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Emily Weissang

What Can You Do to Elevate Employee Experience?

Want to make sure that your employee experience stands out for all the right reasons? Let's explore how you can create a stellar employee experience.

Great employee experience is difficult to achieve, but very easy to take a stand on.

It's not one of those controversial business practices that promise dubious outcomes. With this one, it's clear as day that when done right it brings endless returns.

Resource managers have a leading role to play in just how good the employee experience is at their company. They get to be both a fly on the wall analyzing what people need to feel happier at work, and a catalyst bringing about positive change.

This guide will show you the best things you can do to elevate employee experience and the role resource management has to play in that process.

What is meant by employee experience?

In short, employee experience is the relationship your employees have with the company. It could be anything from outstanding, to "a solid seven out of ten", right through frustrating, downright bad, or just plain uninspiring and mediocre.

Everything and anything that falls under the category of employee-employer interactions has an impact on employee experience — from the hiring and onboarding experience, to daily workload and team dynamics, to company culture, and even the exit process.

As it is influenced by so many touchpoints, employee experience is not something that you can change overnight with a few quick fixes. It should be considered as a factor in every decision that affects the organization.

Why is employee experience important?

Employee experience can make or break an organization. Get your employee experience strategy right, and you will have the competitive advantage over other companies — a highly skilled, motivated workforce, who feel like they personally have a stake in whether the business thrives and achieves ambitious goals.

Get it wrong, and you will see demoralized staff, high employee turnover rates, and unfavorable employee feedback on company review sites.

But let's focus on the benefits that come with good employee experience management.

Helps attract and retain talent

Organizations with engaged employees see 59% lower employee turnover, according to a recent study by Gallup. And retaining top talent is even more difficult than hiring it.

By listening to your employees and investing effort in their career development you can ensure their genuine involvement in the company's long-term goals.

Improves productivity

How people go about their day and identify where they need to place their focus is determined by processes and SOPs, but also by culture. When there is a lack of structure and consistent, positive leadership, employee productivity falters.  

In 2023, Microsoft released a report where they looked into the things that disrupt productivity. Here is how the respondents ranked the items based on their influence:

Increases business outputs

A study by MIT's Center for Information Systems Research found that organizations with highly engaged employees report higher levels of customer satisfaction and Net Promoter Score (how likely customers are to recommend them to a friend) and generate 25% higher profits than those with lower employee experience levels and disengaged employees.  

In other words, this means that investing in a reliable employee experience framework is not only a matter of company reputation, but also financial gains.

Builds company reputation

If a trusted friend told you all about their great employer and how much they enjoy going to work every day, wouldn't you be interested in joining that company?

In marketing, word-of-mouth recommendations are the Holy Grail, but it's difficult to fake - for people to go around recommending your product or service, they have to really believe in it.

Positive employee experience works in a similar way. If you want your employees to recommend your company to their network, you'll need to offer a stellar employee experience so that they genuinely want to endorse your company to their connections.

Helps maximize resources and creates flexibility

When people are happy at work, they are more likely to go the extra mile or show added flexibility when trying to reach a common goal.

Being equally invested into a single ambition, people tend to come together and get creative about the ways they could ensure business success.

What employees expect from their employer

Employee experience as a concept has come a long way, and together with it, people's expectations have evolved.

Here are a few green flags employees tend to look for in their future employers:

  • Flexibility. Hybrid work, async, remote work — these are among the fundamental elements of the future of work. People want to break free from the strict 9 to 5. After all, many people have responsibilities outside of work, and they want an employer that respects this.
  • Employee recognition. 92% of millennials say that feeling accomplished and recognized for their efforts is 'very important' or 'important' to them at work.
  • Support in work-life balance. Applicants are particularly interested in the work-life balance initiatives that an employer can offer to them, like mental health or volunteering programs.
  • Growth opportunities. Many people look for new roles that offer development opportunities or stepping stones to the future career they aspire towards. Not to mention that, in many industries, the technology changes so fast that staying with an employer that doesn't invest in training and upskilling can actually harm an individual's future prospects.
  • A culture of trust. People want to feel trusted at work. And this trust works in many ways: it is about the relationship between individuals as well as leadership's trust in employees.

What steps should you take to elevate employee experience?

Let's look at some strategies that can have a serious impact on employee experience:

Establish a 'people first' culture

The 'people first culture' is a business strategy that revolves around human centric employee experience. It puts employees, their well-being and job satisfaction at the forefront of key business decisions.

Build psychological safety in the workplace

Psychological safety is a culture and a type of environment you build at work. One where people feel happy and comfortable being their true selves. They should feel at ease speaking out, be empowered to provide honest feedback (even if it is negative), and feel able to see mistakes as a part of their learning curve rather than a failure that can endanger their position or reputation.

Learn more about building teams that thrive on a basis of trust and respect with our guide to building Healthy Teams ➡️

Give people the right to disconnect

Ever had date night with your partner ruined by an 'urgent' call from your boss? Or been sat on a beach during your vacation, trying to ignore the pinging notifications as the work group chat blows up about some disaster that's now awaiting you when you return to the office?

Needless to say, people need time to switch off - but constant digital intrusions make this very difficult. The right to disconnect is about giving people the space to turn off from work, take a break, and get on with their personal life.

How can resource management create a positive employee experience?

Introducing resource management is a tried and tested way to improve the employee journey, among all the other benefits it brings.

From ensuring a balanced resource allocation and eliminating disproportionately heavy workloads to proactively monitoring employee experience metrics and gathering data for employee training, upskilling and engagement — resource management serves to improve many aspects of employee experience.

It gives employees a voice

One of the core functions of a resource manager is about connecting the dots and listening to all the stakeholders in the company. A resource manager needs to identify the struggles people on different levels face and see how strategic workload management can tackle that.

In our recent conversation about ways to grow the resource management function, Laura Dean Smith, Director of RMO Operations at Clarivate,  talked about the listening tours she does to investigate the pain points resource managers can solve at her company:

Through my listening tour with them [I] identified some common themes that I saw as some areas where people were struggling, finding some challenges... some experiencing some overload, and some in their work on a regular basis that I thought that resource management could come in and help and really best serve the business as well."

Helps people work on things they enjoy the most

It's not rocket science: people are happier when they are working on something they enjoy and feel passionate about. Working on a project where you "click" with the content, the challenges, and the team elevates motivation and helps you become more excited and creative, ready to think outside the box to reach project goals.

Resource managers have unique access to information about people's passions and interests, and can see what constitutes meaningful work for their teams. This information can be used to influence allocation decisions by giving people the opportunities to work on projects that align with their interests and aspirations.

In our webinar "Resource Management Mistakes Not to Repeat in 2024", Martha Arias, Senior Resource Management Director at Jobs for the Future, mentioned it as one of the most essential things you can't afford to miss:

You want to think about the team members in which you staff to projects, right? Do they feel supported? Do they feel that they're getting good quality matches to their work and their skills? Are they getting stretch opportunities at a specific rate? We look at that too, because we want people to be growing and feel like they're growing at our organisation."

Helps control workloads and ensure good work-life balance

Ignore the stats around work-life balance statistics at your peril. Recent research by World Economic Forum found that nearly 50% of workers would leave their job if it stopped them from enjoying their life.

The importance of work-life balance cannot be overstated, and resource management is a vital piece in the puzzle that makes jobs sustainable in the long-term

By tracking utilization rate, for instance, you can instantly tell when some of your team members have too much on their plate and will need to work overtime.

With that information at hand, you can reshuffle tasks, reassign something to experts who still have some capacity, or hire more experts if a certain skill is in high demand (incidentally, Runn makes this whole process incredibly simple - from identifying the capacity issue, to making the reallocation).

utilization rate in Runn

In our webinar "Resourcing for Success: Best Practices Every Manager Should Know", Christine Robinson, former Director of Resource Management at Baker Tilly, talked about the hours people register at work and the way properly tracking utilization can make all the difference in having organization-wide workload clarity:

"it's not just about individual hours but the collective impact they have on organizational performance. This influences decisions affecting everything from meeting objectives to providing opportunities for professional growth like training or attending conferences. It's crucial to understand that these figures reflect the workload necessary for successful operations."

Ensures personal and professional growth

Most employees join an organization with specific career goals in mind and some clear ideas of what skills they want to develop.

As a resource manager, you can investigate what those career goals are. In fact, this is an integral part of good employee retention that all business leaders recognize.

Christine Robinson, for instance, says it is a promise the company gives to their people and need to be sure to deliver if they want to achieve exceptional employee experience:

In terms of measuring the employee experience and how can that really tie into the resource management process, I'd say generally speaking organizations have individuals set out goals at a certain part of the year. How is the resource management process contributing to those goals? Right, if an individual has laid out three goals as it relates to the type of opportunity that they want to work on this year, have we delivered on that promise?"

But resource management can go even further than this, helping you build a structured plan of employee growth and development if you keep a skills inventory.

In Runn's skills inventory, you can look into every expert and see what skills and passions they have, what it is they still want to develop and where they want to grow.

Based on this information you can make more accurate decisions on assigning the right people to the right projects, improving overall employee engagement and employee satisfaction.

skills inventory in Runn

Elevate employee experience with resource management

Ready to get that needle moving and start exploring resource management to create an outstanding employee experience? Book a demo with Runn today and talk to our expert team, or check out some of our guides to building a resource management practice in your organization:

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