In many ways, you can now measure time in terms of before 2020, when the pandemic struck, and after 2020. That’s how much disruption COVID-19 has wrought. And we’re still assessing the fallout.
The pandemic has profoundly reshaped many of our lives, and some of the change is likely enduring. For one thing, in a sort of a Grand Awakening, employees are suddenly much pickier about their work lives. And that phenomenon likely won’t go away any time soon. Essentially, people are reassessing what kind of work they want to do, and how and where they want to do it. For organizations, that goes straight to recruitment and retention – and more.
In that light, are you listening to your employees? Do you know how your people are feeling?
Ultimately, you must learn how the pandemic has changed the employee experience.
What is the Employee Experience?
The employee experience encapsulates what an employee encounters, observes, and perceives over the course of their tenure with an organization.
Why is the Employee Experience Important?
Let us count the ways. Seriously, the employee experience can help your bottom line through everything from increased productivity to a better quality of work. Here are some reasons why you must focus more on the employee experience, beyond the annual employee engagement survey.
- Attract and retain talent. This is Job One, no pun intended. If you don’t treat it as such, you’ll lose people. And if word gets around that your culture or something else about the work experience is lacking, you’ll have a difficult time getting people to work for you.
- Promote teamwork. Employees do better if they feel like they’re in an environment in which they feel valued and have space to grow.
- Foster work support. Your people will try hard for you if they feel supported and part of a team. They’ll be more apt to get out of their comfort zones if they aren’t scared to fail.
- Heighten engagement. Happy workers are more into what they’re doing and get a great deal of satisfaction from it. In short, they’re more engaged.
- Promote collaboration. If employees have favorable experiences working with others, they won’t shy away from seeking guidance or assistance, especially if the environment is supportive.
- Fuel the imagination. Happy, supported employees are more creative and innovative, which can’t help but help the organization, too, growth-wise.
- Better mental health. You want employees who are eager to come to work – less absenteeism — not people who, at best, are going through the motions.
Listening to Your Employees to Improve the Employee Experience
More than ever, you need to gauge and improve your people’s work experience. Through employee listening, you can create a stronger and more inclusive culture while gaining actionable insights, boosting performance, and empowering your organization.
And you needn’t limit data used to improve the employee experience to the yearly employee engagement survey. Top, forward-thinking organizations are increasingly “listening” to employees throughout their lifecycles, including during key events such as onboarding. You can achieve this through a strategic listening program that marries the proper methodologies with content and nimble technology.
In sum, your organization’s performance, and in some cases survival, could turn on the extent to which you understand how the pandemic has changed the employee experience. Yes, in this evolving business world, you have a long list of things to do – major things. You have a lot of changes to make. But not much can be more important than putting strategic listening programs in place so that you can make better decisions and enhance your ability to attract and recruit. We recommend the consultant Mercer, which can help you understand, measure, and improve the employee experience – and your bottom line.