The short answer is: it depends. If the average response from your employees to the question “How would you rate your overall experience at this company?” is a 10 out of 10 (meaning absolutely perfect), then you probably don’t need to worry. However, if this isn’t the case, the employee experience that has been cultivated within your org might be hurting business.
This is not to say that anything below a 10 out of 10 score is bad or negatively affecting your organization. However, if the average employee rating is below what you deem as acceptable, then it might be time to make some changes.
Analyzing the Employee Experience
Even if you think that the employee experience at your organization is fantastic, it’s important to back that claim up. To do so, start by requesting anonymous employee feedback through surveys, polls, and/or any other means that you feel will be helpful. Once you get enough feedback from employees of differing roles and tenure, you can begin to determine if the average employee experience is hurting your business.
The Impact of a Positive Employee Experience
After gathering and analyzing feedback, you might find that the overall employee experience at your organization is positive based on the indicators you chose ahead of time. Congratulations! Organizations with a highly rated employee experience get to reap benefits that organizations with low ratings do not.
A positive employee experience can:
- Improve engagement and productivity.
- Lower absenteeism rates.
- Help produce higher quality work.
- Improve customer relations.
- Improve your organization’s reputation.
All of these benefits lead to higher overall profits and improved retention.
According to IBM: Organizations that score in the top 25% on employee experience report nearly three times the return on assets as well as double the return on sales compared to organizations in the bottom quartile.
The Impact of a Negative Employee Experience
Arguably, it’s much easier to end up with a negative employee experience in your organization than a positive one. This is because it takes a lot of effort, resources, and active planning to cultivate and continue improving on your company culture, processes, expectations, and all of the other things that impact the employee experience. Plus, as soon as new priorities arise within the business, management can often lose focus and push the employee experience to the side.
And, unfortunately, a negative employee experience can have far-reaching effects on the business that you might not have even considered yet.
Some of the more obvious effects are:
- Increased employee dissatisfaction and turnover.
- Lower engagement and productivity.
While some of the less obvious effects are:
- Increased costs associated with less productive employees.
- Decreased revenue due to disengaged employees.
- A 60% increase in human error.
- Up to a 65% lower share price.
- Customer churn due to lackluster relationships with your employees.
- A poor brand image that makes hiring new employees and earning customers difficult.
If, through employee feedback, you find that the experience at your organization is negative and/or not where you want it to be, it’s time to start taking action.
Start Improving the Employee Experience at Your Organization
To do this, you can begin by looking for themes across the employee feedback you receive. If there are recurring items that need to be addressed, write them down. Once you’ve gone through all of the feedback and noted where there’s room for improvement, organize those items from simple to complex implementation, as well as priority.
For example, let’s say that the majority of employees communicated to you that transparency is lacking and that they want to be able to work remotely.
Focusing on creating a transparent culture might be placed in the “simple to implement” category, while finding the best way to enable remote work might go in the “complex to implement” category. After that, create actionable steps to address the high priority and simple to implement items.
In this scenario, you can start by putting a meeting on the calendar for all employees with an agenda centered around transparency — in this meeting you might discuss company goals, financials, plans for the next month, quarter, or year, or anything else relevant. Before the day of this meeting, you can also send out an anonymous survey asking employees to think about transparency and give you specific topics that they’d like you to be more transparent on. This feedback can then guide the meeting.
Be Transparent and Proactive
Past dealing with the simple and immediate improvements you make, it’s important to acknowledge and communicate the other longer-term plans you have to improve the employee experience. There are many different ways to do this — consider discussing it in your next all company meeting, and following that discussion up with an email detailing the topics that were discussed, along with next steps that you plan to take.
This level of transparency will cultivate positive feelings organization-wide, which will then become significantly stronger once you take the next steps to actually make the improvements. For example, telling employees that you’re going to begin making a plan to allow remote work is the first step, and then following through and doing an initial remote work test run will tell employees that you’re serious, thus creating trust and a more positive employee experience overall.
Understanding the Factors that Affect the Employee Experience
While getting direct feedback from employees is a great place to start when you’re looking for areas of improvement in your organization, there are many factors that impact the overall employee experience at a company. Some influence it more than others, but they’re all important to be aware of.