Leadership and the Employee Experience
According to Jacob Morgan, “In a world where money is no longer the primary motivating factor for employees, focusing on the employee experience is the most promising competitive advantage that organizations can create.”
Should leaders be responsible for a positive employee experience? I have heard that employees do not leave the organization they work for, they leave their leaders/manager. A large majority of HR professionals say immediate leaders/supervisors have a high or extremely high degree of responsibility for the employee experience.
The employee experience begins the moment someone views a job posting right up to their departure from an organization. All the experiences the person undergoes during that time are contributions to their employee experience.
The employee experience is critical to business performance as it contributes to the customer experience and will impact how invested employees will influence the improvement of operational performance for the road ahead.
Leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve the employee experience. It is not a one-and-done prospect particularly with the sudden expansion of remote work due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
How can leaders position themselves in promoting a positive employee experience?
Leaders need to build trust, guide employee growth and development, foster a sense of belonging and help employees develop a sense of meaning and purpose in their work. In addition, leaders need to be the champions of creating better employee experiences by prioritizing experience, providing resources, and guiding the effort. Without that belief or effort, attempts to improve the experience are likely to be half-hearted and investments in the employee experience could fall short of their potential. Leaders may require training in successful performance management skills, so their direct reports have an excellent employee experience.
It is important that leaders measure employee experience through a variety of quality of tools and metrics including use of data from performance management systems, employee surveys or exit and stay interviews. In addition, leaders must be aware of employee experiences of competitor organizations and make necessary adjustments based on that data as needed. The basics of good compensation and benefits must not be overlooked as they are also important parts to the employee experience.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that a positive employee experience is key to building greater levels of engagement, enthusiasm, involvement, and employer brand commitment within an organization. I will quote Jacob Morgan once more. He said, “as we shift to the future of work, where organizations are focusing on the reasons why employees want to work versus need to work, it is important to understand employee experience.” He concluded that every employee experience, no matter the size or scope of an organization, is influenced by three basic environmental factors: cultural, technological, and physical. “All three of these aspects” he says, “should be focused on creating an environment where people want to show up!” I agree with his statement for the road ahead.