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Is HR Out of Touch?
Prioritize Employee Experience

Work-related icons and two emojis: one of a happy face, and the other of a sad face, representing employee experience.
Hacking HR Team

Posted on March 14, 2024

A competitive benefits package and perks are a core aspect of work stability, but even by checking those boxes, you may still be unable to prevent your top talent from walking out the door. In fact, more than 47 million workers quit their jobs in the United States in 2022. Hence, people switching jobs and industries, moving from traditional to non-traditional roles, retiring early, or starting their businesses is a sign that more must be done from within. Even though the numbers are there, you can’t just quantify them with simple spreadsheets, and in many cases, there is likely a disconnect between your HR metrics and what employees are truly experiencing.

Today's employees desire connection, purpose, and recognition that their work matters. The focus must shift to a holistic, human-centered employee experience to retain talent and build a thriving workforce.

What is Employee Experience?

Micromanaging to the minute, the countless steps your employees have to take to share feedback, and no recognition at all because everyone is doing what they are paid to do. Your most outdated HR form — the one with the confusing questions, a long approval chain, and a design straight out of the 90s — is the foundation for your entire approach to employee well-being… But no, that is NOT what Employee Experience should feel or look like.

Instead, this is EX:

  • It’s your employees' knowing that their lives outside of work are respected and that they feel supported when unexpected challenges arise.

  • It's a manager who takes the time to understand their associates’ contributions and offers guidance that helps them reach their full potential.

  • Seeing people from all backgrounds in leadership roles and feeling like everyone’s unique perspective is genuinely valued.

  • The fact that there are accessible channels to share feedback and that those ideas are put into action.

So, we've established that EX goes beyond perks and paychecks. But why exactly should HR professionals prioritize this approach?

Why Does Employee Experience Matter?

If employee engagement is so profitable, why are so many companies still operating like it's the 2000s? And why are we still facing a mass exodus of talent? The disconnect lies in what companies think matters vs. what employees truly need to feel valued and encouraged.

Let's break down some hard truths:

  • The Cost of Complacency: Companies with strong EX see 3x the ROI, meaning more budget for the HR initiatives you care about. Plus, resignation means lost knowledge, recruitment costs—double the cost of an employee's annual salary—and a hit to team morale.

  • Beyond Beanbags and Benefits: Office perks are nice, but they don't address the root causes of burnout, disengagement, and lack of motivation. Employees crave flexibility, recognition, and seeing their work make a tangible impact.

  • The Ripple Effect: One disengaged employee doesn't simply quit but also tells their friends, posts scathing reviews online, and lowers their team's morale. Hence, neglecting EX creates a toxic cycle that erodes your company culture and damages your reputation as an employer.

The bottom line is that investing in a truly human-centered employee experience is the key to attracting top talent, boosting productivity, and building a company that people fight to join and rarely want to leave. Below, you’ll learn how to do it at your company. People Experience Strategist CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

How to Enhance Employee Experience: Key Strategies for Immediate Results

Enhancing employee experience is too often seen as expensive and time-consuming. Nonetheless, many of the most impactful EX strategies are simple. While a company-wide culture shift takes time, there are immediate steps you can take to create an environment where employees feel appreciated. And let's not forget the challenges of remote and hybrid work – addressing employee experience beyond the traditional office setting is now critical.

The Quick Win – Revamp Your Onboarding

First impressions make a lasting impact. A chaotic onboarding process can leave new hires feeling overwhelmed and unsupported, increasing the risk of early turnover.

Action Steps:

Master the "Moment That Matters" – Transform Your Performance Reviews

When performance reviews are done poorly, employees feel demoralized and undervalued.

Action Steps:

Beyond the Office Walls – Prioritizing EX for Remote Workers

Remote and hybrid workforces face unique EX challenges, including disconnection and burnout. Ignoring these needs will lead to high turnover, even among talented employees.

Action Steps:

The Data-Driven Approach – Measuring EX for Actionable Insights

Sometimes, HR may rely on gut instinct to determine what employees need. Data is essential for uncovering the real pain points impacting your EX.

Action Steps:

  • Utilize short, focused pulse surveys tied to specific touchpoints (e.g., post-onboarding, following a policy change).

  • Analyze exit interview data for common EX-related themes.

  • Use an EX-focused platform to gather and analyze data over time.

80% of executives rate employee experience as necessary, yet only 22% of companies use data extensively to measure EX impacts.

Building a positive, people-centric employee experience is a continuous process, not a single initiative. By prioritizing innovative changes with visible results, HR teams can transform their workplace into one where top talent thrives. Investing in EX isn't just a "nice to have" – it directly impacts your company's reputation, productivity, and ability to attract the best people.

Final Thoughts

The disconnect between what companies think employees want and what truly motivates them costs businesses dearly. The outdated practices that may be running your EX strategy must be shifted to a more authentic approach ignited by your people’s voice because benefits alone won't solve the root cause of the problem. And even if the Great Resignation may be over, creating a workplace built on genuine connection and empowering your workforce to stay for the long run is still non-negotiable.

If you're ready to embrace this change and become a champion for your employees, the "Fundamentals of HR" Certificate Program is the perfect starting point. Gain the essential skills and knowledge to transform your EX strategies and build a workplace culture where employees are excited to contribute.

Flyer of the certificate program "Fundamentals of HR" for Human Resources professionals who want to deep-dive into the basic foundations of HR.

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