Research continues to show that companies who focus on providing an excellent employee experience achieve high levels of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.
Businesses with high employee engagement also perform better than their counterparts in key operational areas like productivity, turnover, customer metrics, and profitability, according to a Gallup report
These are the companies who have realised that employees need to be connected to the organisational brand, its vision and values, and that taking a step back and putting its people first, will lead to big rewards.
In fact, “increasing employee engagement” is the number one strategic priority for CEOs, according to the Conference Board.
There is one central theme to excelling at employee experience and that is being employee-centric. So how are the stand-out organisations doing this?
‘Facebook Employees Are Insanely Happy With Their Jobs’.
Pretty good to get a media headline like this, and 96% of employees did report high job satisfaction, according to a survey from the jobs site Payscale.
Facebook concentrate on making sure employees own a piece of the culture. The organisation is also overt about its culture, articulating its values on posters, in meetings and through other employee communications to ensure employee values align with the company.
They also work hard to ensure the right benefits are available to their employees, promoting a culture of care. This includes free lunch and snacks, and there are opportunities to destress at work with games room.
“With Facebook you literally do not have to worry about anything,” a review on Glassdoor says. “Every benefit possible is available to you.”
Google has a unique culture. It’s not the typical corporate culture, and it’s built on qualitative and quantitative data. Its corporate culture is one of the reasons it is consistently ranked a great place to work. They treat Human Resources as a science and continually test ways to improve employee experience for happiness and performance increases.
One example is how they used data showing that women were leaving the company at twice the rate of everyone else. In particular, this occurred with new mothers. Google’s maternity leave plan was 12 weeks paid time off. Laszlo Bock changed the plan so new mothers could get 5 months paid time off with full pay and benefits. They were allowed to split this time up however they want. The result after the change in policy? A 50% reduction in attrition for new mothers.
The Virgin Group
“Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your business,” says Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group.
Virgin focus heavily on employees and their experience of working for the Group. They listen to employees and give them a voice in the direction of the business. They know that a company’s success starts with its employees and what they experience.
Their ethos is to support employees across all aspects of their lives to help them become their best selves. Virgin Pulse, a section of the Group specifically designed to cultivates good lifestyle habits for employees, encourages business leaders to ditch the ‘set it and forget it’ mentality in favour of doing their best to set people up for success.
They believe that taking care of their people will empower their business and its critical metrics.
What Facebook, Google and the Virgin Group have in common, in addition to being employee-centric, is that they all create the right culture for an engaged workplace.
You can create this successful culture in a number of ways, including the following:
- Talk to your employees and understand what they’re thinking. This can be in the form of qualitative or quantitative data, sourced through simple surveys or focus groups. Lead the way in open and honest communication.
- Support career development. Understand that people need flexibility at different points of their life and you won’t lose a great employee. You can also retain and engage talent with a progressive learning culture
- Treat your employees as customers. Design processes and tools around employees so that they are having the best possible experience and can therefore deliver this to your customers.
- Create a strong employment brand. This ensures that the right people are attracted to the organisation and the wrong people apply elsewhere.
Companies that excel in employee experience recognise that aligning all this with their business strategy leads to long-term success.