How to optimize the Employee Journey – Part 2: Employee Experience

When an employee is finally hired after hard work, it is even more important to successfully bind him to the company. The same naturally also applies to employees who have been with the company for some time and are therefore among the most important know-how carriers. This is because the effort for recruiting is extremely increasing, and at the same time is less and less successful. Everything that an employee undergoes at his or her workplace – whether it is respectful and appreciative interaction with employees, the working environment or the modern technical equipment of the workplace – pays off in form of Employee Experience.

But what reasons make an employee stay with his employer and what does employees make really satisfied?

Employee loyalty based on enthusiasm

According to the Wrike Happiness Index 2019, the following factors are particularly important for people from Germany, France, Great Britain and the USA:

  • The salary,
  • to do a meaningful job,
  • flexible working hours and home office,
  • the location of the office,
  • the corporate culture and the leadership culture.

► However, the more satisfied employees are in their company, the less important is their salary.

The Germany-wide employee study Recruiting & Retention 2018 rates emotional reasons for employee loyalty as being the most important:

1. Satisfaction alone is no guarantee for a lasting bond to the company. More than a third of those surveyed, who were largely satisfied, stated that they wanted to change their employer. This is probably due to the fact that employees not only want to be satisfied but also be enthusiastic about their employer.

2. But: Surprisingly many dissatisfied employees (55 %) remain in their unloved employment, which is probably due to the lack of alternatives or the large effort of a job change.

3. Managers are in charge: the superior has the biggest influence on satisfaction. Respect and support are the decisive factors here.

4. Corporate culture is underestimated: a corporate atmosphere characterised by esteem and open communication contributes to employee loyalty and leads to recommendation of the company.

Companies must therefore be able to convince their employees of their products or services and get them involved, for example by involving them at an early stage in product development and strategic decisions. Managers need to be carefully selected and trained on how best to retain employees. The management also has a responsibility: it must exemplify an open, respectful corporate culture.

Employee loyalty due to agility

Another important factor, according to the Gallup Engagement Index, is a company’s agility. 43 percent of respondents who feel their organization is agile have a strong bond to it. Among those who consider their company only to some extent agile, it is only 22 percent and for non-agile companies only six percent. This is hardly surprising, as agile ways of working are known to lead to better teamwork, higher  performance and more creativity.

Workplace of the future

What about the ‘workplace of the future’? The digitisation of work equipment is a presupposition for generations Y and Z. After all, who wants to have to miss out on the comfort of smartphones at work – where you spend an enormous amount of your time? Software tools have to do annoying administrative work for employees at the click of a mouse. Information must be available the second it is generated to all users.

► Collaboration also plays an important role in optimising the Employee Experience. It is well known that the best possible networking and cooperation enhance employees’ satisfaction.

A collaboration platform can support companies in this. It connects employees and companies across departments and bundles all human resources management related communication. Employees can then, for example, view their time account on their smartphone at any time and determine how much vacation they still have. If they want to take a day off spontaneously, they can also do so at short notice from the sofa on a Sunday evening. The collaboration system sends the request immediately to the supervisor, who can also approve it on the smartphone within a few seconds.

The same applies to notification of illness. Employees can simply photograph their certificate with their smartphone and upload it to the collaboration platform. They don’t even have to get out of bed. Text recognition software reads the relevant data from the photo and validates it. The information then ends up in the ERP system and the supervisor is automatically informed of how long the employee is absent.

While HR Software used to focus on making life easier for the HR department, today the focus is on the employee. The most important goal is to make HR processes as simple as possible for them and to integrate them in a self-determined way.

Employee Journey: The Basis for HR Strategy

HR is no longer an administrative organisation. Instead, HR has become the strategic partner of the management. The focus is on the employees and their needs. The Employee Journey should therefore be the cornerstone of the HR strategy. HR has to design agile HR processes for employees and managers in order to make their daily work as flexible and simple as possible. The necessary appreciation is an essential aspect. And above all, employees want to be enthusiastic about their employer. This can be achieved through a positive corporate culture, strategic integration of employees and agility. If companies manage to do this, they no longer have to worry about unfaithful employees.