Guest Contributor

Millennial-inspired Ways to Enhance Employee Experience

Story Highlights
  • We are nearing 2020, and it is high time we pivot focus from overall employee experience to our key segment that is new to enter the workforce- 'Millennials'.

By | Aisha Martinez | HR Consultant

Millennials may be one of the most researched generations in history. Studies show they put more prominence on corporate social responsibility, have more concern for the environment, place more significance on experiences rather than material things, and are proficient at building communities around shared interests.

According to the Governance Studies at Brookings report, about three-quarters of the entire workforce will comprise of millennials by 2025.

The varied and widely shared attitudes and beliefs of both generations has seemed to slowly be reshaping the image of significant corporations, nearing the end of the confrontational and bottom-line oriented world that Boomers and Gen-Xers have created.

Digitalization has led to higher transparency and growth in the influence of Millennials. This generation expects a more productive, enjoyable, and engaging work experience. Organizations have gone beyond their focus on culture and engagement to enhance their employees’ experience. Several pulse input systems, health and well-being software and interactive self-service resources are available to help HR teams understand and enhance their work experience. Most fortune 500 organizations have started adopting new approaches like employee journey maps and design thinking, and improvising on the tools they used to calculate employee net promoter scores to measure employee satisfaction.

  • As per Gartner 2019 Future of HR Survey, employee experience ranks as one of the top 3 Priorities for HR Leaders in 2019. Of which 51% percent of all HR leaders and 62% of heads of diversity and inclusion said it is a priority to improve the employee experience.

The Global Human Capital Trends research this year shows that the capacity of many organizations to address these issues of engagement and culture is down to 9%.

Many factors impact employee experience:

  • First, many organizations are yet to understand the value of employee experiences and their impacts; adopting annual engagement surveys is not the answer to avoiding bad employee experiences.
  • Second, while some companies have adopted the trend of creating a new C-suite role of employee experience officers, they have not equipped them with equally potent tech-support to design and deliver employee experience. They need to get fitted with the best in the market trends and tech at all times to engage employees on an ongoing basis (e.g., pulse surveys) to help all the decision-makers understand more elaborately what their employees expect and values. Employee net promoter score is another essential tool to discover employee sentiments more aptly.
  • Third, siloed HR departments often find it challenging to maintain a set of integrated priorities, ranging from management practices, workplace benefits to the work culture itself. Though many companies have figured a medium of maintaining ongoing engagement with employees, they still have not managed to pull together the disciplines of performance management, goal setting, diversity, inclusion, wellness, workplace design, and leadership into an integrated framework.

A Gallup study found that 87% of workers worldwide are either not engaged or actively disengaged. That means only 13% of the remaining population are driving the economy of the world. It also says disengaged employees cost US companies between $450 billion to $550 billion a year. Don’t you think it’s high time companies begin to make employee experience a priority?

Why don’t we start here!

  • Make Employee Experience Priority:

Understand the importance of integrated employee experience and is equally impactful to revenue as much is customer experience. A strategy is needed that is articulated to coordinate all aspects of work, workplace, and workforce. This strategy needs to be inclusive of employee wellness as much as beneficial to the organization.

  • Designate A Senior Leader as the Owner:

Allocate a senior leader the responsibility to orchestrate all aspects of engagement, learning, career development, organizational design, analytics, and culture. This will also include programs such as leadership development, performance management, workplace design, and rewards. This way, the HR team can focus on a more wholesome employee experience.

  • Take Up Design Thinking:

Don’t just listen to your employees, but hear what they say every day and learn from what they do, through that you can discover multiple ways of improving employee performance and enhancing productivity. Develop journey maps for your employees by developing employee personas.

  • Experience Matters For The Entire Workforce:

Every segment of the workforce is an equally important element of an organization’s unified employee experience metric. That includes new candidates, full-time employees, part-time employees, freelancers, gig employees, and even, often, alumni. Customer experience is a reflection of your employee experience. It is best to keep all of the segments strategically nurtured to advocate your brand at all times.

  • Look outside the Workplace:

Reconcile data from Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and other online platforms to spot areas of opportunity and weakness. Study the trends followed by top organizations and revisit your employee experience strategy. Investing in scientifically benchmarking experience shall pay for itself in terms of productivity and turnover.

  • Consider the impact of geography:

Although enhancing employee experience is a global initiative, but the approach varies as per geography and culture. Some cultures are predominantly collective or group-focused, while others are more individual-focused, the strategies also need to be in tandem with the culture

  • Don’t just track it, measure it:

There is an entire universe out there beyond annual or biannual engagement surveys. Most of the top organizations have shifted to regular pulse surveys and open feedback systems. Conducting candidate interviews, stay interviews, ongoing performance conversations, and exit interviews are the best way of building a complete, and real-time understanding of the issues faced by your employees. Advanced metrics like net promoter score helps you define employee experience against numbers, making it slightly easier for comparison and action.

There’s an app for everything!

The easy availability of the internet and mobile phones has led to an explosion of digital and mobile tools. A bunch of employee experience solutions are available in the market to assist the HR, design, and deliver a great employee experience:

  • Collaboration apps: Products such as Facebook’s Workplace, Slack, Microsoft Skype, Google G-suite, and Solutions from companies such as Basecamp, Trello, Asana, and 15Five have helped the HR move from the traditional and redundant email communication. Tools like these assist in making processes more team-centric and offer engaging platforms for learning, goal alignment, performance management, also for securely being able to share company information and computing resources among employees.
  • Engagement and feedback apps: Smart, focused feedback apps help empower every manager with the insights and actions that drive day-to-day improvements while enabling HR leaders to drive strategic transformation at scale. Tools like Surveymonkey, SoGoSurvey, Qualtrics help develop a unique and holistic approach that allows you to predict and take actions for closing the experience gaps that are most likely to reduce attrition and increase engagement.
  • Performance review apps: A new breed of continuous performance management products have emerged from vendors such as Reflektiv, BetterWorks, and SuccessFactors. These tools help the ongoing process of identifying, measuring, and developing the performance of the overall workforce.
  • Well-being apps: Wellness apps have been widely trending amongst the HR teams. Millennials have been well aware of the side-effects of sedentary corporate lives. Many wellness apps are available in the market that brings together competitions, fitness, groups, wearables integration, and micro-learning from vendors such as Limeaid and VirginPulse. These programs and health screenings are designed to help employees improve their overall physical and mental health.

While all these tools are valuable and readily available, the problem of lousy employee experience lies in the collaboration of all of these tools. With a few integrated toolsets on the market, organizations have to bring together independent C-suite experts to direct their focus on building an integrated, unified employee experience strategy that best suits the needs of your organization.

You have just decoded the secret to high-performing companies. Their ways to enrich the employee experience that leads to a more purposeful, productive, meaningful environment. What are you waiting for?

Author Bio:

Aisha Martinez Strategic HR generalist professional with experience in HR Operations, Compensation & Benefits, Business Partnering, Labour Laws, Talent Acquisition and Development Activities, PMS in multiple sectors such as Manufacturing and IT services in Aerospace & Defence industries, ITES & FMCG/Pharma industries. Which gives me a unique blend of Process-centric/quality-oriented work approach. I have written some articles for different HR specific mediums to cater to the changing needs of the HR world.

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