In a recent blog, based on The Conference Board survey results, we saw that the greatest internal matter weighing on CEOs’ minds in 2020 is ‘attracting and retaining top talent’. Retention has, after all, long been a major concern among organizations. Compounding matters, it’s an employee’s market which makes it all the more challenging for employers to stop losing great people.
With these factors in mind, it’s important to consider how your organization can improve the employee experience in 2020. Below, we’ll discuss a few strategies that will help you do so in the months that lie ahead.
How to improve the employee experience this year
1. Ensure that employee wellbeing is a high priority
Today’s employees are confronted with highly demanding lifestyles, including their work environments. Everything is moving faster, and we’re expected to do more in less time; we’re ‘always on’, and many individuals struggle to find balance. Often times, employees feel pressure to prioritize work over wellness for the sake of keeping up, meeting deadlines, getting ahead, or even keeping their jobs.
So, when organizations help employees to look after their health and wellness, they speak loud volumes about how much they value their employees and their contribution to the company. This is certainly a great way to improve the employee experience. Healthy individuals are, after all, generally happier, more engaged, and more productive employees.
2. Make room for technology that equips employees and HR
Machine learning, AI, chatbots, virtual reality – you name it, technology is shaping every aspect of our lives, and there’s no doubt that it is drastically changing the way we get work done. Modern employees want to keep abreast of the latest developments and adept at engaging with current technology. It’s therefore important from an attraction and retention perspective to ensure that, as far as possible, you equip your employees with technology that will help them do so and help them perform their jobs most efficiently.
And, when it comes to ensuring that employees remain engaged, motivated, and connected to your company culture, modern technology also supports HR professionals in successfully and most efficiently carrying out the organization’s talent management strategy, and giving them the tools and time needed to focus on other ways to improve the employee experience.
3. Focus on nurturing employees’ soft skills
In recent years, there has been a significant shift in the focus that skills receive from organizations. While digital, computing, analytical, and technical skills took center stage for some time, other aptitudes have become more sought after. These are behavioral skills like willingness to be flexible, agile, and adaptable to change, time management skills and ability to prioritize, ability to work effectively in team environments, and the ability to communicate effectively in business contexts – to name a few.
Firstly, organizations need to recognize the changing ‘face’ of the workforce if they aim to remain relevant, attractive to employees, and effective at retaining employees. They further need to nurture the skills that matter most today – and those that will be required in the future. One way to do this is by exposing employees to new opportunities that will get them to use skills outside of their day-to-day responsibilities. And, this can be achieved through an internal gig economy. By allowing your employees the opportunity to work on projects within different departments, they’ll also be exposed to new ways of thinking, solving problems, and conceptualizing innovative ideas. In working with different teams, employees will also enhance their interpersonal skills, helping grow their soft skills further.
4. Prioritize training and development opportunities
Modern employees want to advance – and if your organization hasn’t already made provision for training initiatives as part of its talent management strategy, you really should consider doing so to improve the employee experience. Not only does training give your employees the opportunity to grow on an individual basis, but it shows them that you are invested in them for the long run, and value their input – and your organization will benefit too..
One of the best ways to ensure that employees are exposed to new learning opportunities that will enable them to keep their skills (and their contribution to your company) honed is through a culture of continuous learning.
5. Establish an inclusive culture that recognizes employees’ value
Employees want to be a part of an inclusive culture that allows them the space to innovate as valued and trusted employees, and to add their unique contribution to the company; one that they’re proud to be a part of and one that they can relate to. In today’s work world, that’s not always an easy feat for companies.
For one thing, the global workforce currently comprises at least four generations, and that means companies need to pay specific attention to what typically motivates each generation, what each one’s general strengths (and weaknesses) are, and how to get them all to work well together to meet organizational objectives and improve the employee experience – for everyone.
Another key area that needs to be taken into consideration when establishing an inclusive culture is how to improve the employee experience for remote workers, ensuring that they feel a part of the team even though they don’t sit in the same office. After all, remote working is one of the biggest work-related trends at the moment so it’s imperative for organizations to establish a culture that works at retaining remote workers as much as any other employee.
Improve the employee experience with the right HR tools on your side
As you consider the areas where your organization may need to improve the employee experience to boost retention, talk to us about our advanced HR software and how it can support you in achieving your talent management aims in 2020.