Digital Transformation has rolled into just about every industry. The most successful projects have focused on two things:
Improving the Customer Experience
Improving the Employee Experience
For this article, we focused on how to improve the Employee Experience. We break up the employee experience into three main phases:
I will go through each phase and share some ideas, best practices and tips to help you improve the employee experience… and hire the top candidates and reduce turnover.
Phase 1. Pre-employment - Finding and Hiring Candidates
First Impressions only happen once! During this phase your company makes a first and lasting impression in the mind of the person. If you do this right, the person will likely have a great impression of you and your people whether they get a job or not.
Make sure you monitor your company image on Social sites and industry articles. Many managers use Google Alerts to help with this. Large companies use outside services to help track your company like Owler. They have a basic free and a more advanced paid service. Social services like Glass Door can make or break your future hiring goals.
During this phase the candidate learns about your company, the job postings, your people, company culture, and senior management philosophy.
These days it’s hard to get the top candidates’ attention. Job Postings need to be marketing documents, not just a list of facts. Have your jobs stand out when they’re posted.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
If you’re still manually using email, spreadsheets and calendars, you’re at a big disadvantage to companies that have upgraded from legacy processes to ATS software. ATS automates the process including: screening questions, increasing your candidate communications, automating calendar scheduling and feedback.
Interview / Offer / Rejection Process
The number one issue of almost every candidate when they’re job hunting is the complete lack of company communication of their status in the recruiting process. If there’s one thing you can do to improve your company’s image, it is to keep candidates updated as to their status in the process. Today, it’s just too competitive for top talent to not treat all candidates the best you possibly can.
Reporting and Government
In today's world and especially in states like California, you need to keep all your recruiting documentation and statistics. If anyone files a government complaint about your company recruiting process, you’re in big trouble if you don’t have all the information needed to defend your process and decisions.
If you have 100 applicants and hire only one person, 99 people go on to work for another company and proceed to talk about their first experience with your company… good or bad. A great way to get feedback on how your recruitment process works is to send a NPS (net promoter score) survey to everyone that applies for a job with your company. It’s usually a very simple 2-question survey. Here’s a sample survey and a cheat-sheet for analyzing the results:
Phase 2. Employment - Doing your job every day
OK… so you have all your people working hard every day. There are always people problems, process issues, technology challenges and lots of other stuff to deal with each day :) So how do you help create an outstanding employee experience?
First Impression as an Employee
A successful onboarding, a great first day and a well planned first 30-days sets the tone for an excellent employee experience. Make sure this happens for every new employee!
Job Goals and Results
You should meet the first week with all new employees to review the job goals, metrics and results. Remember that job description you posted and used to hire a new person? Pull it out and review the job goals and how their results will be measured. I can’t tell you enough how helpful this is for the employee experience.
Continuous Training for Life
Due to the accelerating fast pace of changes in technology, business processes and competition, all of us will spend the rest of our lives learning new skills and in some sort of training. You can’t stop learning because what you learn today will be replaced by new skill sets needed in the next year or two. Helping your people continue to develop their skills will alone start to reduce some of your employee turnover.
In the past, working for a small or midsize company, you may have had a week of training per year and a small training budget... if you were lucky. Today, you need to work with your employees and help them develop the skills sets to be great in their job and in future jobs. It’s important for a manager to explain that the employee owns their own training and that the manager and company’s job is to help them develop the best skill sets for today and prepare them for future jobs.
Feedback and Coaching
Regular coaching and feedback are two important steps in reducing turnover and attracting the best people. Every manager is busy! However, it’s so important to make time to coach your people.
Here are two quick tips:
If you have 10 direct employees, your goal should be coaching each employee once per month (or 2-3 short meetings per week)
If you’re a second level manager with 50 employees, your goal should be coaching each employee once per quarter (or 4-5 short meetings per week over 12 weeks)
As a manager, it’s important that you understand the career goals of your people. I ask employees to own their own plans. If they’re interested, I volunteer to help them put the plans together. The majority of employees do not actually create a career plan. However, everyone really appreciates it when you take an interest in their future success.
It’s a good idea to survey existing employees about how they feel about your company and get any feedback from them on how to improve your company’s employee experience. See above for example of a NPS survey form and how to analyze them.
Phase 3. Post-employment
Resign or Fired
It turns out that creating an excellent employee experience becomes even more important when your employees leave the company. Ex-employees will use social, texting and job sites to share their company’s good or bad experience with friends, family, future co-workers and social sites (i.e Glassdoor). In the “good old days,” a typical employee stayed in one company for an extended time. Millennial workers now average 1 to 3 years in one company before moving on to the next opportunity.
Alumni Relationship Programs
When someone leaves your company with a fantastic employee experience, they usually continue to talk positively about your people, managers and the company. To leverage that good will, some companies create special marketing programs to maintain a positive relationship to these former employees.
I worked for Deloitte Consulting in the past and they continue to send me newsletters, invite me to educational webinars and invitations to special Alumni local events that I can attend. A recent event had 300 former managers, executives and Deloitte senior staff. The overall goal for the company is to find employee referrals and new business opportunities with the Alumni's new companies…. and it works really well.
It’s a good idea to survey former employees when they leave on how they feel about your company and get any feedback from them on how to improve your company’s employee experience. See above for example of a NPS survey form and how to analyze them.
I hope you were able to pick up one or two good ideas that can really help you improve the employee experience at your current company.
Please contact us if you have any questions or need more information to help you be more successful this year.