Great onboarding is much more than a quick first-day orientation. It includes steps that help the new hire feel welcome and prepared to succeed during their first days, weeks, and months.
Include these key steps:
- Team introductions
- Executive introductions
- Facilities tour
- New hire paperwork
- Policy and culture training
- Job training
- Frequent coaching and guidance from the employee’s manager
- Setting performance goals and working toward them
Pay special attention to the onboarding needs of remote workers, especially if they aren’t able to come into the office for onboarding activities. Their needs are essentially the same, but they will likely need a lot of online communication to orient them and help them get up to speed.
You’ll learn much more about onboarding in chapter four of this guide, “Onboarding and Offboarding.”
Help employees feel their best.
Invest in an employee wellness program to promote good health. A wellness program can help improve morale, reduce absenteeism, lower health risks, and build camaraderie as employees have fun getting fit. At the same time, it helps reduce employer healthcare costs and boost productivity—a win-win!
Different folks have different wellness needs and interests.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- On-site gym and fitness classes
- Team sports
- Yoga classes
- Group walks
- Healthy snacks
- Friendly fitness competitions with company-provided prizes
A well-rounded wellness program should also include an employee assistance program (EAP). An EAP can provide help for mental health issues like stress and depression, as well as other issues that may adversely affect an employee’s work performance and quality of life.
Better physical and mental health can help your people feel good about all areas of their life, including work—so an employee wellness program is an excellent way to help you improve employee experience.
Act on employee feedback.
Many organizations do a great job of asking employees for feedback, but then they drop the ball by not acting on the findings. That’s worse than not asking in the first place. Employees may conclude that no one really cares what they think and lose interest.
To keep employees engaged and provide a great employee experience, the best companies let workers know they’ve been heard by following up on their suggestions. They communicate transparently with their employees, announcing new initiatives with a specific action plan and timetable.
This doesn’t mean leaders should do everything employees suggest. If certain employee suggestions aren’t feasible, the company should explain why they made a different choice instead of saying nothing. They should also seek further input and involvement from their workers as solutions are implemented and refined. Great companies consistently keep employees apprised of the results of their feedback—and continue to ask for more feedback.
Many of the best ideas and most important course corrections result from employee feedback. Your workers want to be heard, and your company will be better for it.
Let surveys help you choose the right benefits.
Do you know how satisfied your employees are with their current benefits? Do you know which benefits they would like you to add or change? Employee benefits surveys can give you the answers, helping to improve employee experience while ensuring your benefits budget delivers the most bang for the buck. A simple annual questionnaire enables you to learn how employees rate your benefits and compare them to competitors’ offerings.
As you weigh the survey results against your limited benefits budget, you may not be able to accommodate everyone’s requests, but you can prioritize based on doing the most good for the greatest number of people. Make decisions that are consistent with your company values and the kind of experience your organization wants to provide for its employees—and be sure to explain that to them.
Learn more about benefits in chapter six of this guide, “Compensation and Benefits.”
After all your efforts to improve it, how can you measure employee experience? By measuring its cousin, employee satisfaction.
Employee satisfaction is a metric that rates how employees feel about their employee experience, the work they do, and the company they work for. That’s every bit as important as it sounds: measuring employee satisfaction goes a long way toward sizing up an organization’s overall health.
Anonymous surveys are one of the best and simplest ways to measure employee satisfaction—just as they help evaluate other areas of culture and employee experience that we’ve discussed. The questions you should ask depend on your company’s circumstances, but to help you get started, this survey includes many questions that may be appropriate.
Also consider which type of survey will be best for your needs.
Here are two that may be especially helpful:
- Pulse surveys not only identify employee sentiments, they also track changes over time. To do this, they “take the pulse” of employees by asking the same questions regularly. Pulse surveys can help measure the effects of culture initiatives, turnover, changes in your organization, and many other factors that influence employee satisfaction.
- eNPS® surveys,* which use a method based on the popular Net Promoter System® from Bain & Co., help you understand whether employees would recommend your organization as a good place to work, and why—or why not. They ask only two key questions, which promotes higher participation rates and makes them simpler for you to administer and analyze.
In addition to surveys, having regular one-on-one conversations with workers about employee satisfaction can give leaders deeper insights. This can be done as part of periodic performance reviews or separately. Ask simple, open-ended questions that encourage thoughtful answers, such as:
- What are some things our company is doing well?
- What needs to improve?
- What do you like most about your job?
- If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be?
- Do you think you’ll still be with the company in five years? Why or why not?
The data you gather from surveys and one-on-ones can be enormously valuable—but as we’ve mentioned above, feedback is only useful if you act on it. Use your findings to create an action plan that will nurture specific improvements in employee satisfaction. This article lists eight great ways to do it.
In this chapter, you’ve seen how company culture and employee experience can work together to create a thriving organization that fosters greater employee satisfaction and success. But this won’t happen on its own; your company needs your help. No one is in a better position than HR to recognize the opportunities, identify solutions, and guide the efforts that will make your workplace shine.
Watching the results take shape can be one of the most satisfying parts of your job.
*Net Promoter, NPS, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks, and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are service marks, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld.