Over the past few years, the employee experience has become a focal point for many HR departments, from creating strategies to perfecting onboarding processes, it is an extensive area to cover. But why has it become so important and is it just another HR buzzword?
We all know that an engaging work environment can promote happier, healthier, and more fulfilled employees, enhancing both innovation and productivity. Right now, more than ever these are no longer desirable elements for businesses, they’re essential. Want to retain your key talent? Enhance your employee experience; raising salaries are no longer the quick fix answer. You could pay someone a million pounds, but if they’re not happy in their work, neither party benefits, so to achieve a positive employee experience is essential if you want your business to become an employer of choice.
So how can we achieve an enhanced employee experience within businesses, and should it be led by HR?
I was born and brought up in Uxbridge, North West London, and for as long as I can remember life there seemed like a complete blur! Everything and everyone was always rushing, I was really drawn to it and loved the fast paced way of life.
When I was living and working in Central London, everything I did felt like rushing, from getting ready for work, travelling on the Tube, eating and living in a “everything needs to be done by yesterday” pace. Even having a coffee at a coffee shop wasn’t the experience it should have been, it was more of a routine, go in, exchange a few pleasantries with the barista, never drink in, always with a “to go” nod, it is like a secret code that every barista knows!
Lockdown has brought a whole host of surprises, changes and challenges to employers the length and breadth of the country (and the world!), but the most prevalent has been the pivot to home working. Office-based businesses and employers have, in order to maintain their workforce operating at an acceptable level, largely allowed staff to work remotely – allowing them to continue working and earning whilst also staying safe, socially distanced, and, in many cases, caring for their children who are unable to attend school.
Of course, working from home is not a new practice; and most big brands already offer facilities and options around this for employees who are able to perform their role remotely. However, there has never been an event before that has sparked such mass change in typical work practices, and so many employers and employees are facing challenges around such rapid adaptation.
“Positive culture comes from being mindful, respecting your colleagues and being empathetic.”
As the world of work and business continues to evolve, attracting, retaining and developing the right employees has always been an important factor for business success, but why has it become the latest “trend” in the HR world?