Employee workplace experience is becoming increasingly more important as workers prioritise their sense of purpose and well-being in the workplace. This article explores the role employee workplace experience plays in an organisation’s success.
Workplace experience has always been an important factor in the success of any given organisation. However, the impact of the pandemic has shown that now more than ever, organisations that wish to succeed must be willing to invest resources into creating a culture that prioritises employee experience at all times. People are re-assessing every aspect of their lives and questioning what they can no longer accept – be it commuting three hours a day for work or missing out on important life events with family and friends.
What is workplace experience?
An employees workplace experience can be defined as “A set of perceptions that employees have about their experiences at work in response to their interactions with the organization” according to a global study undertaken by IBM Smarter Workforce Institute and human capital management firm Workhuman. The study also notes that workplace experience is “a positive and powerful – and ultimately human – experience, in which employees are able to invest more of their whole selves into the workplace.”
Unsurprisingly, organisations who fail to prioritise their employees workplace experience will lose the opportunity to bring out the very best in their employees and will end up paying for the consequences downstream; low staff morale, poor productivity and a terrible customer experience are just some of the issues they will face.
And so it really is in a company’s best interest to invest in employee workplace experience so it can enjoy a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce. Indeed, a superior employee experience brings many benefits to an organisation which we will now discuss in further detail.
More engaged and productive employees
Workplace experience has a direct impact on how engaged an employee is at work, or in other words, how positively an employee is occupied with or committed to his/her job. The better the experience, the more engaged and productive they are and vice versa. This is backed by research from global analytics and advice firm Gallup which shows that companies with a highly engaged workforce have 21% higher profitability. They also have 17% higher productivity than companies with a disengaged workforce.
Lower rates of absenteeism
A positive workplace experience translates into staff feeling happy and positive about going to work and contributing their efforts to a greater purpose. They are much less likely to be absent from work as they actually enjoy and look forward to the benefits of working in a positive and fulfilling environment. Research by happiness expert and Harvard University psychologist Shawn Achor proves that employee happiness levels influence job success more than IQ or skill set.
Better staff retention and acquisition
The World Economic Forum confirms that employee loyalty has been in decline for decades, but the pandemic has accelerated this issue with more people resigning from their jobs than ever before.
However, organisations that can offer a superior workplace experience can gain a real competitive advantage in the marketplace and will find they are rewarded with staff who are loyal to them, which is especially important during testing times. Indeed, research by the American Psychological Association has shown that very few employees would leave an organisation if they felt that the leadership was fully invested in their experience, and 89% would recommend their workplace to others.
Moreover, online platforms such as employee review site Glassdoor and LinkedIn make it harder for organisations to hide behind their brand name or glossy marketing campaigns by enabling employees to review their employee experience in a public forum (rather just an exit interview). This has wide-reaching consequences for talent acquisition as prospective candidates can find out a lot about company culture and the employee workplace experience without even having to apply for a job or go for an interview.
Better customer experience
A great workplace experience results in happier, more positive and productive employees which lead to happier customers. Employees who are happy to be at work are more likely to find solutions to help customers and have positive interactions with them. Indeed, according to Blake Morgan – a customer experience futurist – companies that lead in customer experience have 60% more engaged employees, and study after study has shown that investing in employee workplace experience impacts the customer experience and can generate a high return on investment for the company.
Greater staff well-being
The issue of employee well-being has been brought to the fore in recent years as organisations have battled the impact of the pandemic. Employers that prioritise staff well-being as part of a better workplace experience can expect to see an increase in staff performance, productivity and loyalty as employees feel more valued and supported.
Research undertaken by experience management company Qualtrics has shown that one of the reasons that employees want to leave their jobs is because they feel unsupported in terms of their health and well-being. The impact of the pandemic has resulted in many working longer hours and the transition to remote working has blurred the beginning and the end of the typical working day.
Consequently, it’s even more important for employers to assess their employee workplace experience and see how it has changed over the course of the pandemic.
Positive revenue growth
The cumulative effects of a positive workplace experience ultimately create a positive impact on a company’s reputation, revenue and profits. Happy, productive employees go over and above in terms of meeting targets, liaising with customers and creating an optimistic and encouraging work environment – all of which positively affects the bottom line. However, of course, the reverse is also true. According to Gallup, disengaged employees can cost companies between $450 and $550 billion dollars a year.
As we can see, employee workplace experience is crucial to the reputation and success of an organisation. For companies to create the kind of environment that fosters creativity, innovation and productivity, it’s important to view staff as assets that are worthy of investment rather than commodities that can easily be replaced. Investing in the employee experience is about protecting the most valuable asset any company has – which is of course its people.
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