Organizations today are facing a unique challenge as many of their employees return to physical offices; their old EX journey is failing and the reason is clear: evolved employee expectations. This calls for a dire need to improve employee experience, especially if organizations want to put up a good fight against Great Resignation.
An EX and engagement project undertaken by us last year for a client in the Indian aviation industry provided some helpful insights and tips on how to successfully create experiences that make ‘back to work’ worth it for employees. Take a look:
1. Communicate the ‘Why’
The pandemic has pushed purpose to the center stage. It is critical that you openly communicate the ‘why’ behind coming to the physical office. Many employees think going to the office is going to be a waste of time and energy, you need to present them with a strong reason proactively. Only then will they find taking a step out of their homes and comfort zones worth it.
This is why the first step in engaging the employees of our client was to clearly communicate the reasons why their return to the physical office was crucial and how their employer was dedicated to ensuring a safe workspace for them. Without this clarity, future engagement efforts and policies could have proved to be failures.
Right from recruitment, you need to communicate the purpose behind your organization and offer them meaning at every stage. This is paramount to motivate and improve productivity even in times of change and challenges.
2. Prioritize Employee Safety and Wellness
You as an employer must guarantee a healthy work environment and protection from COVID 19 by appointing strict safety policies in offices.
To ensure the same, while designing physical engagement experiences for our client, we put into place all safety measures and oversaw their implementation so no participant felt uncomfortable or unsafe during their return to the workspace.
Moreover, investing in the health of not just your employees but also their immediate families through compassionate leaves, broader insurance coverage, mental health counselors in office spaces, etc. is a big plus to retaining talent. Additionally, you must keep in mind that your employees want and expect longer leave periods, agency in deciding their schedules and work deliverables, and want a say in how they work. Without these, remote work will always reign supreme for your employees.
3. Build an Engaging Physical Work Environment
Culture is everything to employees, which is why it needs to be a lived aspect of the employees’ workspace and experience, both physical and remote. As an employer, you must design in-office experiences by bringing in the right technology to ensure community building and focus on communication and collaboration to create a thriving working environment.
During our work with the client, we provided a range of engagement solutions to build an exciting and enriching office experience for their employees. With the right mix of gamification, technology, and on-ground activities that involved teamwork and peer connection, we were able to deliver a fun ‘back to work’ experience to the employees.
Moreover, by aligning activities to the organization’s core values, we were able to cultivate an aligned workforce that truly enjoys being in the office, feels connected to the organization as well as the team they work with, and believes that the working environment helps them do their best work.
4. Empower Managers, Contribute to Employee Growth
To improve employee experience, your organization must invest in its employees. And a major contributor here is having managers that feel empowered to drive employee growth. This starts by fostering positive manager-employee relationships.
Through dedicated offline and online engagements, we helped our clients create a space where managers and employees were able to work together on fun tasks and engage in conversations that they might not have had the opportunity to in the last two years. This laid the foundation for employees to freely discuss challenges and anxieties and helped the managers understand what they could do to support their team better.
Such conversations can lead to the introduction of need-based L&D programs and can help managers identify and nurture the potential of their employees while providing them opportunities to pursue creative endeavors. In addition, clarity about employee needs can help craft better-suited rewards and recognition programs, enhancing employee experience furthermore.
Improve employee experience today, retain the best employees tomorrow
As your employees return to physical offices, your organization must be prepared to deal with their revised expectations and improve employee experience to match the same. And this involves making some big and many small changes. Failing to do so can lead to a disengaged, demotivated, disconnected, and unproductive workforce.
Do reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require any help putting these changes into action. We are more than happy to help!