The EX Factor — Improving Your Employee Experience in 2022 and Beyond
Employee experience, or EX, is an emerging business function that charts how employees think and feel through every engagement with their company.
Businesses are discovering that EX is closely related to customer experience (CX). While outstanding CX drives brand loyalty and revenue, superb EX attracts top talent and strengthens employee engagement, loyalty and productivity.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. In 2022, the “Great Resignation” is still very much with us. As a result, quantifying the “EX factor” has become a top priority for companies as they try to mitigate employee turnover.
A 2021 Employee Experience Survey by Willis Towers Watson calls this trend the “great EX awakening.” Its survey showed that 92% of companies plan to prioritize EX enhancements over the next three years in an effort to prevent further resignations. This figure is up from 52% before the pandemic.
Solving for EX
Recently, Donald Sull, Charles Sull and Ben Zweig collaborated to write an MIT Sloan Management Review article based upon workplace data they analyzed from Revelio Labs (where Ben Zweig is CEO) and more than a million Glassdoor reviews. The authors boiled down five main reasons why employees are quitting, and interestingly, none of them is about pay. Sull, Sull and Zweig found that toxic culture is the strongest predictor of turnover, followed by job insecurity and reorganization; high level of innovation; failure to recognize performance; and poor response to COVID-19.
Similarly, a Joblist survey disclosed these as the top reasons why workers have left their jobs since the onset of COVID: unhappiness with employer treatment during the pandemic (19%); low pay/lack of benefits (17%); and lack of work-life balance (13%).
Meanwhile, a 2018 study about what matters most to workers conducted by LinkedIn revealed that 26% of people identified the nature of the work itself as most important, while only 3% said their top priority was getting promoted.
Younger workers like Millennials and Gen Z employees place a premium on doing meaningful work, engaging in activities that they believe will have a positive impact on their company’s success as well as on society at large. For companies that employ this demographic, it is vital to create and sustain an inspiring workplace culture. It is important for employers to communicate about the organization’s corporate and social responsibility initiatives.
Big Chief Creative Media Founder Alex Ribble says, “I’m a firm believer that good marketing that reflective of your internal culture has never been more valuable. For the businesses trying to retain during the Great Resignation, this has never been more important. We help brands be authentic, so that young, culture-driven millennials will want to work for them. If you’re not being authentic in your marketing and putting your people first, chances are, you’re last.”
Here are a few of Big Chief’s suggestions for stellar EX:
1. Make a great first impression.
The game of professional courtship is not one-sided. Companies need to present themselves as the kind of place where good people want to work. Have a social media presence that conveys your values and culture. Create a job description that authentically portrays your brand’s vibe. Then respond to candidates quickly and make the interview process pleasant. Even if someone does not join your company, they can still become an ambassador for your brand.
2. Welcome people aboard.
The way you train people and integrate them into your organization says a lot about you. According to the Harvard Business Review, 33% of new hires look for a new job within six months, in large part due to their employee onboarding experience.
Share your company’s vision and culture, and make sure new employees fully understand how to do their jobs and where to go for help. Remote work makes onboarding more challenging, so companies should have clear protocols for making new hires feel like part of the team.
3. Be a place where people want to stay.
Gallup reports that the cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times an employee’s annual salary. And for a 100-person organization with an average salary of $50,000, turnover and replacement could cost approximately $660,000 to $2.6 million per year!
There are a number of things employers can do to engage with employees so they feel personally invested in the workplace.
Create training opportunities so employees feel challenged and can move up. When you train your next group of leaders, you’ll know you have people who have adopted your core values.
Invest in employee wellness with programs that encourage mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Strategies may include on-site gyms and health clinics, sick time, paid vacation, paid parental leave — even healthy snacks in the break room.
Implement retention surveys or interviews that help you understand what is important to employees, what they like about their jobs and what they don’t. If you have successfully created an atmosphere of trust, these conversations will help you retain and develop the talent you have recruited.
4. Take your employees’ advice.
If you have solicited your employees’ feedback via surveys or interviews, they will surely be waiting to see if they have been heard. Make sure to follow through with an action plan based upon what you have learned from them.
5. Exit gracefully.
People move on from a job for all kinds of reasons, whether it is a career change, retirement, a new opportunity or a change in life circumstances. This is another opportunity to connect and learn from the people in your organization. Find out what they liked best and worst about working with your company, and use that information to improve your culture and procedures for future employees.
Bottom line, treat your employees like customers.
If your company is looking for the EX factor, know that the truth is out there. Working with a digital marketing agency can make the whole process easier, from maintaining your presence on social media to creating effective strategies for internal messaging. Big Chief has the creativity and technical know-how to improve your EX in 2022 and beyond. Contact us today, and we’ll get started! https://www.bigchiefcreative.com/contact-us/.