employee has with their organisation, the onboarding process, in particular, remote onboarding.
Select the best strategy: While each organisation should design and execute for its own specific circumstances, there are some parts of EX that are universally relevant. Choose the intervention combination that will work best for your organisation.
Impact evaluation: By establishing a baseline and monitoring and encouraging feedback on a regular basis, the organisation may discover how the intended interventions are affecting EX. As a result, it is easier to reflect on the desired goal of good employee experience.
7 tips to help you improve your employee experience
To help you tailor your employee experience approach, we’ve compiled a list of 7 tips we use here at Make it Clear to identify and adapt our working environment to promote employee engagement and enjoyment levels.
- Focus on the first touchpoint – remote onboarding
Remote employee onboarding is the same as in-office employee onboarding, except the new recruit will partake in the process from home rather than the office. Specific problems can develop in the absence of a physical work environment, which is important in the conventional hiring or settling-in process. It is also crucial to assist new recruits in determining the appropriate routes for asking questions and obtaining the information they need. Another issue is forming an emotional connection with a new team member – it’s common for new employees to feel isolated when they aren’t in the same space as other team members.
- Keep an eye out for symptoms of stress in your workers
To gain insight into employees’ difficulties and concerns, use both direct conversations and indirect observations. Use every chance to show staff that you appreciate and care about them. To promote regular dialogue between managers and employees, give managers direction on how to approach sensitive COVID-19 pandemic and working from home topics such as alternative work models, routine, how they connect with other team members, ways to help with their work and home life separation, and the impact on staffing and tension in the workplace working from home may incur.
- Encourage discussion
A two-way conversation between management and employees guarantees that communication initiatives benefit rather than detract from engagement. According to a Gartner research study, knowledge of organisational decisions and their ramifications during change is significantly more essential for the success of a change than workers “liking” the change.
Employees also benefit from two-way communication with managers and peers because it provides them with the knowledge and perspective they need, as well as the ability to vent and process unpleasant emotions and feel more in control. Managers can facilitate two-way discussions that focus on a realistic picture of both the positive and negative consequences. Here at Make it Clear, we schedule monthly one-to-ones as well as weekly team meetings to ensure personal and wider tasks and goals can be achieved. Ultimately this is up to managers and members of their team, so some even have daily check-ins.
- Promote recognition
Effective acknowledgment not only encourages the recipient, but it also sends a powerful signal to others about the actions they should imitate. Consider public acknowledgment, symbols of gratitude, development opportunities, and low-cost bonuses as alternatives to monetary rewards. Managers in businesses experiencing a slowdown might use this time to give growth opportunities to team members who would otherwise be unable to do so. At Make it Clear, we devote part of our Thursday morning team meeting to recognise each other’s efforts during the past week.
- Support innovation
Managers and employees may become more risk-averse as organisations seek refuge in the face of high levels of uncertainty. However, it is at these times that innovation becomes even more vital for employee engagement and company success. Constraints on innovation and risk-taking have a disengaging effect on high-potential (HIPO) individuals, who have a higher yearning for these sorts of opportunities. Even if the organisation’s budget for new investment is limited, managers can highlight the necessity for incremental innovation or process improvements.
- Send fun and thoughtful care packages
There’s nothing like receiving an unexpected delivery addressed to yours truly, that’s why fun and thoughtful packages can ensure employees feel special and valued for their work for your business. Packages not only spur creativity but also increase engagement as it is a great way to bring remote workers together.
For our company’s twenty-first birthday, our Creative Director Sarah Edwards sent everyone hand-crafted biscuits with special icing that signified the special occasion as well as a special message in each thanking everyone for their work in getting the company to this landmark.
- Providing team members with the right tools and technology to work remotely
Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the world saw a historic shift in the 2020 employment market. While some organisations used to provide the opportunity to work from home as a benefit, it is now the norm for the majority of businesses. By 2025, it is expected that 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days each month. While 2020 may be seen as the year of remote work, we expect the trend to continue in 2022.
It is crucial to identify and implement the right tools to keep your team connected, organised and safe. Having flexible and efficient remote working tools, employees will feel happier and this will subsequently bolster productivity and performance. Here at Make it Clear, we’ve adopted the following:
- Miro (for brainstorming and workshops)
- Basecamp (for project management)
- Figma (for digital design)
- Harvest (for time tracking)
- Notion (for content management)
Create processes and provide the tools to make a positive difference in employees’s lives. Demonstrate awareness and empathy to keep your organisation connected with team members wherever they work.