Why You Should Optimize Employee Experience in 2019 (and How to Do It)

Posted January 02, 2019

Tech and hiring predictions for the new year have been flying across the web. But what can business owners expect in 2019? Well, for savvy owners willing to learn and shift gears if needed, 2019 holds the promise of a better year and future.And along with all the wonderful things the year ahead holds for tech, science, medicine and more, 2019 will be the year of employee experience (EX). And more businesses are discovering just why it matters, and how they can get on board with it.

What is employee experience and why does it matter?

If you’ve been at all successful in the growing business landscape, it’s likely because you’ve honed in on the customer and creating the best experience for them across every touchpoint. Customer experience has been the focus for businesses over the last few years, leaving the employees--the backbone of the company--all but forgotten.And that has to change.Over the next decade, Millennials will account for 75% of the workforce, worldwide. And they don’t just want to show up to work. They want meaning, autonomy, flexibility, mentoring and connection. They want their work and their lives to matter. And in an era of low unemployment, when many companies are all but begging people to fill a role, creating a good employee experience matters more than ever.McKinsey defines employee experience as “companies and their people working together to create personalized, authentic experiences that ignite passion and tap into purpose to strengthen individual, team and company performance.” A majority (83%) of employers already believe that employee experience correlates to company success.

Optimizing the employee experience

If you’ve been guilty of overlooking employee experience, here are 5 things you can implement in 2019 to create the best experience for your team and empower each individual to initiate company-wide success.

Create opportunities for learning and mentorship

Keeping skills up-to-date is vital for keeping pace with today’s fast-moving tech landscape. On-the-job training is good. But offering ongoing learning opportunities to your employees through online courses, physical classes or microlearning are a great way to show your team you have their interests and aspirations in mind. Providing mentorship or coaching programs can help individuals on your team develop the skills to move up in the company, feel more invested and take greater ownership of the work they do.

Implement flexibility in the workplace

Your employees have lives. That can be a difficult realization for many employers who want them to work every moment of the day--often at the cost of missing important life moments. Figure out how you can incorporate greater flexibility into your company. Whether that means giving people the ability to work remotely, setting weekly or monthly remote working days, or allowing flexible scheduling so people don’t have to choose between work or life, your team will be happier and more balanced.

Make good on the promises made to candidates early on

Companies can look really good from the outside, and during interviews. But if you want to know the real perception of your company, ask your employees. Far too often, as new hires settle in, they find their new company isn’t all it was portrayed to be pre-hire. When painting a picture of your company and culture to look good to candidates, make sure you’re taking that same picture and making it the reality for your employees. They’ll be happier, which could mean less turnover for you.

Seek feedback

Don’t just create a strategy for your employees that still manages to leave employees out of the mix. Get feedback from the boots-on-the-ground folks, your team, about what they value, and what you can do to make a better work environment. Creating a culture of listening breeds a sense of dignity for a team that knows that ideas and suggestions are valued.

Give recognition where it’s due

Everyone wants to be acknowledged for a job well done. Many employers wait for something that is out of the ordinary before they reward or recognize their employees. Make a habit of reinforcing good behavior by rewarding or recognizing your team, and they’ll continue to deliver. Create an encouraging environment by equipping employees and managers with the tools to recognize each other too. Whether that means a rousing lunchtime round of applause, a social media shoutout or a gift card, find new ways to let them know you (and everyone) sees the work they do--and it’s good.
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