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Top tips for a positive employee experience

11th Aug 2022
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The best HR leaders understand the importance of ensuring employees are satisfied and engaged, especially in a hybrid or remote work environment. Taking care of employees – treating them like the unique humans they are – will ensure a positive employee experience, and therefore greater productivity, reduced employee turnover, and, ultimately, better business outcomes.  

The hardest part for many organisations is simply knowing where to start. Here are some practical and proven steps to improve employee experience in 2022 and beyond. 

Implement an effective recognition programme 

Workhuman’s research found that there is still a divide when it comes to on- and off-site employees. Compared to on-site workers, those that are fully remote are less likely to say they feel confident, and more likely to feel uneasy about change. What’s more, 52% of hybrid employees and 44% of remote employees said they feel obligated to work while sick when working remotely.  

In addition, 39% of hybrid and 29% of remote workers agree that, when working from home, they do not receive as much recognition as compared to their on-site colleagues.   

Effective employee recognition programmes help to attract and retain top talent, and ensure that employees feel valued, appreciated, and motivated to achieve company goals. When employees are rewarded for their contributions, this has a tangible impact on how they feel at work. For example, 58% of remote employees and 66% of hybrid employees strongly agree with the statement “I feel connected to my organisation’s culture” when they feel they are getting the right amount of recognition.  

For consistent results, ensure recognition is authentic, fulfilling, equitable, personalised, and embedded in company culture. Failing to consider any one of these factors can have a damaging impact on employee experience. For example, if recognition is noticeably inequitable across an organisation – with certain employees regularly receiving more than others – then this can lead to feelings of injustice, thereby reducing employee satisfaction and wellbeing. 

Nurture your company culture 

When employees feel psychologically safe, they are more likely to feel connected to both their own and their company’s goals and success. One way to promote this kind of culture is to experiment with the way your organisation communicates with its employees. LinkedIn, for example, often uses their social recognition programme, Bravo, as a communication platform. When they have big company news, it comes from both the CEO and through Bravo. This kind of internal communication brings employees and leadership closer to each other, thereby building trust and transparency, and forming a collaborative workplace culture. 

But currently, Workhuman and Gallup’s recent research found that only one in four employees strongly agree they feel connected to their company’s culture – meaning they’re missing out. A culture of recognition is one in which gratitude, praise and appreciation are freely given, regularly received, and reach all corners of the organisation. According to Gallup and Workhuman, 36% of employees report having a recognition programme at their organisation - but this alone is not enough. By embedding recognition into their culture, organisations can more than double the impact of their recognition initiatives.  

Make work more meaningful 

It’s easy to get caught up in the nine-to-five, meaning the moments that really matter tend to slip away. One way to overcome this pattern is to utilise solutions that highlight these moments – for example, by recognising and celebrating pivotal milestones in employee’s lives. 

When an employer recognises life events as well as work milestones, employees are 3 times as likely to strongly agree that their organisation cares about their wellbeing, per Gallup. 

Here are some more ways to make work more human and create more meaning: 

  • Focus on connection – When people are reminded of human connection, they behave more altruistically. Having shared company values is a great way to foster this connection. Embedding this in a recognition programme – whereby employees recognise and reward each other based on specific values – will ensure values are shared authentically and organically. 
     
  • Recognise employees’ contributions – Recognition becomes more meaningful when it is clear why it is being given. Telling employees how their work made an impact is much more effective than a vague “well done”. Spontaneous, in-the-moment feedback is best, as it is usually perceived as more sincere. 
     
  • Share recognition best practices – Only about a quarter of employees (27%) strongly agree that they have meaningful connections with their co-workers, as Workhuman and Gallup research found. But those who receive recognition from peers at least a few times a month are twice as likely to strongly agree than those who receive it less often. It’s important that employees and employers alike know how to give and write meaningful recognition. Sharing resources like the Manager’s Field Guide to Gratitude, or this post on how to say “thank you” to a peer, is an easy way to achieve this. 

Organisations that take the time to champion employee experience will reap the rewards -with employees that are more engaged, productive, and much more likely to stay. Nurturing the human workplace, for example through a successful recognition programme, is the best way to ensure employee wellbeing and satisfaction in the long term. 

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