Deliver exceptional employee experiences and grow business results - that’s the goal, right?
When done well, a great employee experience is a key driver for business success. Happy, satisfied employees produce work of higher quality, deliver better customer experiences, and are more likely to remain with their employer long-term.
But what happens to the employee experience when organisations rapidly adopt remote work? What are the longer-term impacts on those who’ve moved into remote work?
This level of disruption tends to give rise to more questions than answers.
To deliberately design a great employee experience in a hybrid or remote work setting, it is critical to evolve your employee experience strategy.
Employee Experience Strategy Refresh
Employee experience is an active strategy. It requires constant monitoring by leadership, regular decision making and a supporting framework to achieve results.
Organisations first need to have a clearly defined, or redefined, vision for a compelling remote or hybrid employee experience. Once this is established, their task moves to deliberately design the employee experience of today with that vision front of mind.
To close the gap between where the organisation is now, and the ideal future state requires a transitional approach that takes the whole organisation on that journey.
Alignment with business transformation efforts is key; the desired employee experience must align to the business’ future digital direction for positive results.
5 Employee Experience Framework Pillars
Equipped with a deep understanding of your employee’s experience across the employee lifecycle, below are five pillars to guide you as you develop a refreshed employee experience framework for your remote working team.
A key pillar for your strategy, internal communication is critical for an exceptional employee experience. Employees want to hear about changes that impact them from their direct leader, about changes to the company from the C-suite, and to know the company results for reassurance of stability and job security.
How and when employees receive communications matters. Different information is needed at different times for various employee segments.
A simple yet sometimes forgotten practice, if you’re communicating externally to customers, don’t forget to include in your communications plan to share the message internally.
Every employee has a unique set of needs and wants from their employer. Employees are motivated in different ways.
Understanding what benefits are important to employees and how they want to use them is important to consider when creating the strategy for a hybrid or remote business model. Industry trends around employee benefits are moving to a plethora of employee choices, not a one offering for all approach.
From employee benefits, communications, to the overall experience of work, personalisation is a key pillar for your employee experience strategy.
To take employee experience from good to great, it is crucial to foster a connection to leaders, including humanising executives. Creating space and time for leaders to communicate and celebrate at key moments that matter in the employee lifecycle journey fosters deeper connections in employee-employer relationships.
Leaders set the cultural tone and connect the employees to the company values. Role modelling values and the desired cultural behaviour becomes a new challenge in a hybrid or remote workplace, therefore consideration to how might leaders provide visible leadership in the employee experience is required.
#4: Wellbeing, Health and Safety
To attract and retain top talent, a strategic cultural shift from company safety obligations to creating an experience of genuine care around wellbeing, health, and safety should be incorporated into the employee experience strategy.
Risk assessments need to be balanced with promoting a culture of health, wellness, and safety in remote and hybrid workplaces. Driving this focus firmly remains the responsibility of the employer. To differentiate your organisation in the market, ask the question, how might wellbeing, health, and safety be done even better or differently in the future?
#5: Learning and Development
Building the opportunity for learning and development into an employee experience strategy is essential for many reasons. Focus must be paid to prioritising the development of future skillsets, coupled with strategies that support career development for employees.
‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is a legitimate concern. Increasing numbers of employees have expressed fears of career impacts and missing promotions due to a lack of face-to-face time when working remote. From concerns around proximity bias through to fewer opportunities for coaching from senior team members, it’s clear that individuals are seeking greater learning and development opportunities than those currently offered to remote working employees.
Empowering employees to take the lead is one solution to this concern. Creating quality multi-channel opportunities for employee-led learning and development in a flexible working environment will be a key differentiator in the future war on talent.
Get the Design Right
Developing and designing an exceptional employee experience for your organisation requires a diverse group of representatives from across the entire organisation. This gives an opportunity for co-creation and a voice to all segments of the distributed workforce. Company-wide contribution fosters a sense of ownership and accountability in collective success.
A growth mindset is essential in reshaping the remote or hybrid employee experience.
Design Thinking helps businesses put the employee experience at the centre, providing a way to focus on the individual experience and create employee-centric solutions and processes.
To get the design right and design the right thing, use a Design Thinking approach to move to a space where leadership knows how to strengthen the employee experiment framework because they know what employees want the experience to be.
One more thing…
Employee Experience strategies created using Design Thinking, with attention given to the 5 key pillars, will strengthen employee experience in a hybrid or remote workforce. At a time where the war for talent is increasing and with evolving employee expectations around what work can be, now more than ever organisations need to be prepared to design and deliver an exceptional employee experience.
Did you enjoy this article? I sure hope you did! Over the next few weeks I’ll be continuing this LinkedIn series on Employee Experience Essentials, so stay tuned for future articles.
And if you’re looking for help in taking your Employee Experience up a notch with the help of a creative, innovative, and science-obsessed team, let’s have a chat about how I and the team at Pragmatic Thinking can assist.