Retention & Engagement

6 steps to an ideal employee experience

ideal employee experience

“Engaging” employees is not enough in today’s work environment.

We now understand that people want the best possible “employee experience” (EX) you can provide.

EX is the soul of a workplace community, reflecting the heart and values of the CEO whose shared vision and leadership set expectations for everything else.

In the past, that usually meant retaining power and decision-making, adhering to hierarchy and tradition, and micromanaging.

Today’s successful leaders recognize that using their soft skills is the key to meeting expectations for kinder, gentler, more flexible, human-centric work experiences.

CEOs who have the courage to put their people first create communities where employees choose to be.

A supportive HR team nurtures EX and ensures that it aligns with your vision. Working together, you create a unique and compelling community that secures a significant competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining employees.


What Employees Want Most from You

Families are feeling more connected after the challenging times they’ve experienced over the past few years. In addition to enjoying more time together, they are saving money and finding convenience from new workplace policies toward flexibility, choice, and the option for remote or hybrid work. People are committed to finding a better balance that supports both their personal life and professional growth, underpinned with competitive compensation.

People expect support from their employers in achieving this objective, making these factors critical to developing a successful employee experience strategy for 2023 and the coming years. However, at this point in time, employers are failing employees in a big way. As a consequence, businesses are also at risk of failing.

TalenTrust’s nationwide research of more than 3,000 business leaders over the past three years finds that close to half of surveyed employers are failing to effectively address and monitor their employee experience.

Because EX has a direct and powerful impact on your ability to recruit and retain talent, it’s realistically the only competitive edge your company has. It is significantly more positive in organizations whose community focus is on well-being and where leaders are human-centric and see, hear, and nurture employees holistically. It could well be time to rethink your employee experience strategy and the costs of failure.

Why Are We Failing?

Much of the problem is related to outdated thinking. Change over the past few years has come at a tumultuous rate and many leaders are fighting a losing battle to return to the control over employees typical of the past. The following signs may be preventing you from creating the positive EX people are demanding from today’s employers:

  • Leadership failure to embrace new workplace realities
  • No clear vision or purpose
  • Mandating unnecessary “return to work” policies that don’t allow for remote or hybrid options
  • No Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) on your leadership team
  • Failure to consider the impact of all policies and procedures on people’s lives
  • Not recognizing that people are a holistic blend of home and work lives that can’t be separated
  • Lack of leadership focus on building trusting relationships with employees
  • Poor or infrequent communication or lack of transparency
  • Employees are not empowered to make decisions related to their roles
  • Failure to appropriately recognize people’s contributions through recognition

Develop Your Best Strategy in These Six Easy Steps

Crafting the ideal employee experience strategy is an ongoing process that includes embracing positive change and creating a community of dignity and mutual respect.

It’s entirely possible to be empathic and kind while holding people accountable to each other and to your mission and goals. Following are six critical steps to guide you in crafting your ideal EX strategy from attraction to attrition.

1. Listen first. Then Act. 

As a baseline, ask current employees how they feel working in your company and what would make it even better for them.

2: Put your people first, above everything else.

Think of employees as your internal customers and treat both with the same care and interest.

3: Hire the right people at every level.

Develop a recruiting process built on a sales model with a pipeline of diverse and widely sourced candidates.

4: Put People in the right roles.

Just as important as having the right people on board is making sure they are in the right roles to be challenged and fulfilled.

5: Think coach, not boss.

From CEO to supervisor, develop leaders who connect deeply with their people to build trusting relationships and healthy environments.

6: Don’t try for perfection.

Aspire to create a community that’s irresistible, enabling you to attract and retain the top talent with the skills and culture alignment you need to succeed.

Any organization can craft a uniquely irresistible employee experience journey that meets today’s expectations and business objectives. Clinging to past practices and policies may feel comfortable and safe but they are a path to failure.

Want to learn more? Then be sure to register for Kathleen’s discussion, “Unlock Your Organization’s Talent Strategy,” which will include a facilitated Q&A session with Vistage Master Chair Charles Gounaris.


Related Resources

5 ways CEOs can increase employee engagement

Gaining top talent with an employee value proposition

Category: Retention & Engagement

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About the Author: Kathleen Quinn Votaw

Kathleen Quinn Votaw is Founder and CEO of TalenTrust and KQV Speaks. She is the author of two books, Solve

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