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The Key to Happy Employees

When employees are happy, everyone wins. So what is the key to a happy employee?

When employees are happy, everyone wins. The key to happy employees is respect and validation during their experience as an employee. No two employees are alike but no matter the differences, respect and validation will result in happy employees. Being in touch with what respect means and knowing how to provide validation that matters to each individual is where the rubber meets the road.

The employee experience is an important part of the business to analyze.  It is the sum of everything an employee experiences throughout his or her connection to the organization — every employee interaction, from the first contact as a potential recruit to the last interaction after the end of employment. Employee experience can be thought of as the long game because it is a very strategic initiative.   

The Win-Win

When employees feel valued and their experience at work is positive —their dedication and enthusiasm for their jobs, coworkers, and companies grow. This, in turn, increases employee retention, performance, and productivity. 

Right now employee turnover is at an all-time high and it is incredibly costly for companies to lose employees. Areas to examine that contribute to an increase in a positive employee experience include well-trained managers who know how to talk to their people. These managers know how to gauge interest and happiness and have a willingness to meet regularly with each employee.  If managers have more than 10 direct reports, this becomes nearly impossible and the set up for failure begins…for the manager, for the employee, for the whole team.

Tips to Increase Employee Experience

  1. Understand that the clock starts the minute you post a job, call an applicant and conduct an interview. Define your company brand and the culture and stick to it. Any inconsistencies will be noticed. Check out our Series on how to Avoid Unintentional Missteps in the Hiring Process
  2. Treat applicants and employees as you would want to be treated. Respect their time and effort and tell them about how you respect them.
  3. Use every interaction as an opportunity. How do you begin and sign off on each email? Are you missing an opportunity to improve the employee experience? The day-to-day interactions will be the majority of employee experience.
  4. Conduct regular one-on-ones where you have an open discussion on their experience so far. Be sure to actively listen and understand where they are coming from in their feedback.
  5. Get creative in finding ways to learn more about how the employee perceives their working experience.  If they won’t share, keep inquiring.  It’s not the employee’s fault they aren’t comfortable to share their perceptions. Prove to them it’s ok and make changes where possible when they bring up concerns.
  6. Ensure managers of people have the time to do all of these requirements above.  If they don’t because they are working managers, know that it will result in turnover.  
  7. Understand the needs of each employee and try to offer things accordingly to these needs and your company culture. 
  8. Stay organized. Onboarding and training will set the stage for each employee’s experience. Set your staff up for success with a well-organized training program.
  9. Offer education and career development opportunities. Consider individual plans for each employee.

When employees feel valued—their dedication and enthusiasm for their jobs, coworkers, and companies grow. This, in turn, increases employee retention, performance, and productivity. To get started with a strategic initiative that will improve employee experience, contact HRinDemand.

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