Questions of “experiences” in business often focus on those of the customer–and not without cause. The ideal customer experience makes it easy for consumers to learn about your company and access its goods and services. The same logic applies to the employee experience as well. After all, you want to remove as many barriers as possible between your workers and the essential tasks they need to perform.
The smoother the employee experience is, the more efficient, effective, and satisfied your team will be in the long run. While every office will have different areas in need of improvement, here are six easy ways to improve the employee experience with tech you likely already have available to you.
Smoothing Out the Onboarding Process
The onboarding process is the first real taste of your business for employees, and that taste is rarely as sweet as many wish. This is due in no small part to the dearth of resources and personnel devoted to this critical process. According to a survey conducted by payroll services provider OnPay, over 60 percent of small businesses have their HR handled either by the head of the company or by an employee who also juggles other responsibilities. That means employee onboarding can–and too often, does–take a back seat to other duties.
Thankfully, the right tools can help facilitate onboarding without making any greater demands of your existing team members. Some automated HR platforms, like PulseHRM and Namely, can help set up direct deposits and deploy mechanisms to ensure compliance with company policy. Relying on automated onboarding processes will let you focus more of your energy on the more human elements of the process, such as acquainting them with office culture.
Anyone who’s ever even set foot in an office knows just how critical good communication is to the work environment. But it’s not just the efficacy that’s at stake here. In a 2019 survey from employee experience platform Dynamic Signal, 80 percent of the American workforce reported feeling stressed because of ineffective company communication. With numbers that high, your business simply cannot afford to ignore whatever communication issues might exist.
Every business has a whole suite of communication tools at their disposal—Slack, Teams, email, Zoom, and so on. But the key here is not to let your employees get stuck in the cracks between them. Choose one or two platforms and stick to them. Hopping around between different platforms is a surefire way to put the burden of communication management on the workers who can handle it the least. Whatever software you opt for, opt for it all the way. In the end, simplicity and efficiency are your team’s best friends when it comes to communication.
Collaboration may go hand-in-hand with communication. However, work teams must tackle these two soft skills on their own terms. Effective communication platforms are vital for keeping an office running smoothly, of course. Simultaneously, collaboration tools like ClickUp and Asana are an absolute must for ensuring projects are completed on time and with care. With remote work promising to have a permanent impact on the way companies operate, collaboration-enabling tech is a must for just about every business.
This far into the pandemic, this shouldn’t be new news to anyone. In fact, Salesforce reports that 86 percent of executives identify ineffective collaboration as a major cause of failure in business. So there should be no hesitation when it comes to embracing tech that makes collaboration easier. Of particular interest should be platforms that help facilitate collaborative equity. For instance, tracking the volume of tasks and amount of time each worker spends on a specific project ensures that no employee’s experience has to come at the expense of another’s.
“Meeting with HR” has long been a specter of the modern office, a dreaded event no matter what the reason. Thankfully, service providers have flooded the market with technology that ensures worker compliance through digital means instead of requiring endless strings of face-to-face meetings. HR platforms like Oasis Advantage and ComplianceHR ensure that employee paperwork is always in good order. More are starting to crop up that make it easier for workers to report incidences of misbehavior without the potential snag of an in-person confrontation.
Overall, leveraging these digital platforms makes it much easier to guarantee a safe and satisfying employee experience for all.
Flexibility may be the single most significant gap between the attitude of employees and employers in the world of work. According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, some 96 percent of US-based professionals want flexibility in their work. And yet, only 47 percent of workers actually have that flexibility. This is primarily due to the long-subscribed-to logic that an out-of-office worker is a less productive one–a myth that the COVID-19 crisis all but shattered overnight.
Modern project management software and digital communication tools like Monday.com and Slack allow employees to fully plug in no matter where they are. For some workers, this could mean greater travel opportunities. For others, it could allow for more time with loved ones at home. Regardless of why an employee desires flexibility, the right tech can help facilitate without a blip in productivity.
Dynamic Training Systems
Job descriptions constantly mutate as businesses themselves grow and evolve. A couple of decades ago, professional retraining was a long, laborious process involving months or years on a college campus. Today, there are more virtual courses and mini-degrees available than any one person could possibly manage. You can take a look at Lynda.com and Open Culture to get an idea of what’s available. The opportunities for succinct, targeted training are greater than ever before. This also means that workers can grow and expand their skill sets. And they can do so without significant interruptions to their careers, facilitating the employee experience in a big way.
Employee experience is the single greatest contributing factor in determining employee satisfaction. By working to make your workers’ lives easier, they’ll work to do the same for you. A happy employee is a productive one. And by ensuring the former, you can all but guarantee the latter.
So, with the sole focus of improving employee experience, leverage existing tech. Your team members, and your bottom line, will thank you.