Most company reports that spoke about how companies enhanced employee experiences involved their investment in-office perks — like a think-standing table, nap pods, “take your pets to work day,” office potluck, and free lunches.
Most of these “perks” were focused on the physical presence in an office space, which is no longer as important today. After the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now time to rewire employee interactions and create a more positive and meaningful interpersonal bond between the employee and their employer.
Gartner states that, because of Covid-19, 88% of the companies worldwide have asked their employees to work remotely. Today, “Work from home” is the new standard for many, if not all, companies cannot rely on their old techniques to improve the employee experience. Enhancing employee experience is a strategic business approach that entails every interaction the employee has with the organization.
Understanding employee concerns is the first step toward helping employees in this “adjusted normal.” Employee experience monitoring helps managers understand the ‘why’ behind employees’ sentiments, especially of the aspects that matter the most to them. This data can help employers to identify situations that do not add to a productive employee work environment. They can clearly distinguish between what works and what is not working in a remote working environment.
Employee feedback and opinions can highly contribute to shaping the workplace culture. Open-ended, free form responses can offer great insights into employee sentiments. It’s impossible to manually go over 1000 answers and come back with the complete content analysis. The Text Analysis feature in enterprise survey solutions is built on google’s impressive Natural Language Processing (NPL) capabilities.
NLP allows computers to understand, interpret, and manipulate the human language. It is a branch of artificial intelligence—a means to bridge the gap between human and binary languages.
Focusing on EX calls for attention to be paid to all levels of the Maslow hierarchy. It requires addressing job safety, and retention needs as well as not compromising on pending promotions and professional growth in crisis times. Every manager’s priority list should include empathy, openness, and trust. These are a few proven concepts; successful remote working organizations are following through.
- First comes empathy. It would help if you made time to listen to your employees. Understand their concerns and create time for informal bonding.
Be clear on expected performance goals and outcomes. Continuously check-in. Provide feedback at every stage; maintain motivation.
Do not micro-manage projects, believe that work will be done. Ensure when to step in for checks and help and when to get out of the way.
Cannot emphasize enough on the importance of Communication. Communicate often. Establish a consistent, regular, and inclusive schedule for Communication with your team.
During a moment of national crisis, it is easy to dismiss the value of reflecting on Employee experience. We should not ignore the hard lessons learned from past natural disasters and recessions, that investing in employees always provides the best returns. In the long run, this will put the business back in the place it was, and guarantee continued success through the loyalty, devotion, and determination of its employees.
Improving employee experience in an organization can mean moving to flexible work models, such as four days’ workweeks, to make sure people take enough time off. To maintain a work-life balance in the times of diluting boundaries. To some, it may mean identifying ways to ensure that career and life-defining events are celebrated in meaningful ways in a virtual environment.
How is the company’s workplace experience going to look like in another six months? Now, imagine a year? How can we even comprehend it? It’s a challenge and an opportunity, in case you want to introduce a new system or understand the real deal-breaker, for shaping and creating something new.
A good start is to describe (or reaffirm) employee engagement from the employees’ perspective, and where they are right now. If you haven’t done a pulse survey recently, now is a good time to ask: How do employees feel about their careers, their interactions with colleagues, their day-to-day experiences with your organization? How could you help?
Up-till now, HR Managers were focused on developing their organizations’ muscles around employee experience and are working towards shifting the entire plan and strategy to redefine employee experience and identify and deliver in real-time, all the aspects that matter.
This needs to be revisited, redefined, and reinvented. And now is the perfect time to get going for organizations that have not yet started or are in the early stages of shaping and articulating what employee experience means. Since all about work and the concept of employee engagement has changed, and there will certainly be more change to come.
The pressures and ambiguity created by the COVID-19 pandemic have completely changed what it means to be an employee of an organization (provided you’re amongst the fortunate who are still employed). And what consolidates employee experience today is different from what people understood of it as on January 1st of this year.