Cos can be successful by improving the work experience

By Sonica Aron
Much has been written and spoken about employee experience and it has never been more critical than in these turbulent times. An organization can have the best product or the most outstanding service offering, the most sophisticated machinery, the most streamlined and efficient processes. But at the end of the day, it’s the people who market and sell these products and services, and run these machines and processes. Products, services, machines and processes – all will become obsolete or reorganized or depreciate. But the trust, loyalty, tacit knowledge and experience of a workforce only develop over time.
Employee experience and expectations
Therefore, it becomes imperative in these difficult times that we pay close attention to the employee experience that we provide to our workforce. There is a direct correlation between employee experience and Talent attraction, engagement and retention and, therefore, organizational productivity and profitability.
Employee experience is an employee’s perception and feelings about their journey through all points of contact with their organization, from the selection process to exit. While HR policies and practices have an important role to play, most employees experience organizations in several ways – through their team members, their informal network, physical and virtual infrastructure, but most importantly through their manager.
Employee expectations of organizations have evolved over time, and it is important to take note of the changing workforce demographics as well as the impact of the pandemic. Up to 46% of India’s workforce includes millennials, and India has the largest Gen Z workforce. According to Deloitte’s Ninth Global Millennium Survey, this workforce wants to work for vocationally oriented organizations, wants enough free time to remain stress free, and wants organizations to become aware of the emotional well-being needs of employees.
The pandemic has also changed a lot for people. The way of life as we have known it has undergone a significant change. Priorities have changed. The way we consume, celebrate life, have fun, relax, de-stress, value relationships, everything has changed. Employee experience, which was once seen as points of contact throughout life stages within the organization, will now need to be viewed more holistically as employee experience at different stages of an organization’s life. employee. This is a massive change that organizations, HR, leaders and managers will have to make and integrate into their interactions with their employees as well as into their policies and processes.
An experience is something that is felt, not through one medium but through several. Thus, everyone will have a role to play in building the desired employee experience.
Role of direction
Leadership will play an important role not only in embedding the overall purpose of the organization, but also in setting the tone for a culture based on curiosity, empathy and transparency. Curiosity to understand the realities experienced by each employee and what they really need at different stages of their life – professional and personal, in order to be able to remain stress-free and productive, engaged and efficient. Empathy to be able to come up with solutions that work for a diverse workforce, to be able to put people first when needed, to be able to listen without judging. Transparency in all decision-making and communication to build and strengthen trust.
Role of HR
HR will need to come up with real-time solutions, and they’ve done it. A lot of companies have employee-friendly policies in place to help people weather the extremely difficult time brought by the second wave of the pandemic. These include expanding medical insurance, providing trauma counseling, offering bereavement and compassion packages, providing mandatory downtime for employees to heal, having service. delivery of food, access to self-quarantine facilities, organize vaccination camps and much more.
However, it is about crisis management. Another looming challenge is the emotional well-being of employees who are concurrently grappling with deliverables, long working hours, lofty goals, fatigue with the ongoing pandemic, and uncertainty. As the second wave subsides, which it will, the fear of the third wave will exist. Normalcy is not coming back anytime soon. Creating a psychologically safe work environment through policies, processes and communications will be an ongoing effort.
Role of managers
Direct managers play the most critical role in how an employee experiences the organization. Whether all well-intentioned policies are implemented in the spirit, team culture reflects curiosity, empathy and transparency – it all depends a lot on the manager. This chapter has never been part of a managerial development path and managers also learn on the job. Balancing business deliverables with the well-being of team members, ensuring a smooth experience for employees virtually or in hybrid work models is all new to them too. This is a capacity that will need to be strengthened in all organizations until 2021 for lasting success.
Ultimately, it bodes well to remember that one size doesn’t fit all. Flexible and personalized experiences that meet the needs of a diverse workforce, people from different backgrounds, with different perspectives, life stages, genders, orientations, abilities, experiences and aspirations must be integrated into the fabric of the organization.
(The writer is founder and managing partner of Marching Sheep)

Maria D. Ervin