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Employees Speak: Essential HR Considerations to Improve Experience

Wednesday September 29th, 2021

Estimated time to read: 2 minutes, 15 seconds

Employee experience (EX) is a priority for the majority of organizations this year, but it can be difficult for HR departments to decide where to focus their efforts. After all, EX is defined as the sum of all interactions that an employee has at work – this includes everything from onboarding to professional development opportunities (and much more).

To get some insight into the evolving expectations of today’s modern workforce, we surveyed more than 1,000 full-time employees from a variety of industries across the United States and highlighted the results in our “Voice of the Workforce: What Employees Say They Really Want” whitepaper. Below are some findings that HR teams should take into consideration when developing strategies to improve EX:

Streamline the Onboarding Process

According to the data, 51 percent of employees have been tempted to leave a new job due to a negative onboarding experience. This means that HR teams need to modernize onboarding processes or risk pushing half of their new hires to look for a new job.

So what does a modern onboarding experience look like? It starts with empowering new hires to electronically fill out forms and elect their benefits. Not only does this streamline first-day tasks for new hires, but it can also speed up the total time it takes to complete onboarding so employees can get started on tasks related to their position faster. This is important because 48 percent of employees think onboarding should last just 1-3 weeks.

Address Professional Development

The survey shows that 68 percent of employees feel like there is a skills gap within their organization. The top reasons why? 1) lack of training for new technology that has been implemented over the last year; 2) lack of tenured employees to knowledge share; and 3) not filling open roles. 

There are numerous ways for HR teams to address skills gaps within their organization, but a learning management system (LMS) is certainly worth considering. This is because an LMS empowers employees of all departments to improve their skill sets at their own pace via learning paths, microlearning sessions and role-specific training. In fact, the surveyed employees say that providing more education opportunities through an LMS is the top way they want their employer to support their professional development.

Leverage Employee Resource Groups to Improve DEI&B

Oftentimes EX and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) initiatives go hand in hand. This is because employees can’t have good experiences at work if they do not feel welcomed within their working environment. A great option for supporting DEI&B initiatives is with employee resource groups (ERGs).

According to the data, 24 percent of the employees surveyed in the Voice of the Workforce whitepaper have a physical disability. When asked what their employers could do to better accommodate their disability, 50 percent said offer support groups. This is a big area of opportunity for HR departments because 49 percent of the report’s total respondents said that their employer does not offer ERGs.

It is important to note that even though ERGs can have a positive impact on culture, the only way these groups are effective is if employees engage with them. The surveyed employees identified opportunities for employee participation as the second most important factor for an ERG to succeed. The most important factor? A defined purpose/goal that aligns with business needs. This ensures that every employee participating in the group is aware of and working toward the same purpose. 

Consider the Entire Employee Journey

When identifying ways to improve EX, it is important for HR departments to take the entire employee journey into consideration. This means ensuring employees have the right resources to perform their jobs, streamline tasks and stay engaged with their roles. Doing so can have many business benefits – from improving productivity to boosting retention and culture.

Discover more employee preferences by downloading our Voice of the Workforce whitepaper.