The term ‘quiet quitting’ has recently been gaining traction in the media and, while not a new phenomenon, cases have surged following the pandemic. For those unfamiliar with the concept – quiet quitting is when an employee slowly withdraws from going above and beyond at work and becomes disengaged, doing only the bare minimum. One of the main reasons attributed to this is having a poor employee experience.
Employee disengagement can have serious repercussions for organisations, costing the UK economy over £340 billion annually in lost training and recruitment expenses, sick days, productivity, and more. Despite this, more than 50 percent of workers say that their employers either rarely ask, or do not ask at all, for employee feedback. This disconnect and failure to keep a real-time pulse on employee sentiment is short-sighted.
Today, more than ever, employers need to recognise the connection between the employee experience and the success of the organisation. Only then can they understand how best to help their workers feel more valued and heard, which ultimately will have a positive bearing on the customer experience too. So, where should they begin?
Persuading stakeholders to invest
The very first step in building an employee experience strategy is securing the backing of key stakeholders in an organisation – most often members of the C-suite. One sure-fire way to do this is to highlight facts and figures demonstrating how employee experience can lead to positive business results.
In fact, there is a direct link between employee engagement and reduced turnover, something that will save organisations thousands of pounds and demonstrates quite clearly the return on investment (ROI) of improving retention. By focusing on building a successful employee experience strategy, employers can attract and retain talent, transform quiet quitters into inspired individuals, and enjoy the organisational growth these employees will bring.
Developing an employee experience strategy
With project backing secured, it’s time to work on developing a strategy. A good, holistic employee experience strategy involves collecting employee feedback and insights and turning them into action. Through these insights, employers can not only discover the challenges employees are facing, but also work on the solutions together. Employees could also share their own innovative ideas for company improvement through feedback. In this way, their contribution will feel that much more impactful, and employee-derived initiatives often prove to be more long-lasting and sustainable.
Setting up a dedicated employee experience team – made up of representatives from across the business – should be a fundamental part of this strategy. Research shows that such teams are present in 93 percent of companies with successful employee experience programmes. While this should be spearheaded by a strong leader, it must not be the domain of one individual. Rather, all leaders in the company should be responsible for optimising the employee experience – which should also make it easier to identify and engage quiet quitters. A cross-functional employee experience team can then establish a governance process by defining KPIs, stakeholders, and other inputs all aligned with the organisation’s objectives and values.
With these essential elements in place, the focus can shift to the implementation of the strategy. Technology should play a central role – enabling employees to offer feedback and suggestions easily and employers to identify this feedback quickly and take action to resolve issues swiftly.
Tools such as ‘choose your own’ surveys, anytime listening surveys, and pulse surveys can be used to detect signs of employee distress more easily. As their names suggest, ‘anytime’ surveys are available to employees 24/7 across various channels so they can provide feedback at any point with a simple click of a button. Annual surveys that take into account all disciplines, ethnicities, educational levels, and gender identities can also be utilised as they reveal how employees feel about a range of key factors driving employee engagement, wellbeing, and inclusion. These may be more detailed than pulse surveys, which are typically shorter in length and carried out more frequently to assess continued engagement levels. AI-driven text and speech analytics can also be used effectively to analyse feedback insights at scale and in real-time.
Reassess, refine, repeat
Now, with an employee experience strategy underway, leaders must assess its effectiveness and make continued refinements by:
- Identifying how the initial KPIs have changed since implementing the employee experience strategy. It is also important to monitor tell-tale signs of quiet quitting such as meeting attendance, productivity, and performance outcomes, and be flexible in how problems are approached – changing course if needed based on the feedback employees provide.
- Bringing employee experience and customer experience data together to see how the two affect each other, as research continues to demonstrate they are deeply correlated. Generally, engaged employees perform better, which also leads to customers having more positive experiences. Similarly, happy customers put less stress on employees and drive greater revenue outcomes.
- Making sure employees feel safe sharing their feedback and allowing them to share identifiable feedback if they wish. Organisations can use this data to predict KPIs, such as retention, and develop a proactive response strategy to ensure their organisation remains responsive to enacting necessary change.
The impact of employee satisfaction
Organisational success cannot be achieved without engaged workers, and employee engagement is only possible if employers invest in a dedicated programme to understand employees’ needs and work towards their continued success. With an effective, focused strategy in place, organisations can avoid high employee turnover costs, garner positive feedback from both employees and customers, and, ultimately, keep ahead of the competition. Simply by focusing on employee experience, employers can transform quiet quitters into brand ambassadors who are ready to go above and beyond for their organisation.