The employee experience has long been a complex obstacle for HR professionals. Each employee has unique needs, abilities, and perspectives. As such, identifying a way to make the workplace experience resonate positively across an entire workforce presents an equally unique set of challenges. HR technologists and business leaders are rising to meet these challenges.
Modern technology has advanced to the degree that more things are possible. For example video conferencing and remote work tools can connect a geographically disparate workforce, empower more data-driven performance conversations, and develop content strategies that elevate an employment brand. Let’s dive into some of the ways technology is enhancing the elusive employee experience, below.
Engage a distributed workforce
Jacob Morgan, an author, keynote speaker, and HR futurist says “Employee experience doesn’t need to replace engagement. The two can actually work together, and in fact, they have to.”
The engagement level of a particular employee correlates directly with their workplace experiences. Thus, it’s vital for HR teams to develop strategies that prioritize employee experience for all employees, not just the ones located on site. The prevalence of workplace technology, including mobile devices, video conferencing tools, and collaboration software platforms has enabled a growing number of the world’s population to work from anywhere. Remote work isn’t just a fad anymore, it’s becoming standard amongst some of the world’s preeminent employers. As of 2019, 66% of companies allow remote work, and 16% operate with fully remote staff.
The incorporation of workflow tools like the ones mentioned above helps distributed workers engage with their team. It’s also important to consider geographically clustering remote workers. This way, HR staff can coordinate meetup events for remote teams that help them feel less isolated, especially if the main office isn’t within a reasonable traveling distance.
Enrich performance discussions
Another factor impacting employee engagement is feedback. A recent report found 89% of HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and managerial check-ins are key for positive employee outcomes. The same report also concludes that 47% of HR professionals find retention and turnover to be their most significant hurdle. In order to mitigate voluntary turnover, HR teams should prioritize the development of feedback structures based on real-time performance data. These can be fed through the use of performance management software, which enables flexible performance evaluations, and real-time feedback for managers and employees.
These tools support the effort of HR teams to optimize and manage their workforce in the face of a rapidly evolving digital ecosystem. Employees also benefit from this data-driven approach through the creation of measurable, iterative goals that are realistic and rewarding. They can also be empowered through the ability to provide upward feedback to improve the performance management process. Ultimately, as performance management technology evolves, so will the understanding of the connection between feedback and the overall employee experience, and the role each individual plays in the process.
Build a socially-driven employment brand
Employee advocacy is an HR and recruiting term that is gaining steam as an industry-standard strategy. At its core, employee advocacy involves the promotion of an organization by its members. Today, the prevalence of social networks like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, alongside professional networking platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor means that employment brands are more visible than ever. HR and recruiting teams are beginning to think more like marketers, focusing on creating content that serves a few key objectives, including:
- Engaging and informing the current workforce
- Incentivizing sharing amongst employee networks
- Painting an accurate, compelling picture of what it’s like to work at a company (work/life balance, employee highlights, behind the scenes and special events).
Content marketing is an important skill in any recruiter’s toolbox. The key is to develop content that employees will want to share (and prospective candidates will respond well to). Modes of media consumption are shifting. Socially-driven strategies are quickly becoming one of the best ways to engage employees through brand marketing while also appealing to future talent.
For example, HR Daily Advisor states that 59% of B2B marketers rely on email marketing to drive leads — the recruiting sector is no different. Consider the use of digital tools to embed interactive video content into a targeted email sourcing campaign. In this way, recruiters can create a personable connection with prospective talent while going beyond unexciting plain text with visual impact that’s hard to forget. Video content can also be leveraged across other social channels and shared with employee advocates in order to spread the message. Socially-driven strategies are quickly becoming one of the best ways to engage employees through brand marketing while also appealing to future talent.
Employee experience is a powerful tool that can drive recruiting and business objectives. Marketing capabilities are becoming increasingly ingrained into HR and recruiting job functions, alongside the judicious use of enterprise technology tools. The employee experience will only continue to grow in prominence and companies of all sizes are taking notice.