Want to Improve Employee Experience? Follow These 4 Steps

An employee’s experience with a company can affect longevity, satisfaction and retention at a company.

When we polled attendees at BambooHR’s annual virtual conference on their top concerns and their strategies for responding to them, the trendline is unmistakable: for the second year in a row, HR professionals named culture and employee experience as their top concern.

The repercussions of not addressing employee experience can result in high churn, low retention and low morale. In fact, recent data from Gallup found that two-thirds of employees (67%) feel disengaged at work.

In 2022 alone, BambooHR helped companies complete 489,000 employee satisfaction surveys. If you're unsure about how to start, BambooHR Employee Satisfaction can help you uncover how your employees really feel about your organization—or, read on to discover our best tips for improving employee experience over time.

How to Measure Employee Experience

Step 1: Clarify Your Mission, Vision, and Values

Just as your company mission provides a benchmark for your business objectives, your company values can serve as a benchmark for your employee experience objectives. Take the time to make sure your company’s mission, vision and values are clear, attainable and truly reflect the culture and experience you want for your employees.

Values often get the same reputation as single-serving employee experiences: ephemeral platitudes that make the organization sound good in an all-hands meeting before ending up as little more than wall decorations.

But values can be so much more—they can provide principles that guide employees in making the decisions that lead to the employee experience you’re trying to cultivate. Effective values help a great employee experience grow from the bottom up instead of being enforced from the top down.

Step 2: Conduct an Employee Satisfaction Survey

After using your values to define your employee experience benchmarks, the next step is to set up a cycle of regular feedback from your employees to evaluate how well your real employee experience matches your ideal employee experience. This works best as a cadence of surveys and conversations, with regular performance management supplementing scheduled organization-level assessments.

We recommend incorporating both direct and anonymous feedback into your assessments: direct feedback in the moment between employees and managers, and periodic anonymous pulse surveys to spot long-term trends employees may not feel comfortable talking about with their managers.

These anonymous surveys are most effective when conducted in HR software, preserving each response’s demographic information for analysis while assuring employees their criticisms won’t be tied directly to them.

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Step 3: Develop Employee Experience Benchmarks

Set data driven benchmarks. Employee experience benchmarks measure and compare the quality of the employee experience in an organization. Common employee benchmarks include:

  1. Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS).
  2. Gallup's Employee Engagement Index
  3. Turnover rate
  4. Glassdoor ratings
  5. Diversity and inclusion metrics

Based on the results of the benchmarks, start looking at trends and create an action plan. Decide on how you will watch and monitor employee satisfaction. With lower scores, deep dive with employees and be open to feedback that is provided.

4 Tips for Improving Employee Experience

Take a holistic view. Employees begin interacting with your organization as soon as they read the first words of your job ad. During hiring and onboarding, your new hires form impressions and make predictions for how their decision to join will turn out. A consistent experience throughout an employee’s (or candidate’s) time with your organization is key for building a favorable employer brand.

Cover basic needs first. If employees don’t feel secure in their basic psychological needs, then those needs will take precedence in their thoughts and attitudes at work until those basic needs are met. Your organization meets some of these needs with compensation to cover food and shelter, benefits to secure against disaster, and regular culture maintenance to preserve employees’ social needs. Regularly reviewing these areas and helping employees feel that they have room to grow is essential for developing positive workplace experiences.

Offer employees more than fun perks. This goes back to the difference between individual experiences or perks and a sustained positive experience. Create opportunities for growth and achievement and these become long-lasting motivators. Along with free snacks or nap pods, make sure your organization helps employees grow in meaningful ways, whether it’s developing new career skills or learning principles they can apply in their personal lives.

Create precise policies. There is so much more to an employee’s experience than official communication or intention. For example, if you have an unlimited PTO policy but a manager adds more criteria when employees try to use it, then that team doesn’t receive the intended work-life balance benefit. If your employee feedback uncovers such situations, it’s worth determining whether additional training is needed to align managers with the original intention—or if you need to change the current policy because it no longer fits with your values and strategy.

Next Steps: Level Up Employee Experience

Crafting a consistent employee experience takes a lot of thought, effort, communication, and coordination. All of this effort becomes more efficient than one-off experience events because employees recognize and internalize the consideration your organization has for them.

As employees continue to experience a great place to work, your organization can reap the rewards of engaged, satisfied employees—greater productivity, lower turnover, and better business outcomes.

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