6 Strategies to Improve Employee Experience

Empower your organization to attract, develop and retain top talent.

Are you concerned that your employee turnover is higher than usual? It’s a worrying trend—one that’s also potentially set to increase in the coming years, with employee turnover forecasted to be 50–75% higher than organizations have experienced previously.

But why are organizations failing to retain talent? One of the reasons might be a failure to move from utility to employee experience (EX). Are you still assuming that people need to work? Your employees have changed, and this is forcing you as an organization to create a place where people truly want to be.

Imagine a bucket. Now punch some holes in it and then fill it with water. You won’t be able to miss all the water running out the bucket… Now imagine putting your efforts into fixing the holes instead of just adding more water. The holey bucket analogy applies to your talent too—if your focus is on attracting and recruiting talent, but your employee turnover is high, maybe it’s time to shift your focus and start building an employee experience management program to retain your talent.

But what’s the best way to “plug those holes”?

Why is Employee Feedback So Critical?

Your employees are your organization’s most valuable asset—put them first and your business results will follow.

When you’ve battled to attract and hire quality people, you don’t want to lose them. Employee churn will invariably eat into your HR team’s time and also your business’s bottom line. Your employees are no longer looking for just a job; they’re looking for an experience. Your strategy on how to retain and engage your employees is essential for your organization’s business outcomes.

Investing in a positive employee experience is crucial to creating an engaged workforce that wants to stay with you. It’s also an effective way of reducing staff turnover. Delivering a world-class employee experience will not only drive revenue and profitability, it will also impact other areas of your business, such as an improved customer experience, more innovation, a reduction in turnover and unwanted attrition, and improved performance and productivity.

And what’s the secret to a world-class employee experience that enables you to retain your employees? The answer is employee feedback. Think about it... Who can better provide you with the answers you need than your own employees? With a deep understanding of what your employees want and need, you can begin building a culture where your employees feel more engaged in their work. That’s why you need to gather and display employee feedback in real time across the entire employee lifecycle and identify and analyze organizational and talent levers that link to operational metrics to improve your business’s results.

Employee feedback can help you boost retention in our competitive talent landscape—but only if you use it to build a better workplace. After all, according to one study companies that invest in employee experience are four times more profitable than those that don’t.

The solution is an experience management platform.

What is The Qualtrics Experience Management (XM) Platform?

The Qualtrics XM Platform is a top-rated experience management platform. Organizations use Qualtrics to collect, manage, and act on experience data. It’s the only technology that enables continuous assessment of the four core experiences of business—customer, product, employee, and brand—in one platform.

Over 13,500 enterprises worldwide, including more than 85% of the Fortune 500, rely on Qualtrics to consistently build products that people love, create more loyal customers, develop a phenomenal employee-centric culture, and build iconic brands. Qualtrics will empower your team to be at every meaningful touchpoint, hear every stakeholder’s voice, for every experience, close every experience gap, and predict which changes will resonate most with stakeholders.

Qualtrics combines the world’s best technology for listening to feedback with automated and integrated workflows that drive action at every level of the organization. Whether you’re an executive, HR leader, intern, or anything in between, Qualtrics will be easy for you to utilize and understand. Qualtrics provides a high level of information within an easy-to-use platform because it was created to simplify the realm of experience management—it’s the very purpose for which it was built.

As one of the XM products, Qualtrics EX is focused on the employee experience. It’s designed to collect data on people to perform robust analytics and optimize decision-making based on generated insights to improve employee engagement. It leverages expert content from Qualtrics XM Solutions to provide onboarding and exit content, workflows, and automations that can be built directly into an organization’s existing HR processes. If you want to gather continuous feedback, from every employee experience, to enable actions that put your people first, this is the solution for you.

To sum up so far, here are five reasons organizations utilize an employee experience management platform:

  • Respond quickly to feedback

  • Measure and optimize in real-time

  • Spot opportunities and build data-driven roadmaps

  • Test and optimize your communication

  • Automatically identify and focus on the key EX drivers

Use Experiences to Turn Employees into Ambassadors

In the face of constant change, delivering a world-class employee experience framework is a challenge for any HR practitioner or leader. Considering that employee experience is ultimately about creating personalized experiences, you’ll need a helping hand from the people who can provide keen insight into how organizational policies or processes roll out in reality and offer practical solutions that can help you foster the kind of working environment where your people thrive.

Your employee experience management program should include employee feedback to measure engagement and experiences at key moments in the employee lifecycle.

Depending on the maturity of your organization, you’ll soon be on your way to designing a strong compelling employee experience (EX) program and boosting retention with these six steps:

1) Map Your Employee Journey – Identify Strengths & Weaknesses

Employee journey mapping is a very hands-on tool that enables you to deliver personalized experiences by understanding your employees at different moments stages in their lifecycle—as well as highlighting the needs, challenges, and opportunities in these moments. The employee journey usually consists of five stages:

2) Listen to Your Employees at Every Step of the Journey

Design your EX program around the employee, not the organization. To gain the understanding you need to act, you’ll need to listen to your employees at every touchpoint on the employee journey and generate feedback on a regular basis. The experience data you gather will tell you how your employees feel. Combined with the operational data you have, you can unlock a deep understanding of why things are happening in your organization and what you can do better.

3) Find Moments That Matter

The moments that are more likely to have a more significant impact than others on your employee’s happiness and satisfaction are the moments that matter. By paying attention to moments that matter to your employees, you’ll meet your employees where it matters to them. Creating a value-driven strategy around these moments will ensure that you never miss a chance to recognize important milestones and transitions in your employees’ lives.

4) Equip Your HR Teams & Managers to Improve the Employee Experience

Great EX is a constant development. You’ll need the right tools and training to ensure that your efforts are embedded within your organization, so it isn’t just a one-time thing. Invest in a digital platform that can be integrated with existing systems and is easy to build on, that supports your HR practitioners and managers, and that can help ensure continuous delivery and improvement of your employee experience.

Ensure HR professionals and managers are supported to have a positive impact with train-the-trainer sessions, toolkits, and visuals/dashboards. Have HR and managers team up to ensure that the employee feedback is heard, valued, and acted upon.

5) Channel Feedback Correctly

The two most important things when you consider how to channel your feedback are:

  • Only disturb when it’s absolutely needed

  • Make it easy for employees to give feedback

A carefully designed and conducted employee survey will allow you to curate important questions and deliver them to your customers in a simple manner—and limit disturbance in the workday. Surveys are an easy way to scale your EX program and for HR to structure and ensure that every employee is heard. You’ll gather a large amount of information with your EX program and, with surveys, it’s more easily processed and analyzed.

6) Act on Feedback – and Keep Acting

Last but not least, the most important thing is to act on the insights you get. Doing so means you’ll be sending a positive message to employees that they’re valued and their input is appreciated. However, if the management team or HR function isn’t fully committed and ready to really listen to and, most important, act on what employees are saying, then conducting a survey can falsely raise expectations among employees, leading to an employee relations disaster.

Communication at this stage is key. Communicate your findings—the good and the bad—with all employees in a format that’s simple. Celebrate your wins and highlight that the feedback is rewarded. Concentrate on your EX improvements and resulting business outcomes and recognize that to embed EX in your company culture, you need to broaden your traditional HR functions to recognize the importance of customer experience and how employee experience impacts it. This will take your business outcomes to a whole new level.

Why not make your company culture, technology and the physical workplace the best they can be and show your stakeholders how great you are?

How to Get Started with Surveys: Some Inspiration

When you’re ready to take the pulse on important topics like employee satisfaction and company culture, you might need some help to get started with routinely conducting employee surveys.

Consider these questions before you begin building your survey to ensure you build surveys with clear objectives and actionable questions:

  • Why are you conducting a survey? (in other words, choose a specific focus and goal.)

  • Have you previously conducted a similar survey, and are there questions that should be included, rewritten, or excluded from these surveys?

  • What are you measuring, and why?

  • Who will participate?

  • How do you plan to distribute the survey?

  • When will the survey take place?

  • How do you communicate results?

  • Who’s responsible for creating the survey?

  • Who will ensure changes driven by survey results are implemented and feedback is acted upon? Follow these simple guidelines when building your survey:

  • Consider the timing – disturb only when you need to and hit every touchpoint on the employee journey.

  • Keep it short and simple – find the balance of how long each survey should be and make it easy to fill out by limiting open-ended questions.

  • Ask the right questions – ask questions that will result in feedback that can be acted upon.

  • Include employees - pilot surveys to a test group of employees.

To give you an example, we’ve built a 360° feedback survey in Qualtrics. The purpose of the survey is to gather multiple inputs on performance. It’s a development tool for individual leaders and employees. The combined insights from the collective feedback process is then used to inform an individual’s development plan.

Turn Data Into Smiles

Gauge how your workforce really feels, so you can mitigate bad experiences and keep employees happy and engaged by continuously listening and improving experiences for every employee. Whether in the office, on job sites, or remotely, hear every voice in your organization with a listening engine that makes sure you can take action when and where it matters most.

From relational census and pulse to multi-rater and always-on feedback, you'll have the listening tools to understand and design the unique employee experiences your diverse workforce requires with Qualtrics XM.

To stay competitive, your organization needs both technology and people to be more agile than ever. Effective People’s proven approaches and frameworks to improve performance together with Qualtrics’ leading technology platform will empower you to design employee experiences that improve business performance. We’ll help you build a program from the ground up based on your requirements and goals. Our knowledge is your power. We look forward to working with you and Qualtrics to develop strong, data-driven solutions for tomorrow's workplace.

Unlock the secret to world-class employee experiences, designed around how they behave, how they work, and what they need. Contact Effective People to find out how.


About the author

Emilie Bodin is a certified Qualtrics Consultant at Effective People.

Emilie is an IT professional with experience in implementation, digital transformation, process improvement, project management, employee and customer experience, and HR. Emilie blogs about people and organizations; human-centered design, business experience, customer experience, employee experience, behavioral design, design thinking, and ideation.

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