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What to prioritise in your employee experience

Insight | employee engagement | HR | Transparency

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The candidate experience has long been valued by employers looking to attract fresh talent. Now, however, companies are looking to focus on their existing workforce to ensure engagement levels are high, which in itself has become a talent acquisition tool for businesses.

This is because candidates want to work somewhere they will be valued, so if companies can prove that this is what they offer, they will be giving themselves a better chance of attracting the right applicants.

According to Deloitte, “in a digital world with increasing transparency and the growing influence of millennials, employees expect a productive, engaging, enjoyable work experience”. However, the company has found that “many companies have not yet made employee experience a priority for HR leaders, often delegating this problem to an annual engagement survey”.

That said, when it comes to what employees want, there are frequent requests. These are some of them:

Development

Allowing employees the ability to develop their skills and learn new ones will benefit both your workers and your organisation. Being able to train your workers will allow you to future-proof your business.

Meanwhile, for employees, being able to develop their skills means they will feel better equipped to take their career into their own hands. This is particularly true of the younger generation, with Gallup finding that millennials want their jobs to offer development opportunities. According to the firm’s research, “An impressive 87 percent of millennials rate ‘professional or career growth and development opportunities’ as vital to them in a job - far more than the 69 percent of non-millennials who say the same”.

The latest LinkedIn UK Talent Trends Report also found that the most significant reason for employees leaving their job was a lack of career advancement opportunities, with 48 percent of candidates reporting this to be the case.

Flexibility and travel

Giving workers the opportunity to work remotely can significantly improve their work-life balance, eliminating the time they would spend on commuting. They are also able to work where they feel most productive, giving them a sense of freedom and the reassurance that they are trusted to get their work done.

It’s not just being able to work from home that appeals to employees now. A recent study by Booking.com for Business found that one of the keys to retention and job satisfaction among staff is being able to travel for work. The research found that over one-third (38 percent) of global professionals would actively pursue an opportunity if it offered the chance to travel for business.

The chance to take a weekend off in a business destination was particularly prized by IT workers (46 percent) and those employed in finance (44 percent). Ripsy Bandourian, senior director of product development at Booking.com for Business, said: “Having opportunities to travel for business is increasingly prized by working professionals, led by the millennial generation. And more than ever, business travellers want to maximise their time spent in a business destination for both work and leisure.”

Providing workers with mobility can, therefore, be a winning strategy in both talent management and acquisition.

A voice

If you can’t offer your employees the chance to travel, one factor sure to appeal to them is ensuring their opinions are listened to. Although many companies will make a point of extending the opportunity for workers to share their thoughts on how they are being treated, a number never implement any of the suggested changes.

Your business can differentiate itself by following through on the recommendations made by employees, letting them feel like they are being heard. This could relate to comments on a project, workers’ career trajectories or the physical workspace - whatever the (sensible) suggestion, it’s vital not to dismiss it without consideration.

Demonstrating that you value your employees’ opinions on work matters can contribute to their sense of value. Meanwhile, delivering on their recommendations will ensure that you’re providing the kind of environment they want to be in, which will then have a positive impact on your retention strategies. It will also show candidates that their ideas will be taken seriously, which will boost your appeal.

Giving employees what they want often comes down to listening. Since every industry and business is unique, it’s essential to establish what your employees are looking for. It will help to distinguish you from your competition and appeal to top talent.


Posted by Jon Aspinell on 16th January 2018

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