A recent study found that 75% of companies said their top objective was to improve customer experience.
Although this is fantastic to see that many C-Suite executives are thinking more about the customer than they are about anything else, it begs to question how this could be accomplished outside of simply tailoring the company’s products to the liking of its customers?
Investing back into the company’s workforce and increasing employee happiness is a logical next step that can positively trickle down into other areas of the company if correctly nurtured. Cultivating a specific, yet flexible employee journey and adjusting the employee experience for each role is the first of many key steps. Let’s look deeper into how to develop these key programs and how to increase employee engagement via leading a digital workforce transformation in companies regardless of their operating size.
Onboarding employees is more important than most companies admit it is. A large portion of the hiring process for most organizations has predominantly been placed on the shoulders of their human resources teams to source candidates and “close the deal” so to speak. Of the 28% of new hires who left their job in the first 90 after being hired, it was found in a recent Jobvite survey that 43% of them left because the company’s day-to-day role expectations were not aligned with what they were told when they were hired. Organizations that find themselves unable to hang onto employees for longer than a few months should begin focusing more of their attention on outlining journeys for all employees (not just new hires).
A recent study found that 77% of employees could meet or exceed their first performance milestones when a formal employee journey was established. That figure drops more than 30% when a formal employee journey was not configured for the employee. Before formulating an employee journey, a company must define the stages that the employee will pass through in their anticipated lifespan with the company. Organizing specific goals and expectations that relate to the role and having it all allocated to the employee’s internal profile will help managers and teams communicate and update progress to determine the status of the employee’s performance, happiness, and satisfaction with their role and the organization.
Employers have tried to engage and retain employees via different perks and benefits that make working in an office environment more enjoyable. Most of these perks come at no cost to the organization and they provide a short-term motivator that may help to entice new hires to the company. Unfortunately, they are merely superficial motivators and do nothing to keep employees engaged and happy. Thus, they provide little to no promising growth towards offering your customers a better experience.
It is for this reason that companies need to put more stress on in-house training that should be formatted and allocated to employees periodically to uplift and inspire them to succeed within their roles. Many C-suite executives are apprehensive to offer training to their employees due to the assumption that their employees will most likely leave once they receive said training. This may be true for a certain percentage of employees, but for the most part, it is not the norm.
If the training programs are formatted in a way that allows employees to turn company and brand values into a competitive advantage for themselves, they can effectively become brand ambassadors. This allows the company to retain their employees, increase their happiness, and allow them to increase the company’s overall customer satisfaction experience.
Identifying what an individual employee needs to fulfill their role in the organization is one thing, but putting the pieces of the puzzle together to identify how to engage an entire organization’s workforce is an entirely different beast to take on. With 32% of employees in the U.S. currently being engaged (involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and organization) in their respective workforces, we can see that there is definitely still much room for improvement.
Thankfully, the steps to improving workforce engagement are simpler to implement than you may think. For example, one study found that workforce engagement increased dramatically when employees received examples of constructive feedback about their weaknesses and even more so when they received feedback about strengths. This type of engagement doesn’t cost companies a penny and can ultimately lead to a more inclusive workforce if seamlessly implemented within the company culture.
A recent study found that 87% of organizations see employee engagement as being their top challenge. The first step towards developing a process for employee engagement is for the company to communicate their commitment to their employees in an empathetic way that promotes a focus on their well-being that sparks a two-way dialogue. Once that dialogue is established, the organization must build a rapport with employees and understand areas of improvement via assessing their responses to company-wide surveys. All feedback assessed within the survey(s) should be communicated individually to each candidate and in a summarized format to the organization to promote further engagement and company unity.
Parallel to these company-wide surveys should be individual surveys pertaining to individual job performance as it pertains to their behavior. Providing timely, positive feedback to these individual surveys is important to reinforce positive workforce behaviors that the company can use to motivate their employees in the future. When the individual is recognized for their efforts, it will further give them incentive to succeed in their roles. Once this employee has been motivated by these factors, the organization must give them the digital tools necessary to collaborate and lead others in the organization by their own example.
When properly integrated into the workforce, a digital employee performance management system can help to optimize employee performance and happiness. A 360 or 180-degree feedback approach is one way to document these optimizations, thus becoming an influential self-development tool. These approaches allow employees to rate their reviewer’s competencies while the reviewer does the same to the employee. This methodology allows both individuals to grow as a team and sharpen their self-awareness skills. This can also be a great time for both individuals to empathize with the other’s role and work together towards becoming a more cohesive unit.
Creating a digitized process for this feedback approach and storing the information obtained from the feedback sessions in a centralized location for all employees to see will promote further engagement and establish trust relationships with peers throughout the company. The organization could take this methodology one step further and formulate a gamification response to value-added activities such as eLearning trainings that are easy to participate in.
A study by the Pew Research Center found that 53% of companies agreed that by 2020, significant advances in the adoption and use of gamification methodologies will play a large role in everyday activities. If the gamification system is implemented to accommodate real-time feedback via a points-based system, it will end up boosting employee motivation and make them feel appreciated and recognized for what they do for the organization.
Digital Workforce Transformation
The process of streamlining employee journeys shouldn’t stop at feedback. To truly reap the benefits of increased customer engagement via the implementation of an employee journey, an organization must also supplement said journeys with technology.
This technology should be utilized to inform employees of company happenings and instill brand value whenever possible to create a more inclusive company culture. The fact remains that 74% of employees start feeling left out if they are uninformed on company news and important information. This can lead to dwindling engagement levels which can also decrease company productivity levels by anywhere between 20-25%.
Most companies can nurture this engagement via digital means by developing a company newsletter that considers everything from company events to spotlight articles on employees that embody the organizational culture. Any technology that the organization integrates must always focus on supplementing current processes, rather than being a stand-alone solution.
For example, a human resources team could integrate an employee profile section of their portal for users to personalize and thereby collaborate with other internal leaders. In the end, the technology should not be the focal point of the digital transformation. The people should be the focus. This ensures that the strategy for increased engagement is genuine and sustainable.
A recent PwC survey found that 73% of executives cited revenue growth as the top benefit of their digital workforce transformation initiatives. To lead these types of digital transformation, leaders must champion their employees and focus on mapping their journeys whilst engaging with them on an individual and organizational level.
Nurturing individual employee journeys and developing a fully-fledged employee experience can effectively be the foundation for development of workforce engagement and digital workforce transformation initiatives. These initiatives can encourage positive results on everything from customer experience to sustainable revenue growth that can propel an organization to the next echelon if encouraged internally by organizational leaders.
Propane, Digital Agency
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