Is the company capable of taking care of me? Will they stand by me if something bad happens to me? It's not unusual if an employee poses these questions at an interview.
The concept of taking care of employees like a family is not new. But the pandemic has accentuated its importance. Even the employees expect their employers to care for them and their families. In short, they expect their current or future company to offer a superlative employee experience. Freebies, basic insurance and parties may not be good enough anymore! (EX) is the employees' perception of their journey in a company. Factors like work culture, benefits, technology, leadership engagement, etc., affect the employee's experience in an organisation. If employees have an enriching experience that aligns well with their priorities and professional goals, they are more likely to stay longer in a company.
Needless to say, the pandemic has had a significant impact on both people and businesses across industries. Whether it is the hybrid mode or the remote mode of working, employee experience has become a top priority for organisations and their HR teams.
Recently, we invited industry experts to demystify the concept of employee experience.
The speaker panel of the Parichay Webinar Series comprised Manan Sharma (Director and Country Head of HR & Admin, India, Blaize) and Suchandra Dutta (Senior Manager/India HR Lead, Alif Semiconductor).
In this post, we have presented our takeaways from this enlightening conversation. If you wish to listen to the experts directly, watch the webinar recording after reading.
The pandemic has changed the expectations of employees in every industry. They want better work flexibility, an improved workplace and smarter technology to become more productive. They also expect holistic healthcare initiatives from their organisations. What this means is they want to work in a place that takes care of their physical, mental and financial well-being. Also, they look forward to a family-friendly culture since many work from home.
More than ever, HR leaders must focus on creating experiences that make employees feel valued at the workplace. Only then can they attract and retain the best talent. Gone are the days when mere freebies and basic incentives were good enough. Now there are so many other factors employers are concerned about. Learning and growth are just two of them.
Covid has changed the lives and perceptions of today's employees. One of the primary goals of HR is to improve employee experience at their workplace. But leaders expect it to be aligned with the organisation’s business goals.
HR has to think of impactful ways to make empathy a part of the organisational culture. They also have to launch initiatives to instil a sense of freedom and belongingness throughout an employee's journey. If this happens, employees themselves will take care of their productivity at work. A practical way to get started is by designing and implementing policies and processes to initiate this exercise.
There are so many touchpoints in an employee's organisational journey. So, how can HR apply metrics to all these instances and behaviours? On the other hand, employees might also be eager to know how effective or committed their management/HR is. Some of them would be keeping track of the turnaround time to address their queries.
The moment you start becoming data-centric, any person would be able to give you any number of points and questions to ask.
Manan Sharma, Director and Country Head of HR & Admin, India, Blaize
There are so many tools to understand the sentiment of employees. A simple survey with these questions can sometimes do the trick: How happy are you with the onboarding experience? How is the cafeteria food? Was the exit process hassle-free? The answers can elicit valuable metrics and insights for the employer to take action. Many new-age HRMS can handle all this and more. But HR can benefit more if they keep the below pointers in mind.
Not every organisation can manage the hybrid model effectively. That's because many are comfortable with the traditional ways of working in the office. But if they manage to embrace the new model, they can turn it into an advantage for their employees and organisation.
The hybrid model has also helped us to manage our time and meetings better. I can now get all our data and updates synchronously. I don't need to ask somebody to come and meet me in person.
Suchandra Dutta, Senior Manager (India HR Lead), Alif Semiconductor
The flexibility of the hybrid model can enable employees to work on their strengths to deliver higher productivity. But then, employers have to begin by building a culture of trust and transparency in communication and execution. Only then can they succeed in creating a positive impact on employee experience. Technology can help employers generate relevant data and actionable insights for engaging with employees in a meaningful manner.
Work environment, type of work and nature of people are the core factors that impact employee experience. Any challenge in any one of these factors will affect the experience negatively. Therefore, every HR has to focus on creating a culture that fosters open communication and collaboration. The employees should also be aware of what to expect from their work and be able to use their skills to the fullest. When that happens, they know that their employer is committed to offering them a great experience.