Mon, August 08, 2022
What do your employees think about working for your company? If you aren’t sure of the answer to this question, it will be difficult to determine what the employee experience (EX) is and where the opportunities to improve are. With many people considering their career options and looking for better experiences and opportunities post-pandemic, and with only 13% of employees fully satisfied with their experience, the time to focus on employee experience and engagement is now. As many as 40% of employees are thinking of quitting their jobs in the near future, with many contact centre operators experiencing higher than usual attrition.
How happy and satisfied your employees currently are is equally as important as your customers or clients, some may argue more so. Whilst crafting a perfect customer experience (CX) is very important to brands, the employee experience also requires focus. You could say the ability to deliver consistent CX hinges on EX as your employees are the people who will help to make your vision come to life in their day-to-day interactions with customers.
At Ventrica, as customer experience specialists we see both sides of this. We help deliver customer experiences for brands who work with us, but this is only possible through our attention to the employee experience. Without the dedication and commitment of our ‘Ventricans’ we wouldn’t be where we are today; internationally recognised, award-winning BPO providers. We’re an advocate for better employee experiences, so what exactly is EX and how can brands improve theirs?
How your employees perceive their time whilst working for your company, including their onboarding journey, training, day-to-day work experience, and how they feel, all play a part in the employee experience. Many people will perceive their EX differently from others, and one of the challenges for companies is being able to craft an employee experience that keeps everyone happy and motivated.
Since the events of 2020 saw remote working become routine for many companies, the task of being as employee-centric as possible has become more complex. Adjusting from having an in-office team to a fully remote or hybrid model - with a mixture of in-office and work from home employees - has tested employee experience and engagement for many. How do you create a culture where employees feel included whether working remote or in-office? With 87% of employees expecting their employers to support a healthy work-life balance, how do companies provide this whilst remaining productive and efficient?
Having a strong team and work ethic is important, but if the employee experience hasn’t been defined and mapped out, it becomes difficult to maintain this. Learning from your employees and listening to them is one of the key ways to improve employee experiences, and make them feel part of the company culture, connected to your brand values. If there is a disconnect between your company and your staff, retention can become a problem.
Ensuring the employee experience is consistent whether you have well-established, experienced workers or new starters is crucial. This consistency also needs to be provided whether they work remotely or in-office. It’s difficult to please everyone as the values and expectations a graduate or first-jobber have may differ from more experienced employees who are further into the work cycle. Workplace happiness may mean something completely different to both demographics for example. The relationship between your company and your employees has an impact on many areas including staff turnover, sales revenue, and even the customer experience, so working to improve EX is beneficial for the long-term success of your brand.
Brands that understand the connection between EX and CX can benefit the most from having an improved employee experience. It’s no coincidence that those providing the best customer experiences are also those that have highly engaged workers. Companies with engaged employees outperform their competition by 147%. The happier and more settled your employees are working for your company, the more this will reflect in how customers experience your brand.
Having highly trained staff that can do their job efficiently is a goal for most companies, especially if they are striving to provide a great customer experience. Having both happy employees and customers makes achieving your brand goals much easier, whether it’s increasing sales revenue or improving NPS. Getting to this stage requires the right approach to the employee journey and the training they receive. It’s also important when recruiting that you are finding the right talent that matches your values and can maintain the CX. This works both ways, with many job seekers also doing the same; finding the right fit for them in terms of brand values and reading company reviews that could be both positive and negative. People want to work for companies that share the same values as them, who are diverse and provide flexibility, with a reported 15% of job seekers turning down a job offer because of the company’s culture. If you can improve the employee experience, attract the best talent, and retain them, the impact on your CX is only going to be positive for your brand.
If you want to start improving the employee experience, you’ll need to know how best to approach this and how other companies have successfully done so. There are many different elements to consider, but the methods below can all help to gauge employee experience and engagement so you can discover where improvements are needed and understand what you are currently doing well.
Regular check-ins – understanding your employees requires the collection of feedback. Whilst some may actively do this by speaking to their line manager regularly, others may not, so providing an opportunity to provide feedback can help. Having regular check-ins with your employees, both individually and as a group, can be an effective way to improve engagement. This is especially important for remote workers who may feel isolated or disengaged compared to in-office staff.
Employee Engagement and Pulse surveys – creating surveys is a method used by many companies as they can receive feedback from many employees at once, and then easily analyse the results. These can be provided anonymously too, which may help some employees to provide more honest feedback. While employee engagement surveys are generally longer and will specifically ask questions about engagement, going into more detail, pulse surveys are a method of providing much shorter, quicker feedback and can be conducted more regularly.
Onboarding surveys – the onboarding process is a key part of a new starter’s journey, a period where an employee will learn a lot about the company and the role’s expectations. Having onboarding surveys is a way to document employees’ engagement and address any issues early in their job lifecycle. They will be able to provide crucial feedback so that the onboarding journey can be fine-tuned further for the next recruits.
Exit surveys – similarly to the onboarding process, getting feedback from employees who are leaving your company is highly valuable. An exit survey can discover insights into the reasons behind an employee leaving, whether the EX or other factors were the main reason for this. This feedback can be crucial to help improve employee experience and engagement for other staff.
Focus Groups – a focus group can bring together employees for collective feedback and is a great way to gather detailed information about the employee experience as an alternative to filling out a survey. With someone moderating the discussion, this can help you understand engagement around specific areas, such as a recent change in company policy, remote/hybrid working, and more.
People champions – appointing people champions is an effective way to understand engagement levels throughout your company. They can be a representative from each different team or department, responsible for bringing feedback and ideas from their group. Having a focal point so that an employee knows who to go to provide feedback on their engagement can help bring more togetherness and a feeling of belonging, as they know this feedback will be taken further for discussion.
At Ventrica, we’ve worked hard to look at the employee experience and how we measure and deliver a positive work environment. Many of the ideas above are part of our approach, including the appointment of 19 people champions across the company, pulse surveys for regular, quick feedback, and larger engagement surveys and events. Our most recent employee survey resulted in 92% recommending Ventrica as a great place to work.
Our Chief People Officer, Jo Regan-Iles, is central to this, helping us cement our approach as a people-centric organisation.
Jo commented: “Joining a new company is a two way process, so for an employee, their experience from the first time they speak to the company is really important. We need to build a relationship with trust, and it is essential that we listen to employees as they are the people that speak to your customers. If we treat employees as adults and build a partnership, then why would they want to leave?“
To learn more about how we craft not only improved employee experiences but also enhanced customer experiences for our clients, please contact us. We can assist using the latest CX software, including conversational commerce platforms, as well as outsourcing services to improve your customer service strategy.