July 25, 2024

Advancing Corporate Yields

Pioneering Business Success

How leaders can plan the right employee experience practices

As organizations evolve, ensuring the right customer experience is a critical task. Many companies measure their Net Promoter Scores proactively and make the right improvements needed. On the other hand, employee experience is another key facet that is critical for companies. Beyond rolling out employee engagement activities and pulse surveys, what can organizations actually bring in to drive employee experience, especially in today’s changing hybrid work environment?

Ruhie Pande, Group CHRO and Head of Marketing and Communications at Sterlite Power, shares that while high employee engagement is a key indicator of a positive employee experience and a critical driver of organizational success, many organizations struggle to cultivate such an experience when they fail to recognize and address the needs of their employees. Today’s workforce is increasingly vocal about concerns such as work-life balance, toxic workplace cultures, lack of flexibility, and limited growth opportunities. Identifying these gaps is relatively easy; the challenge lies in understanding the significant impact of failing to address them.

The Work to Be Done

Pande adds that to foster a truly positive employee experience, we need to consistently collect and analyze employee feedback, implement necessary changes, and monitor progress. “It is important that we demonstrate a genuine commitment to address employee concerns through our actions and not just our words. We must prioritize meaningful metrics and ensure that initiatives are focused not only on immediate outcomes but also on long-term employee satisfaction and well-being,” he adds.

Ankit Agarwal, Founder & CEO of Unstop, shares that employee experience practices are built over time. Right from the day they join you till the exit interview, these practices have to stay consistent and should have one main focus area: To value the employees. Employee practices are also used to attract and retain top talent because when your employer brand is strong, people want to be a part of the group and contribute toward a shared vision.

Pande clarifies that the correlation between engagement and productivity, as well as talent retention, is undeniable. Closing gaps in employee experience is pivotal for cultivating a highly motivated and loyal workforce dedicated to achieving organizational objectives. While specific gaps may vary across industries and job roles, their significance remains paramount.

For instance, burnout is increasingly prevalent in the IT sector, with a recent study revealing that 43% of Indian tech professionals experience burnout due to work demands. In the energy sector, where innovation and adaptability are critical, employees often face challenges in keeping pace due to limited learning opportunities and internal skill development. “As leaders, we need to stay attuned to these unique industry and organizational challenges. By actively engaging with employees, fostering a culture of open communication, and prioritizing feedback, we can derive actionable insights that drive meaningful change,” he shares.

Best Practices Around What Has Worked Well/Is Working

Pande shares that there is no one-size-fits-all approach that can universally succeed across diverse industries and organizations. To develop an effective employee experience strategy tailored to your organization, it’s crucial to first align it with your company’s purpose and culture. Equally important is ensuring comprehensive coverage across all stages of the employee lifecycle.What has proven effective is a structured approach, according to him, is the following: attract the right talent, foster a holistic onboarding process, actively engage employees, invest in their continuous development, recognize and reward outstanding performance, and ensure a positive offboarding experience. Furthermore, effective communication lies at the core of enduring relationships. Incorporating principles of honesty, transparency, and respect into your strategy is vital—they are timeless factors that consistently yield positive results.

Ankit shares an example from their own experience: “One of the things that we focus on at Unstop is giving freedom to all employees to explore and experiment with different ideas. This increases the cross-collaboration within teams and also creates a culture of trust that the leadership has in the teams. Another thing we practice is regular feedback from teams around their managers and leadership to create a healthy practice of transparency and growth. A people-centric approach always pays off in the long run.”

He feels that employees feel seen and recognized when their managers or team leads look out for them, create an environment that helps in their growth while keeping their mental health at the forefront. A practice of giving employees the opportunity to learn through external programs and more can help in creating a positive environment for them.

Pande concludes that leaders have the power to significantly enhance employee experience and cultivate a positive work environment through individual actions. Simply showing genuine interest in employees’ well-being, career aspirations, and challenges can have a profound impact. Engaging in honest, informal conversations with employees at all levels fosters a sense of value and belonging, ultimately boosting employee engagement and creating a supportive workplace. It’s crucial for leaders to lead by example, embodying the organization’s values and culture in their behavior. Additionally, leaders should leverage their position to advocate for employee development opportunities.