Industry Insights: 3 Steps to Improving the Employee Experience

Introducing Industry Insights, a new feature from The Workforce Institute at UKG. These articles feature practical strategies for professionals in specific industries, written by subject-matter experts in those industries.
Your employee experience matters. Why? Not only can a strong employee experience positively influence an employee’s overall wellbeing but, according to a study by McKinsey and Company, companies with highly satisfied and engaged employees outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share
So, how do you create the “secret sauce” that is an exceptional employee experience? Similar to perfecting your favorite recipe, you may need to experiment — add a dash of empowerment and sprinkle in some growth opportunities, while periodically checking in with your employees to blend in their feedback. 
Switching from the metaphorical to the practical, here are three ways you can create a people-first work culture to boost your employee experience. 
1. Empower your employees. People want purpose and meaning in their work. Clearing obstacles and reducing administrative burdens provide employees with the time they need to really focus on key operational activities that will ultimately keep them more engaged, motivated, and productive. Whether it’s automating tedious, routine tasks such as tracking time and attendance or allowing employees to identify shift preferences and availability — or easily swap shifts — employees want more control over their work schedules. Allowing employees to manage their time effectively with self-service and mobile scheduling capabilities also helps them balance their life-work needs. 
2. Coach and develop your employees. The key ingredients to keeping your talent engaged should incorporate meaningful conversations and learning. Coaching and development allow you to achieve deeper connections with your employees through collaborative, ongoing career development conversations — providing them with targeted growth opportunities. This iterative process of ongoing feedback also makes it easier for you to identify any training needed to help employees attain the skills and certifications they need to achieve their desired career goals. Moreover, facilitating learning and development initiatives by providing personalized training plans, easy access to learning resources, and tracking progress for skill enhancement results in a better supported and more satisfied workforce. 
3. Listen to your employees. So many dimensions make up the overall employee experience, and they will likely differ for each employee and over time. From pay and benefits to your company’s culture — even workplace perks such as “Taco Tuesday” in the breakroom offered once a month — all play a part, but not all are equally important. How do you identify what really matters or what you should prioritize? You don’t have to guess if you ask your employees regularly. By surveying and listening to your people, you build a culture of empathy, trust, and understanding, and you connect with your employees on a different level. In short, the ability to consistently and effectively listen, understand, and act on employee feedback enhances the overall employee experience at the workplace. It can even improve employee retention and performance. 
You can test out or mix and match all sorts of ingredients to establish the unique flavor of the employee experience that works best for your organization. Whether it’s providing employees with more control over what matters most to them, such as empowering them with flexibility on how and when they work, or ensuring each employee receives the right level of attention, support, and coaching needed to achieve their goals, checking in on how your employees are feeling and optimizing your approach will help ensure real actions and better outcomes in your engagement strategy. 
To learn more about how you can create a people-centric culture of trust and belonging to help benefit your employees and your business, download the UKG + Great Place To Work Culture Playbook.