3 Actionable Areas That Influence Employee Experiences
Keeping employees motivated and engaged remains a top priority for most companies. Budgets are commonly allocated towards incentives to help drive performance and achieve short wins among those competitive team members. These real-time initiatives are necessary, but decision makers may question the impact they can have on engaging an entire team and whether they hold any long-term value.
Looking beyond incentives, consider cost effective approaches that can supplement your incentive strategy to drive motivation. Think about the entire employee experience. The life cycle an employee has throughout his or her journey within a company has important touch points along the way. Put yourself in their shoes and understand what they value and appreciate. Similar to how you personalize your customers’ experiences, do the same for your employees.
The following are three areas that can impact employee experiences, followed by actions to influence them:
- Enhanced Work Purpose
- Transparent Two-Way Communication
- Meaningful Recognition
1) Identify Purpose and Align to Achieve
A job doesn’t just have to be a means to generate income. People may have other personal goals to grow and improve themselves. Take a different perspective and don’t just look at a role or position as just a job measured by performance metrics. How can you humanize the employee experience?
Understanding purpose allows you cater to specific needs and interests. This clearer picture will help you target and build a platform for all employees to grow if they choose to take advantage. Here are some relevant examples:
- Implement mentor programs that have dual benefits. Mentors can gain leadership skills while mentees can expand learning beyond their job function.
- Build a career program that builds isolated skills, such as communication, time management, public speaking, leadership, etc.
- Have regular community support programs and initiatives that encourage out-of-office participation, team building and plenty of volunteer leadership opportunities.
2) Eliminate Assumptions Through Open Dialogue
It’s a two-way street. Employees need to be delivered information on a regular basis, while having an outlet to provide feedback. There’s often misunderstanding of what type of company information needs to be shared with employees. Regardless of how relevant it may seem to certain job functions, don’t assume anything and provide a voice that aligns every employee.
Corporate communication helps you keep everyone informed and focused on the same goal. The type of voice you want and how you deliver it is entirely up to you and dependent on how your company is structured. Town halls, corporate newsletters and physical kiosks or bulletin boards are all practical platforms that have different benefits. Town halls allow corporate leaders to personally address more high-level topics on direction while recognizing teams or individuals on a quarterly basis. Newsletters can be sent weekly with relevant updates, while on-site kiosks can serve as visual displays that have real-time impact and can be changed daily.
Employee surveys and focus groups are also important. Make sure you personalize questions and conversations when gathering insight. Be consistent in gathering data. Most importantly, summarize and acknowledge the insight you receive. Being an active listener is important in any two-way communication.
3) Build Meaningful Relationships through Recognition
Think more than just employee of the month. No matter what anyone says, it feels good to be acknowledged by others for doing a good job. It means even more knowing how your contributions made a difference to a greater goal. Award programs designed for achievement and performance are great, but inclusion and participation is even better if you can make it a part of employee recognition.
As you develop your programs, figure out a way to personalize recognition and give those employees opportunities to offer their insight or talk about their experience. For example, having recognized employees give a presentation on leadership or teamwork reassures the value they’re providing while adding another layer contribution. Allow them to offer feedback, or have high-level conversations with leadership. These are true experiences that leave lasting impressions that can prompt your team to inspire others.
Instead of just holding top-level awards for a select number of employees, explore ways you can recognize more people with the intention of encouraging interaction and meaningful conversations.