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Any experienced business leader should know that the employee experience (EX) has become vital to long-term business success. For example, a recent Salesforce study found that companies can increase revenue growth by up to 50% by focusing on EX. What’s more, a highly engaged workforce has been shown to increase profitability by 21%, sales by 20%, and customer ratings by 10%.
Although this isn’t anything new, the employee experience has taken on a newfound importance in today’s post-pandemic world. Employees’ expectations for flexible working, physical and mental health support, and insurance coverage are higher than ever – illustrating how hard businesses must work to keep their people happy and engaged.
Today’s workforce simply won’t stand for inadequate tools, siloed working practices, or a work/life imbalance. And, with 56% of professionals in the UAE planning to change jobs in 2022, it’s clear that employees aren’t afraid to leave a company that doesn’t meet their expectations around the working environment and their overall experience.
With all this in mind, it’s no surprise that 92% of organizations are prioritizing EX enhancements over the next three years, compared to just 52% before the pandemic. The big question is, what are the key areas you should be focusing on? Here are four things to keep in mind.
1. Establish a scalable framework
Maintaining a company culture while growing and scaling operations is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today – particularly with employees spending more time working remotely. That’s why it’s so important to embrace a digital-first mindset and let technology do the hard work for you.
Choosing the right platforms and partners, while creating policies that help build consistent and inclusive workplace culture, will make it easier to deliver a holistic employee experience at scale. This could include establishing clear and actionable values or providing tools that facilitate both virtual and in-person workplace relationships.
Whichever path you take, remember that rapid growth doesn’t have to mean your culture and EX suffer. Establishing the right digital infrastructure early on will provide the foundation for a scalable employee experience – making your people want to stay and contribute to the business as it grows.
2. Empower employees to perform
Empowered employees are critical enablers of company strategy and success. Your job as a business leader is to ensure your people are able to perform to the best of their ability – both in terms of workplace processes and employee wellness.
On the process side, the likes of cloud-based platforms can provide the flexibility and autonomy that today’s employees are looking for. Having access to a central app or platform through which employees can request leave, track reimbursements, and access the information they need to get work done can completely transform the work life experience, empowering them to spend more of their time focusing on the job at hand.
This must all be supplemented by tools that support employees’ physical, mental and financial well-being. From access to online pharmacies to healthy lifestyle offers, ensuring employees are well looked after will empower them to perform at their best. And it all stems from instilling a digital-first mindset across the business.
3. Enable career development
Developing talent has always been key to any successful business. Employees that are continuously learning and progressing to fulfill their career goals will be more likely to contribute to long-term business growth. This requires a framework that meets the needs of today’s employees, recognizing the fact that the processes involved in professional development have evolved.
This is why modernizing performance management is now so important. Digital performance management platforms can streamline processes, increase accountability, uncover the trends that lead to poor performance, and make it easier for line managers and employees to keep track of progress.
Perhaps most importantly, digitizing performance management will help to foster an environment that empowers all stakeholders to build successful, high-performing teams. Line managers will be able to align objectives with your company’s goals, while employees will be empowered to grab the opportunities available to them. That’s a win-win for everyone.
4. Support employees personally as well as professionally
It’s no longer enough just to provide professional support as part of the work life experience. Employee health and well-being is now a critical pillar of EX. This is illustrated by the fact that 63% of organizations acknowledge the need to prioritize employee well-being in order to enhance the employee experience.
Mental health in particular has taken on newfound importance. A recent study found that UAE workers are among the most stressed in the world, with 34% claiming to have a lack of support. Your focus should therefore be on investing in the mental health of your workers, which has been proven to reduce burnout and absenteeism while boosting productivity and employee retention.
The key is to go deeper with benefits packages. Swap superficial perks for meaningful benefits such as online access to professional mental health advisors curated content libraries, or the ability to book online sessions with licensed therapists. Giving employees access to free consultations anytime, anywhere, will demonstrate a serious commitment to mental health and help employees feel valued.
Want to learn more? Click here to download our new employee experience toolkit.