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How to improve Employee Experience (EX): 5 learnings.

Employee Experience

As if the HR technology landscape is not complex enough, a new concept has emerged in the last few years. Employee experience: abbreviated to “EX”. What is it? Why is it important? How do you improve it? In this blog, we help you get started.

It’s fairly easy to understand the employee lifecycle model: a prospective candidate looks at your job ad, goes through your recruitment process, and is “on-boarded”. As your employees work for your company, you go into a continuous loop of letting them know how well they are doing (and you celebrate their success), or you offer them learning and development opportunities when they need it. You do all you can to retain your staff, until they leave. So far, so good.

Why is Employee Experience important?

The problem is that EVERY employer is aware of this process and is trying to get this cycle right. Some more successfully than others. So how do you stand out of the crowd? When money is less and less of a primary motivating factor, how do you create a competitive edge over other employers? How do you maximise employee experience so people stay longer at your company? Introducing the “EX” or Employee Experience.

What is Employee Experience?

In a way, it’s employee engagement 2.0. Combined with performance management 2.0 and aspects of well being. It’s a response to a number of changes in our HR landscape:

  1. The next generation employees (millennials, Gen-z, and so on) want more opportunity to have their say. They are quite different in many ways to Gen-x (let alone the boomers).
  2. Pandemics, digitization, economic changes are all driving changes in all aspects or running a business, including HR
  3. We live in a world of personalisation: personalised medication, personalised travel, personalised retail
  4. Social media is so pervasive and potentially destructive to a company’s brand that you have to be ready for employees sharing their experience at your office with the wide world

How to improve Employee Experience?

OK, that’s fairly straightforward. So what do you do about it? As usual, there is no silver bullet. It’s a mix of a number of things. First there is culture, a fluffy notion, something between how the organisation is structured, its values, sense of purpose, the vibe, the energy, what your gut feel says about the company. Get the culture right, and the employee experience is very likely to be pretty damn good. Then there is the technology environment: how well are your systems integrated? How antiquated are your IT tools? And don’t forget the physical environment: even when people work from home often, there most likely will be times when you come together regularly as a team, in a physical environment. How do people experience those moments?

About listening to Employees

One of the key ingredients of measuring employee experience is through surveys. Over the last few decades, we have seen many come and go

  • 360 degree reviews
  • Exit interviews
  • Engagement surveys
  • On-boarding survey
  • Training feedback survey
  • Performance reviews
  • Pulse surveys

And we left out a few from this list! In our MyBig5 app, we first implemented the tried and tested engagement survey, including the question that measures employee net promoter score or eNPS. Employees can give each other feedback on any of their goals, so that allows for 360 degree reviews. And we also implemented a pulse survey with free text questions and free text answers, which can be “always on”.

5 learnings about EX

One of the key ingredients to improving EX is making sure you have the right tools to implement your EX strategy. MyBig5 is such a tool. We implemented Performance management 2.0, Time Management and Employee Engagement features in a tool that makes these elements interact seamlessly. But more importantly: we designed the tool with the employee at the heart of everything. MyBig5 is not a tool that you leave behind when you leave a company. It’s part of your CV, part of your career. You keep it for as long as you want to share YOUR performance record and YOUR experiences.

Thanks to MyBig5 you can tick off a few important key steps to a better employee experience

  1. Enlist C suite support: using MyBig5 starts with the company leadership setting Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) as North Star for all staff
  2. Combine operational and experience data: everyone sets 5 weekly goals that align with the OKRs. But we also capture people’s experience through check-ins.
  3. Listen to your employees: we integrated employee engagement surveys. Our AI Bot “Pol” is always there to listen to you and guide you along the way
  4. Measure it: our dashboard brings it all together with AI driven insights
  5. Use the right tool. MyBig5 is an excellent example

When you collect regular feedback from your employees about moments that matter, it will be easier to define your EX strategy. Listening to your employees is vital. The challenge is to run reviews in such a manner that people don’t get sick of it. Use performance reviews, employee engagement surveys, pulse surveys and direct employee to employee feedback sparingly.

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