By Katherine Schwartz
Demand Generation Specialist
Consider buying a new car. It’s an experience that’s notoriously frustrating—one most people dread. They hate pestering salesmen, haggling over price and interest rates, and signing dozens of documents. By the time they drive off the lot, most people are too exhausted to enjoy their purchase. The experience was simply draining. It’s the same concept for employee experience in the workplace.
Why is employee experience important? Because, unlike the experience of buying a car, you want employees to feel good coming to work! They shouldn’t dread the walk up to the building or feel tension when they sit down at a desk. They shouldn’t leave feeling drained at the end of the day. A good employee experience can prevent these negatives from ruining the productivity, comfort, and cohesiveness of an otherwise great workplace.
What is employee experience?
Employee experience is a self-explanatory term. It’s how your employees feel about their employment. Only in the past five years or so has employee experience become quantified as the sum of culture, technology, and workplace—though it’s most often correlated with the workplace, since that’s where all these variables come together.
In a genuine sense, employee experience is about making employees excited, proud, happy, and confident in and of the work they do. Companies capable of doing this create a positive employee experience; companies that fall short may deliver a negative or unexciting experience to workers. It’s an outcome largely dictated by the willingness and ability to meet and exceed employee needs, expectations, and standards.
10 reasons why employee experience matters
Every company wants happy employees, but employee experience goes far beyond making people happy. It’s about attaining the benefits that come along with happy, engaged, productive employees. Here are 10 reasons why employee experience matters and why it pays to create a positive one.
- Attract and retain talent. Skilled employees want to work in a place that embraces and supports them. A good experience means everything to someone who can punch their own ticket.
- Create camaraderie. A company’s workforce needs to function as a team. Bad employee experience can push people apart; good shared experiences bring them together.
- Enable work support. A good experience empowers employees to try their best. If their workplace projects an air of support, employees will feel confident about their work and less afraid of failure.
- Improve engagement. Employees with a positive view of their workplace enjoy a certain level of excitement about their job. They’re attentive and engaged, ready to do their best.
- Foster collaboration. Given a positive experience collaborating with their peers, employees won’t be afraid to ask for help, provide guidance, or work together—especially in an environment that supports them.
- Inspire creativity. Positivity breeds creativity. The ability to think clearly and creatively leads to benefits for businesses and employees alike. That creativity breeds innovation, which leads to growth.
- Prioritize wellbeing. If a workplace weighs heavy on someone, they’ll suffer under the weight of spending 40 hours a week there. Promoting a positive employee experience can impact mental health for the better.
- Feed the bottom line. A positive employee experience boosts the bottom line through everything from better efficiency to a higher caliber of work done. Happy employees drive revenue growth.
- Bolster company image. People talk. When the topic of work arises and employees say only good things, that word of mouth becomes part of the ethos of the company, and perception is often reality.
- Grow professionally. Employees who feel good about where they work grow in their professional endeavors. They do more, learn more, and feel comfortable taking on responsibility.
These benefits are all contingent on a positive experience and erased by a negative one. Return to the car analogy from above. If you have a wonderful experience at the dealership, you might be more willing to recommend them to a friend or pay a little extra for features you might not have otherwise. A bad experience may see you leave the lot without buying a car at all! From the moment of arrival to the moment of departure, experience means everything—especially for employees.
Reap the benefits of a great employee experience
At the end of the workday, positive employee experience has a direct correlation to business success. Employees who feel comfortable, welcome, accommodated, and empowered return this positive energy into the work they do, the interactions they share, and the company culture. These factors contribute to a business’ bottom line.
Pay close attention to employee experience in the workplace. Do they show up and leave in a good mood? Can they work efficiently and productively? Do they immerse themselves in the workplace? Look for the hallmarks of a good experience and address facets of the workplace where there’s friction, tension, and other negative sentiments.
Keep in mind that all people don’t need to be happy all the time, but an employee’s experience with their workplace should never be the reason they’re unhappy. If it is, it’s time to reshape the workplace and the experience.