How to Improve Employee Experience: 12 Essential Tips for Employers
What you invest into the employee experience is precisely what you receive back. And we are not just talking about money. Employees are up to 16 times more involved in a healthy work environment, and engaged teams have up to 59% lower turnover.
People stick with their employer if they are satisfied, which is important because most businesses find it much harder to retain their employees than to hire them, according to research by Zenefits.
That’s why understanding and improving employee experience isn't optional; it's a necessity.
If your company has a high turnover rate, start by analyzing the kind of employee experience you offer. If you discover areas for improvement, these tips will help you make your team want to stay with your company in the long run.
What is employee experience and why you should care about it
Employee experience includes every aspect of a person's journey within a company, from their first interview to their last day on the job. It shows how employees feel, what they think about the company, and how they describe their work to friends and family.
Finding and retaining top talent is increasingly challenging, especially due to global employment competition. For instance, the tech industry, as reported by LinkedIn, faces a high turnover rate of 13.2%, with employees changing jobs every two years on average.
From the moment a new job position is advertised, it takes 41 days to fill it, according to Forbes, while onboarding a new employee costs around $1,400. On top of that, a new hire often takes around six months to contribute more than they cost the company.
Engaged employees directly influence productivity, innovation, and company success. They contribute to positive customer interactions and enhance the company's market reputation.
Prioritizing employee experience leads to a motivated workforce and a strong company culture. It reduces costs and drives better performance and business success.
12 tips that improve employee experience in 2024
Discover how to improve employee experience with these 12 strategies:
1. Prioritize clarity and openness in communication
Open communication ensures all employees understand their roles, responsibilities, and the company's goals. When employees are clear about what is expected of them and feel their voices are heard, they are more engaged and satisfied at work.
To improve communication:
- Schedule regular team meetings where goals and expectations are laid out clearly, and employees can ask questions and provide feedback.
- Use simple HR tools, like HeartCount, for real-time employee sentiment and consistent and honest employee feedback to ensure their concerns and ideas are heard.
2. Optimize the onboarding process
A well-structured onboarding makes new employees feel welcome and valued, lowers anxiety, and prepares them for the role they’ll have at the company. A good onboarding process shortens the time it takes for new hires to become productive team members and improves job satisfaction and retention rates.
To improve onboarding:
- Use digital onboarding platforms that provide welcome videos to new employees, company policy handbooks, interactive training modules, and platforms for completing necessary paperwork.
- Assign a mentor or onboarding buddy to new employees to provide them with a go-to person for questions and guidance.
- Regularly check in during the first few weeks and months of a new hire’s employment to ensure new hires adjust well and have the needed support.
3. Support employees in professional growth
Identify and nurture individual employee skills and career aspirations, offering training programs, mentorship, and clear pathways to career progress.
Employees who feel their company is invested in their career development will likely be more satisfied, loyal, and motivated. This, in turn, improves employee retention and helps build a skilled team ready to meet future business challenges.
To encourage professional growth:
- Create personalized development plans for employees, including workshops, seminars, or online courses relevant to their roles. For example, use LinkedIn Learning or Coursera for company-sponsored courses.
- Make regular career development discussions a part of performance reviews to allow employees to express their aspirations and receive feedback upon achieving them.
4. Create frequent feedback cycles
Move beyond the traditional annual review to more frequent, informal check-ins that provide real-time insights into employee satisfaction, challenges, and needs.
Frequent feedback cycles help identify and address issues sooner. They contribute to open communication and continuous improvement. Employees feel valued and heard when their feedback is actively sought and addressed, which increases engagement and job satisfaction.
Use HeartCount for quick and regular employee surveys. This HR tool allows you to collect and analyze feedback easily. But remember, you must act on collected feedback - make changes based on employee suggestions, address concerns, or simply acknowledge the feedback and explain how it will be used.
5. Provide employees with flexibility
Flexibility fosters trust and respect. Employees who are provided with flexible work hours feel more responsible for their output and are more motivated and satisfied. Having this kind of autonomy also contributes to a better work-life balance, which is essential in today’s stressful work environment.
Companies that offer flexibility are often seen as more attractive employers, which helps with retention and recruitment.
To provide flexibility, while maintaining accountability:
- Set up guidelines that provide employees with flexible working hours and remote work options.
- Use tools like ClickUp and Asana for project management to coordinate tasks effectively, even when team members work remotely.
- Regularly check in to maintain the balance of flexibility and accountability.
6. Foster DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) initiatives
DEI is a holistic approach that recognizes and appreciates different backgrounds employees come from, ensures fairness throughout the employee lifecycle, and promotes a culture of belonging within a company.
DEI initiatives make sure every team member feels welcome, appreciated, and heard, and that they’re given the opportunity to contribute to company goals with their talent without fear of discrimination.
When treated fairly, employees will be more likely to stay with the company. A diverse and inclusive environment helps better understand and serve a diverse customer base, improving business performance.
Implement these initiatives through
- Diversity training programs
- Employee resource groups
- Diverse leadership and decision-making roles
Establish clear policies and procedures to address discrimination and promote inclusivity. Regularly gather feedback about the company's culture and inclusivity to improve continuously.
7. Empower employees with technology
Provide employees with the tools they need to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively. This includes up-to-date hardware, software, and access to digital platforms that facilitate collaboration, communication, and productivity.
The right tools will streamline workflows and reduce unnecessary stress and frustration. They make employees more productive and creative, as they spend less time struggling with inadequate or outdated technology.
- Invest in cloud-based collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams or Slack to improve communication, especially for remote teams.
- Project management software like Asana or Trello helps organize tasks and track progress.
- Ensure all employees have reliable hardware, such as laptops and smartphones, and train them to effectively use these technologies.
8. Encourage leadership to lead by example
Managers and executives should demonstrate the behavior and values they expect their employees to adhere to. When leaders lead their employees by example, it builds trust and respect within the organization and motivates employees to adopt positive behavior, creating more cohesive and productive teams.
In leadership evaluations, "leading by example" should be a key performance indicator. Leadership skills workshops and training sessions can reinforce this idea. Recognize and honor leaders who demonstrate this quality to inspire others to do the same.
Use HeartCount to organize regular feedback sessions so that employees can anonymously provide input regarding leadership effectiveness. Provide leaders with insights related to areas for improvement.
9. Survey employees for satisfaction
Consistently ask employees for feedback on various aspects of their job and workplace. This will help you understand their satisfaction with their roles, the work environment, leadership, work-life balance, and the overall company culture.
HeartCount offers pulse check surveys for teams that prioritize simplicity and efficiency, where satisfaction is one aspect of employee experience addressed. These surveys are concise, typically consisting of up to three questions, which makes it easy and quick for employees to complete. Conciseness ensures employees don't spend much time reading and filling out long and tiring questionnaires.
HeartCount gives HR managers a straightforward way to gather and analyze employee feedback. The data collected can be used to track overall satisfaction trends and the effectiveness of any changes made in response to feedback.
Here’s a concrete example from the IT industry. A company with around 500 employees used HeartCount (and especially a feature called Labels) and managed to reduce the turnover rate of key talent inside their organization by three times. This proves that it’s crucial to have tools that enable companies to identify and retain their most valuable team members, especially in today’s fast and dynamic work environments.
10. Prioritize employee wellbeing
Employees who feel that their employer values their health are more motivated and less likely to experience burnout, which is one of the most important aspects of the workplace today, because studies show that 3 out of 5 employees have negative mental and physical symptoms from work-related stress.
To help your employees maintain their health:
- Offer subscriptions to wellness apps like Headspace, Calm, or MyFitnessPal
- Organize regular health and fitness challenges
- Provide access to counseling services, such as BetterHelp or Talkspace
- Conduct regular well-being surveys using HeartCount to assess the effectiveness of these initiatives and identify areas for further improvement.
11. Invest in manager training
Well-trained managers set the tone of the work environment, guiding team dynamics and influencing employee engagement and satisfaction.
Investing in manager training helps:
- Successfully manage diverse and global teams
- Boost employee morale and productivity
- Enhance team cohesion by reducing the number of conflicts (or at least improving the way they're handled)
Manager training programs can include:
- Online courses (LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, Udemy)
- Coaching sessions
- Peer mentoring programs
Incorporate leadership development as part of the performance evaluation process to encourage managers to improve their skills continuously. Regular feedback from teams gathered through HeartCount can provide insights into managerial leadership skills.
12. Provide proper incentives
Incentives encourage employees to consistently perform well. Therefore, on top of competitive salaries, offer rewards and benefits that acknowledge their hard work.
These include but are not limited to:
- Flexible working conditions
- Health benefits
- Professional development opportunities
- Employee recognition programs.
You can also create a mix of monetary and non-monetary rewards. For example, give
- Bonuses or raises when employees meet or exceed performance metrics.
- Non-monetary incentives can include additional vacation days, flexible working hours, remote work options, wellness programs, or professional development opportunities, such as conferences or training.
- Public recognition of employee achievements in company meetings or through internal newsletters is a strong motivator.
- Peer-to-peer recognition tools (like HeartCount’s Peer 2 Peer Recognition module) let employees award each other points that may be used for various rewards.
How to measure employee experience
Measuring employee experience helps you understand and improve it. These tools and metrics will help you gauge overall employee satisfaction and engagement:
- Employee surveys: Regularly conducted surveys are one of the most direct ways to measure the employee experience. They can range from annual engagement surveys to pulse surveys that ask for quick feedback on specific topics. Create precise questions to get insightful responses about job satisfaction, work-life balance, and business culture.
- Exit interviews: Ideally, you want to gauge employee experience before it leads to turnover, but exit interviews can explain why employees leave. This feedback will help you identify areas of the employee experience that need improvement.
- Performance metrics: Employee performance data indirectly reflects their experience. High absenteeism, declining productivity, or reduced quality of work can indicate a poor employee experience.
- Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): The eNPS is an easy way to evaluate employee loyalty by asking how likely they are to suggest the company as a place to work. The score provides a snapshot of employee sentiment and loyalty.
- Stay interviews: Conducting interviews with long-term employees explains what keeps them at the company. These insights can inform strategies to improve the experience for all employees.
- Social media and online reviews: Employees often share their experience on platforms like Glassdoor or LinkedIn. Monitoring these can provide an external perspective on how your company is perceived as an employer.
- HR analytics: Advanced analytics tools can analyze patterns in employee feedback, turnover rates, and other HR metrics and give a more nuanced view of the employee experience.
Over the past two to three years, we’ve seen a positive trend in employee satisfaction metrics among companies that use HeartCount. This trend indicates the success of our “people-first” initiatives, where companies use feedback mechanisms available in our platform to actively identify and address any issues in employee satisfaction.
Ready to make positive changes?
Improving employee experience is crucial for any successful business. Clear communication, effective onboarding, ongoing training, and flexible work options are all key to keeping employees happy and engaged, resulting in a productive and loyal team.
However, you have to measure the impact of your efforts and that’s where HeartCount can help. The platform provides valuable insights into employee engagement that can guide your decision-making process. HeartCount’s simplicity, efficiency, and focus on key employee satisfaction metrics make it an invaluable tool for any organization looking to thrive.