15 March 2023

How to transform your employee experience

Employee experience transformation should be a priority for every brand in the modern workplace. But where do you start?

Read on to uncover five of the best ways to improve your employee experience.

The employee experience (EX) wasn’t likely to keep CEOs awake at night ten years ago.

Now, with plenty of employee moves and realignment at large, company boards are prioritising the “people agenda”. So much so that 92% of employers said enhancing EX is an important priority.

Suddenly, how people engage with their workplace has been elevated to a critical success factor.

The question is where do you start on your road to employee experience transformation? Let’s explore.

What is employee experience?

Employee experience is how a person views their journey with a brand at every touchpoint from hire to retire.

It is the sum of a person’s interaction within the organisation they work for, whether it’s good or bad. With this in mind, it’s essential to analyse both sides. It’s not just a case of focusing on what you can introduce in your employee experience strategy. It’s also a matter of evaluating your existing approach.

Good employee experiences can make professionals feel secure proud and successful, while bad ones can leave them feeling disengaged, resentful and scared. Both aspects are intrinsically linked and hold the key to employee experience transformation.

Why is employee experience important?

Employee experience is important for many reasons. The pandemic and Great Resignation have switched things up, with companies struggling to recruit and retain top talent.

Interestingly, 50% of HR leaders say positive employee experiences are the most important element needed to accelerate transformation in a company.

At McCann Synergy, we believe your people are your greatest asset. In developing and implementing an integrated, people-first employee experience strategy, you’ll empower your team to be their best and earn a meaningful role in their lives.

And when you create meaningful, valued experiences, you see positive outcomes both internally and externally, including:

  • Improved engagement and performance
  • Better retention rates
  • A fruitful work culture
  • Enhanced business growth

However, understanding the importance of employee experience and developing a positive people-first approach requires you to take certain actions.

5 ways to improve the employee experience

  1. Shake up your planning

Don’t rely on what’s always worked, and try to get away from business as usual for employee experience. Get your team together early on in the first quarter of the year and use business and communication priorities for your company to shape your engagement and ‘big bang’ experiences.

  1. Be generous

Our Heads of Consultancy and Strategy, Rika Banerji and Joe Hoppard, both predict that employee experience investment is business critical this year. So, make sure that you build in the right levels of investment – financially, and with time, thought, and consideration.

  1. Use behavioural science to nudge engagement

McKinsey has found that 70% of change programs fail to achieve their goals. That shortfall is largely down to resistance from employees, and a lack of management support. 

But when people are truly invested in change, it’s 30 per cent more likely to stick. It’s business critical not just to plan and instigate change but to embed it – and behavioural science helps make it possible. 

If you want people to do something, make it easy. If you don’t, make it hard. From change management to wellbeing to employee experience, for transformation to succeed, it’s vital to understand human behaviour and how to shape it. The most effective nudges are not always the most obvious.

  1. Unleash communication skills

As key members of your cascade channel, how your managers communicate employee experience is critical for success.

Take time to look at your leadership community and assess how well-informed and capable they are around employee engagement and communicating well with teams, as well as how skilled and confident they are to be ambassadors for your employee experience.

  1. Remember: design loves data

Enthusiasm can lead to a quick design and rollout of an employee experience, without properly testing it with your people. But if it’s not based on their actual needs, or forged collaboratively, then it’s unlikely to land well.

At McCann Synergy, we use data-driven design thinking.

Your engagement survey data, recruitment data, exit data and more all feed into employee experience transformation improvements.

The evidence makes your programme more robust, but it also supports buy-in. When you put decisions in the context of employees’ direct input and experiences through data, you lay the groundwork for stronger engagement.

Accelerate the employee experience transformation process

If you need a hand putting some of these ways of improving your employee experience into practice, we’re here to help.

Our Employee Experience (EX) Solution is based on design thinking – an iterative process that really gets to the heart of what your employees want and what the business needs to grow. 

Email our Managing Director, Gemma McGrattan, at gemma.mcgrattan@mccannsynergy.com to discuss how we can help you create meaningful, valued experiences that fuel the customer experience (CX) and gives employees a reason to join, stay and progress their careers.

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