Improving life at work is becoming a major priority for organizations. Employee experience, as we know it, has been rated as one of the top challenges for HR in Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends Report 2019, with 84 percent of the respondents highlighting its growing importance.
There are several advantages of a superior employee experience such as higher innovation levels, happier customers and higher profits. Despite these proven benefits, organizations are still not ready to address this issue. Let’s figure out why.
The always-on workforce faces challenges every day
The last five years debates around issues such as productivity, burnout, well-being and work-life balance have taken center stage. This is because employees everywhere are overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with social media, devices, technology and their lives in general. All these issues have made employees raise questions about their jobs itself. As per the survey, only 42 percent of respondents thought that workers were satisfied with their job design.
Most organizations are still lagging behind when it comes to creating meaningful job roles for their employees. This coupled with poor support and management is only heightening the problem even further.
From employee engagement to employee experience
It all started with the term employee engagement at the workplace – which referred to the basic psychological needs that needed to be met to ensure employees are happy and productive at work. However, the strategies didn’t work because it was a top-down approach with the management deciding what’s good and what’s not. It relied on the assumption that employees will choose to comply and engage with what the company offered them.
This changed to employee experience a few years later, where employees were given as much importance as customers. But it was soon realized that customers are very different from employees. Employees are personally involved with the organization and are in it for long, as opposed to a customer who can choose to leave at any point. Employee experience focused on processes, places and workflow designs around employee’s pre-existing tendencies.
Even with employee experience initiatives, results are not what was expected. Deloitte explains the probable reason for this as while employee experience comes from the individual, it still focuses primarily on the work itself. These aspects range from perks, work-life balance, and rewards – all of which are important. But they still do not truly address the personal meaning that employees are searching for.
Enter human experience
The end goal is to create meaning for employees at work. Meaning is what everyone is looking for in their daily life – adding value to people’s lives by creating solutions that make them happy. This goes beyond corporate social responsibility and extends to looking at the aspirations of customers, employees, and partners. Meaning at work reflects the deep understanding of the end customer and the bigger impact that can get created through individual and collaborative efforts.
Main questions employees ask that need to be answered:
- Am I working with people I respect and who respect me for who I am and what I bring to the workplace?
- Am I challenged enough to bring my best to work every day?
- Am I given the support and encouragement to deliver something of value?
- Why am I here?
Creating roles that derive meaning can be a chief source of motivation for your employees. This is the human experience that companies need to focus on. Organizations should leverage this responsibility and refresh their thinking when it comes to their employee experience strategies.
Addressing the “human experience” at work will enable leaders to understand aspirations and connect work back to achieving those aspirations.