Employee experience: Getting your organisation experience right | Main Region | UB

Article 2 - Employee experience (EX): Getting your organisation experience right

Employee experience
Employee experience (EX) involves everything that workers encounter when interacting your organisation – whether it be how they perceive your brand before applying for a role, to their onboarding, development, performance and eventual exit from a company. And research shows that people who report having a positive employee experience have 16 times the engagement levels of employees with a negative experience, and they are eight times more likely to want to stay at a company1.
Your business’ EX is influenced by three core areas, the organisation, social and work experience. In this article, second of our four-part series on EX, we dive into the organisational area of the employee experience and the three key factors that influence it:
  • How a business is delivering on its purpose in a way that aligns and resonates with workers.
  • Setting employees up with the technology, software and hardware, they require to be successful. 
  • Creating a physical environment that makes them feel engaged and eager to come to the office building. 

Employee experience

Purpose and delivering on its promise.

More than two-thirds of employees say that their sense of purpose is defined by their work1, so the importance of being able to effectively communicate your organisation’s purpose can have an outsized influence on the quality of the employee experience.
The communication and demonstration of your organisation’s purpose should begin at the attraction stage. Purpose should be a large part of any organisation’s broader employer branding efforts and allows potential employees to evaluate whether they want to join your company or not. The purpose should be further demonstrated and embedded at the onboarding stage, keeping the messaging centre to any communications that are shared. At the engagement stage as new hires are getting settled and starting to work effectively within an organisation, leaders and teams should be consistently demonstrating the behaviours and skills that mirror the organisation’s purpose. Effectively embedding the ‘why’ of your organisation, not just the ‘what’ needs to be tended to, in some way, every day. It should be reflected in training programs, internal communications, products, services, weekly conference calls, the benefits you offer – the list is endless in how you can ensure purpose becomes part of your organisations DNA.

Technology that enables

Are you providing technology that your workers need to complete their work in an efficient and timely manner? The demographics of our workforces are changing, many organisations now have five different generations working together in an office, and their use and requirements of technology varies greatly. By 2030, 74 per cent of the workforce will be comprised of Millennial and Gen Z workers – generations that have grown and lived with technology their entire lives, which means they expect tech to work in different ways  from their colleagues from different generations.
Consider how technology impacts the different points in time of an employee’s lifecycle with an organisation. For example, at the development stage, ensure that software is available that makes learning and development options as seamless as possible for employees to access. At the performance stage, technology should enable workers to finish their tasks without restriction and time wasting, enhancing productivity.

The physical environment

The spaces in which we work greatly influence our ability, experience and emotional connection to the work that we do4. This is why organisations such as Apple, Netflix and Atlassian have spent billions of dollars in not only building offices, but entire campuses. Netflix has a popcorn maker in the foyer and movie-themed elements throughout their offices. Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino California opened in 2017 reportedly cost $5 billion to build and Atlassian’s headquarters, currently under construction in Sydney, Australia, will be the world’s highest steel and timber building when completed. Despite our new hybrid working arrangements, organisations are still investing in creating spaces that adapt to our new uses of the office and the employee experience in those spaces. Quiet working areas make way for more collaborative spaces, conference rooms are updated to accommodate remote attendance and hot desking means that companies can reduce real estate footprints while still providing a place for the workforce to come together.  
How an office space influences the employee experience changes throughout their lifecycle in a role. At the attraction stage, a well-fitted out and designed office space can create great first impressions of the entire organisation, while at the learning and development stage a space at the office that allows for large groups to come together can facilitate lectures and in-person learning programs.

Implementing a better organisational EX.

1. Purpose: Your action steps

Next three months:

Conduct a company-wide survey to get a better understanding of their perception of your organisation's purpose and whether they feel a connection to it. This can help identify any knowledge gaps, misconceptions, or misalignments and can offer direction on what to prioritise.

Next 12 months:

Make ‘purpose’ part of the daily conversation. Regularly share the company's mission, purpose and values through town-halls, newsletters, intranet communications, office branding, daily meetings and any other mediums you can think of. Making it part of the constant conversation means that you’re signalling its importance to everyone working there.
Design and host alignment workshops with cross functional groups to align their strategies with the company's purpose, instead of each department sticking to their own lane and being disconnected.
Next two years: 

Embed purpose in every step of the employee lifecycle. You can do this by ensuring every new employee understands the organisation's purpose from day one, and by making the championing of the organisation’s purpose one of the key measures in performance appraisals.

2.  Physical environment: Your action steps

Next three months:

Assess the workspace. Does it facilitate collaboration? Are there spaces for focused work? In a hybrid working model, spaces need to be able to meet the demands for various types of work. Survey to understand if employees feel like they have the spaces they need to get their work done effectively, feel engaged and look forward to going into the office to get work done.

Next 12 months:

Build on flexibility and consider offering flexible working hours or remote work options if feasible or look to create spaces with pre-existing workspace that can lend itself to better ways of working. If there’s a section of your office not in use, some tables and seats could be rearranged to provide an alternate area for people to work.

Next two years:

Ask yourself, and your employees, what would make me, and them, want to spend more time in the office? There has been a move towards premium office experiences – make the office nicer than the home and more people will want to spend time there.

3. Technology: Your action steps

Next three months: 
Establish where you are now through a technology audit. Identify any outdated technologies or systems that hinder employee productivity. Consider running a survey gauge how employees from different areas of the business are working with the technology on offer to identify any gaps/optimisations that could be made.
Next 12 months:
An optimal employee experience with technology doesn’t end with hardware and software upgrades. Consider investing in programs that help employees learn new technologies and digital tools and keep your organisation ahead of the pack.
Next two years:
Commit to a regular tech refresh, updating hardware and software as needed. Align with what workers are expecting and be aware of the different generational needs your workforce might have. Adopt a proactive approach to technology, so you're not just reacting to problems but preventing them. 
Now, more than ever, people are thinking about the what and why of their working lives. Setting short-, mid- and long-term goals can help organisations start to move the needle on the employee experience now while keeping an eye on longer term horizons. Organisations that can do and be more for their people, as well as for their shareholders and customers, will shape the perception of them as an employer, both internally and externally, for years to come.
If you missed it, read our first article on EX: Your Introduction to Employee Experience to get up to speed.
If you need help in creating an excellent employee experience, reach out to one of our expert consultants today.  






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