Employee experience is a 2021 top-five priority for HR professionals. Directly attributed to levels of engagement and trends involving turnover, employee experience is of growing importance for organizations across a wide range of industries. For those serious about making needed improvements, solution strategies must involve the development of direct supervisors – the primary source of frustration for most employees. In this SoS short episode, AEU LEAD's Joe White offers four tips front-line managers can use to improve the employee experience.
Where are all the job applicants? Chances are you've said that, heard it, or felt the impact of it in one form or another over the past few months.
In today's episode, we're talking about current events involving the workforce; more specifically, we're discussing employee experience. Stay with us.
Hello, and thank you for joining us today. My name is Joe White and I'm the host of Supervisor Skills: Secrets of Success. The SOS Podcast Series is produced to create ongoing development opportunities for mid and front-line managers. With each episode, we take on topics of interest and share insights and perspectives for the benefit of our listeners.
In today's SOS short episode, we're focusing on employee experience. We're going to talk about what it is, why it's important, and how you can have an impact upon it. I think as you'll quickly see, this topic is a degree of urgency surrounded, and frankly could be one of the biggest challenges your organization may face in the near term. We have a lot to cover, so let's dive right in.
Employee experience. What is it? Employee experience is a combined reflection of how employees feel about working for a company. It begins during the recruiting and hiring process, is shaped daily through interactions with people and involvement with workstreams on the job, and constantly evolves over the duration of a worker's employment.
According to a study by Gartner, employee experience is a top-five priority for human resource professionals, and for good reason. It's related to any number of pain points companies are dealing with, none more important this very moment than turnover. Simply stated, when an employee doesn't have a good experience with a company, they're not staying. The job market has never been better for those willing to move and it's never been more difficult to backfill those leaving.
As for where to go and what to do, instead of focusing on recruiting and hiring new employees, you're far better off trying to keep the ones you have. Improving employee experience is the key and here's another incentive for doing so, if you address what's causing them to leave, you won't have to worry about hiring. You'll have plenty of applicants wanting to get in.
So where do you start? As a supervisor or manager, how can you help improve the employee's experience?
1. Develop rapport with them and earn their respect. According to a recent American Psychological Association survey, 75% of employees said the most stressful part of their job was dealing with their boss. One out of every two employees voluntarily leaving their job does so to escape their direct supervisor. We can't fix employee experience until we address the breakdown in relations that now exist between managers and their direct reports.
2. Make sure employees' basic needs are met. Here are a few questions that you might go through.
- Are new hires wowed or are they wooed with the onboarding process?
- Are tools and equipment required for their jobs readily available and in good repair?
- Where work authorization is required, are permits signed and ready to go when employees arrive?
- Do employees know what's expected of them? Are they provided with everything needed to be successful?
- Until you consistently provide for an employee's most basic needs, nothing else really matters.
3. Provide your employees a sense of belonging. Within each one of us exists a desire to feel as though we belong. Providing it goes a long way towards improving the employee's experience. When talking with employees, actively listen. Focus conversations on them and on things important to them and don't always talk shop.
4. Show value and appreciation for a job well done. As mentioned earlier, half of the employees who voluntarily leave companies do so to escape their boss. Of those, 75% cite not feeling valued or appreciated for the work they do as their primary motive. Thank employees when they go above and beyond, recognize performance that exceeds expectation, and do it in the moment. Equally as important, tie it back to business objectives for context and meaning. Any improvement at all in this area will have an immediate and profound effect on both you and those reporting to you.
The challenges of running a business in a post-COVID economy are really quite complex. Consumers appear to be ready to spend, companies are anxious to sell, but a lot of people aren't ready to go back to work. For companies to survive and even thrive during this period of time, they must address factors driving turnover. It starts with a closer examination of the employee experience and must involve efforts to improve the interface and interaction between them and their frontline supervisors.
Thank you for joining us today. It's my sincere hope that you found this topic and discussion of value and benefit. We look forward to sharing additional podcasts with you in the months ahead and welcome any suggestions you might have or topics you'd like to see us cover. We're always looking for guests that enjoy sharing insights and success stories from the field. If that's something you'd like to be a part of, just let us know.
The SOS Podcast Series is brought to you by AEU LEAD, a consultancy dedicated to the needs of mid and front-line managers. We value and appreciate any feedback and encourage you to review and rate your experience with this show wherever you access your podcast.
For additional information about AEU LEAD, or to follow us on social media, please use the links in the show notes accompanying this episode. That's it for now. Stay safe and thanks for listening.
About Joe White
As Director of AEU LEAD, Joe White focuses on helping members transform operational goals into actionable plans through a structured change management process. Prior to joining AEU, Joe was a senior consultant for E.I. DuPont’s consulting division, DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS). He joined DSS in 2011 to develop the next generation of safety practices using extensive research in behavioral sciences he’s compiled over a period of nearly two decades. His efforts resulted in the development of The Risk Factor, which is now the flagship instructor-led offering for the consulting division. Combined, Joe has 26 years of operational safety experience, the majority of which was with DuPont. Joe has been published in Occupational Health & Safety Magazine for his prominent work in safety relative to behavioral and neurosciences and is an event speaker at many leading industry conferences including National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expos, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), and National Maritime Safety Association (NMSA). Joe is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and has a B.S., in Safety and Risk Administration.