Employee experience is top of mind at many organizations this year. In fact, a Deloitte study found that 84 percent rate this issue important, and 28 percent identify it as one of the three most urgent issues facing their organization in 2019. Despite this desire to improve the employee experience, only 9 percent believe they were ready to tackle it—which is no surprise. A strong employee experience strategy is quite involved, as it involves optimizing for every stage of the employee lifecycle, from hire to retire. But that doesn’t have to stop you from making incremental changes while you work out a comprehensive strategy. If you want to know how to improve your employee experience with some quick wins, look no further.
1. Assign a new hire buddy
Start the employee experience off on the right foot by assigning each new hire a buddy to help them acclimate and assimilate to your organization. A buddy is helpful for answering non-mission critical questions, such as where to get the best coffee, or what is appropriate to wear on casual Friday.
You can simply ask employees to volunteer out of the kindness of their hearts, or you can sweeten the deal by offering a budget to take their buddy out for coffee or lunch. Eighty seven percent of organizations that assign a buddy say that it's an effective way to speed up new hire proficiency, making this an easy win to boost the employee onboarding process.
2. Celebrate employee anniversaries and birthdays
Sometimes, it’s the little things that stand out and contribute to a positive employee experience—like remembering an employee work anniversary or birthday. This can be a simple gesture, like a Slack message, card, or banner to decorate the employee’s desk for the day. Or you could plan a team celebration over lunch or happy hour.
As your team grows, it might make more sense to plan a monthly group celebration for everyone with an anniversary or birthday. If you do, try to combine this with a smaller gesture to help each employee feel special.
3. Provide continuous feedback
Nobody likes waiting until an annual review to learn whether their manager is satisfied with their performance. Continuous feedback is important so employees feel adequately recognized for their contributions, and are given the opportunity to improve as needed.
As it stands, only 45 percent of employees are completely satisfied with the amount of recognition they receive. Furthermore, employees who don’t feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year. Employee recognition is so simple, it’s an easy win to improve your employee experience. Incorporate recognition into your company-wide and team meetings, and display it publicly via a physical or digital praise wall.
Constructive feedback is also useful for helping employees understand their areas for improvement—but this is best paired with an employee development plan. Giving people the opportunity—and the means—to improve can go a long way in improving the employee experience.
4. Solicit and implement employee feedback
Employees want to feel heard, but soliciting their feedback is only half of the solution—you also need to act on it.
Use regular employee surveys, from engagement and Pulse surveys to stay interviews and exit interviews, to collect employee feedback. Tie in anonymous feedback from sites like Glassdoor as well, to get a better view of how employees perceive your company.
Then make a plan to implement changes. You may find some low-hanging fruit to go after right away, while also earmarking some more strategic initiatives to consider long-term.
5. Offer promotions to deserving employees
Your employees want to know they have a future at your organization—or they will go elsewhere to meet their career goals. Show them there are opportunities for advancement by promoting talent where appropriate.
Initially, this could mean you source internal candidates for every open position, or more clearly communicate open roles with employees so they can easily apply. However, this is an area where it can pay to go beyond a quick win. You should also consider creating career maps and development plans for all employees to provide a roadmap for them to earn promotions.
6. Maintain your relationship with company alumni
A positive employee experience should extend well beyond the years someone works at your organization. The truth is, you need your company alumni to recommend your opportunities within their networks via referrals, and across online channels like Glassdoor. You also want to keep the door open for them to return at a later date as a “boomerang employee.”
Keep your employee offboarding experience cordial, so all company alumni feel respected and supported during their transition. Take note of which employees you’d rehire at a later date, and keep in touch over the years with company news and open opportunities. Your company alumni can be a powerful resource if you maintain a positive relationship with them.
Final thoughts on how to improve your employee experience
While a comprehensive employee experience strategy is a worthwhile endeavor, don’t let it intimidate you or stop you from making some quick changes now. You will surely find that optimizing for a great employee experience is an ongoing effort—and one that pays off. In fact, organizations among the top quartile of employee experience see twice the innovation, double the customer satisfaction, and 25 percent greater profitability than those among the bottom quartile. Employee experience is an important area to invest in, and there’s no better time than now to get started with some quick wins.