12 Employee experience best practices every HR leader should follow
A positive experience is a powerful thing. In any context, it’s one that we tend to think of favorably and are happy to repeat. Think of your favorite restaurant for a second. Yep, the one with the cozy ambiance, the waiter that always greets you with a smile, and the fresh food that’s second to none. It’s the overall experience that keeps you coming back.
The same is true at work. Fostering a positive employee experience attracts the right people and ultimately keeps them at your company in the long run. While competitive salaries and great benefits are important to upkeep, they’re easily replicable. The overarching experience your employees have with your organization is what’s bound to set you apart.
Having a memorable employee experience is a win-win for all. It makes people happy, motivated, and productive, which naturally increases employee retention, customer engagement, and profitability.
Want to drive your business there? Follow our tried-and-true best practices to foster a positive employee experience and happy company culture.
Tried-and-true best practices to create a positive employee experience
12 Employee experience best practices
The employee experience best practices you adopt can have a huge impact on creating a positive experience, encouraging employee engagement, and boosting job satisfaction. These simple yet effective tips apply to new employees and longstanding team members alike, so being mindful at each step is important.
Keep these 12 best practices in mind when building your employee experience strategy:
1. Make first impressions count
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so making it count off the bat is key. In the workplace, creating a positive employee experience starts with the hiring process. Are your job descriptions representative of the roles you’re hiring for? Do you keep a clear and open line of communication with your candidates? Do you share relevant feedback at each stage of the hiring process? Start with asking yourself these questions and tackling the basics.
Your first interactions are also a time to establish fit and connection. It’s when you should share your company values, stance on equal opportunity, mission and vision of the future, and all the fundamental elements that make your organization what it is. Making this clear from the get-go ensures alignment from day one and sets your new hires for long-term success at your company.
2. Ensure role clarity
If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to put employees on a path to great performance, you need to make their roles crystal clear. Role clarity helps them understand what is expected of them, what tasks they’re responsible for, how their work impacts their own goals and those of the company, and how they can expect their work to be evaluated.
Establishing role clarity and key performance indicators also makes every part of the employee journey smoother. During onboarding, role clarity leads to quick integration and employee engagement. Once team members are in full swing at work, understanding what their main purpose is gives them a sense of accountability, and ultimately helps them be more productive. And finally, in the development phase, clear roles lead to clear career goals and objectives.
Align on goals and expectations with a handy one-on-one template for clarifying roles and responsibilities.
3. Equip and enable managers
A huge part of a healthy employee experience stems from the quality of personal relationships team members establish with one another — and perhaps most notably with their managers.
Ensuring successful, healthy relationships between employees and their managers starts with equipping managers with effective managerial and communication skills. When employees feel respected, supported, seen, and heard by their leaders, it has a significant impact on positive employee experiences.
No matter their level of experience, you should provide managers with the tools they need to effectively engage their employees. The right training, conversation guides, and toolkits can help managers grow their own skills, so they can better provide professional and personal support, give honest feedback, and play a meaningful role in the employee journey.
🔑 This best practice is so key that we recently explored why manager enablement should be a top priority in 2023.
4. Champion internal communications
Good communication is at the heart of the strongest and longest standing relationships. This is true at work, too. For the sake of consistency and transparency, it really pays to standardize processes so that all employees feel included and informed.
We’re talking about making important information easily accessible, sharing company announcements in a clear and timely way, and giving employees and managers the tools they need to communicate effectively with each other.
It’s especially important that employees frequently feel heard and able to engage in effective two-way conversations with their leaders and peers. This starts with a supportive environment, proper listening (which is something we can all improve on!), and the right tools to enable it.
Advance your employee experience and ignite meaningful conversations with Officevibe’s leadership and conversation tools.
5. Promote team collaboration and trust
Without trust at work, your teams won’t pass the vibe check. A huge part of employee satisfaction comes from being part of a team you trust and enjoy working with. While building trust does take time, it’s easier to foster when it’s prioritized from the start. To get there, managers and organizations should encourage collaboration between new hires and their teams to start building trust right away.
Building strong, trusting relationships in the workplace takes a human touch, authenticity, and empathy. When you have these, employee engagement goes up, as do retention and business outcomes.
Create a team culture worth raving about with these 5 strategies to build team trust and boost collaboration.
6. Make employees feel valued
Engaged employees are ones who feel valued, recognized, and acknowledged for doing meaningful work. They not only have great personal experiences at work, but they also give back to the broader employee experience. That’s because proper employee recognition contributes massively to employee engagement and a positive workplace culture. Employees who feel valued at work are usually happier, more collaborative, and less likely to search for employment opportunities elsewhere.
Recognition programs offer great outlets for teammates to share a little love and appreciation. From listening and taking action on employee feedback, to sending personalized “thank you” messages, to celebrating important milestones, there are tons of ways to increase recognition in the workplace.
A delightful way to say thanks
Officevibe’s recognition features let you reward the little deeds and outstanding successes alike.
With prompts like “Who radiates positive energy?” and “Who’s been bringing their “A” game lately?”, your team can celebrate real moments, without cloaking it with corporate.
7. Provide a supportive work environment
Remote employees and those who prefer going to the office both need a supportive work environment to thrive. Everyone should have the freedom to work in the way that’s best for them, whether they need a comfortable space to collaborate, or the privacy to work without distraction.
A supportive work environment is far more conducive to encouraging employee engagement and creating a positive employee experience. It’s a place where employees can feel confident going to their managers with their concerns, and where employees are recognized for their hard work. It cultivates growth and encourages healthy work-life balance, which takes us to our next best practice.
Create a world-class employee experience
Engage, align, and enable your team with a friendly, people-first employee experience platform.
8. Prioritize health and well-being
Health is wealth, and at the end of the day, nothing is more important. That’s why prioritizing employee wellness has become more of a focus than ever before.
Leaders should support employees through consistency in a healthy company culture. This means regularly checking on their well-being, creating a caring environment where employees feel comfortable expressing themselves, and offering schedule flexibility to accommodate their physical and mental health needs.
Employees with healthy work-wellness balance tend to be happier in the long run. And happy employees are more likely to be engaged, take initiative, and have positive interactions with others. Making sure employees have access to the tools, resources, and support they need is a worthwhile investment on both a human and business level.
Take a pulse on your workforce’s wellbeing, keep tabs on company-wide metrics over time, and use feedback to develop your wellness programs with employee wellness surveys.
9. Listen to your employees
As we touched on before, employees who feel truly heard and acknowledged have a far more positive employee experience. Employee feedback is beneficial for both sides, so keeping communication channels open is key. You can collect feedback through regular one-on-one meetings between managers and their employees, pulse surveys, and even anonymous channels.
Gathering feedback allows you to understand what your employees really want from their roles, their manager, or the company in general. It can help you understand what inspires and motivates them, as well as the things that are holding them back.
Consistent listening and acting on employee feedback are huge factors in maintaining a great employee experience.
Give your teammates a safe space to share their honest thoughts using an anonymous employee feedback tool like Officevibe.
10. Set a performance management process in place
While the idea of performance evaluations might seem daunting to some, they actually play a key role in employee development and growth. Fair and transparent evaluations can build employee confidence and strengthen manager-employee relationships.
Performance management includes frequent performance reviews to give employees clear benchmarks on their progress. By having performance chats on a regular basis, everyone will be better acquainted with the process and less intimidated by it. Setting clear expectations leaves no room for surprises, as does being properly prepared.
We’ve put together 10 tips on how to handle performance review meetings with your employees to help you do just that.
11. Provide career development opportunities
If you want employees to be in for the long haul, you need to give them the opportunity to grow. Honing in on each employee’s strengths and skills, helping them build knowledge and expertise, and providing ample training improves the employee experience and helps establish loyalty.
Development programs give employees a better vision of their future with the company. So it’s important that managers support and guide them in their professional growth. Regular coaching, feedback, check-ins, training tools, and courses should all be available to your employees to make sure they’re getting the enriching employee experience they deserve.
Are employees feeling stuck in their roles? Is your organization growing and thinking of opening senior positions? Are people looking for opportunities elsewhere? It may be time for your managers to have the career development talk with their team members.
12. Nurture diversity, equity, and inclusion
Perhaps above all, a positive employee experience comes from feeling truly comfortable, safe, and valued at work, regardless of who you are. When employees’ differences are not just respected, but also celebrated, they have the opportunity to shine. A diverse team also offers different perspectives and helps overcome challenges more rapidly, which drives the entire company forward.
Everyone should feel welcome and included, which is why diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies and training are non-negotiable in the workplace and a key element of a healthy employee experience.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion surveys give you the feedback you need to inform your DEI policies and initiatives. Pull from these 21 DEI questions so you can regularly take note of everyone’s thoughts and sentiment.
The benefits of a great employee experience
The benefits of a great employee experience are abundant for both companies and employees:
Increased employee engagement
Employee engagement is the cornerstone of success, and employee experience is a huge factor in this. A Gallup study revealed that 65% of employees are disengaged, which highlights the drastic need to make employee experience a top priority.
You hear it time and time again: happy employees are more productive employees. It really is true, though. A study by Oxford University found that happier employees are in fact 13% more productive. It’s no secret that increased productivity is great for business, but it also adds to an overall feel-good experience for all.
Lower employee turnover
High employee retention is a reflection of a great employee experience. Gallup surveyed 2.7 million employees and found that engaged teams benefit from 18-43% lower turnover rates. And as an added bonus, they also found that engaged employees are 23 times more likely to recommend the company to others as a great place to work.
Enhanced customer experience
Every business wants to offer the best experience to both their customers and their employees. And the two go hand in hand. When employees are happy, they feel more engaged and invested in the company’s products and services, which has a knock-on effect on the experience they offer customers. Highly engaged teams achieve a 10% difference in customer ratings and an 18% difference in sales.
Better business results
We know your business’s bottom line is important. The good news is that you can have an impact on it by curating a stellar employee experience that motivates employees and keeps them engaged. The more motivated employees are, the more the quality of their work increases, which can boost profitability by 23%.
Improve your employee experience with data-backed software
Embracing and implementing these employee experience best practices should be part of your employee experience strategy. An employee experience platform like Officevibe offers effective tools like pulse surveys, anonymous feedback, and guides for one-on-one conversations to help you keep track and improve your employee experience at all times.
With your busy schedule, and a million and one tasks, every second counts. Let technology take care of capturing your employees’ sentiment regularly, so you can focus on building out your employee experience strategies.
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