As discovered in our recent blog “The Employee is Always Right”, it is crucial to master employee experience in the workplace. Improving employee experience not only increases productivity, reduces turnover and helps attract the best talent, but it also means that happy employees will be creating a happier experience for customers too. But how can this be transformed in the most simple, yet effective, way? Here are our “Top 10 Ways to Improve the Employee Experience”.
1. Make Your Workplace Rewarding
Nobody likes to feel like they’re being taken for granted, so it’s important for employees to feel recognised, and to be rewarded for their achievements. But not only is it important for managers to reward their employees, it’s also – and this is the key – important to create a framework in which employees can recognise one another’s achievements, and share praise. After all, in this age of social networking and the sharing economy, peer-to-peer recognition is more important than ever before. You can encourage this framework in many simple ways such as implementing an incentive plan, setting up a voting system for the employee of the week or recognising an employee every fortnight by buying them tickets to see their favourite band in concert.
2. Make Your Surroundings Beautiful
The best workplaces in the world are beautiful: for example, Allegro Group’s new offices in Warsaw look great, they are personalised with the company’s distinct aesthetic, and have a wide variety of places to meet, to enjoy meals, to exercise and so forth. It’s full of surprises, which in turn inspires employees to produce better work. Try bringing greenery and foliage into your office, or introduce furniture with a harmonious design.
3. Be Surprising!
It’s not only the design of your offices that should be surprising, but also the design of your working days. Company outings help strengthen bonds between colleagues and boost team morale, whether it’s lunch in a nearby restaurant, afternoon drinks in the pub, or a visit to the art gallery for creative inspiration. But a surprise could also be something as simple as a birthday cake and a round of good coffee. Remember: variety is the spice of life, and helps to keep everyone emotionally, intellectually and creatively stimulated.
4. Bend the Rules
Surprising though it may be, employees often work more efficiently, and creatively, when they’re offered some flexibility regarding when they work and where they work. They may want to come in a little later (or earlier) to avoid the worst of the traffic. They may have certain tasks that are more easily performed outside the office. They may need to go for a walk to think up new ideas. The most important thing is to trust your employees, and give them some leeway.
5. Make Your Own Luck
As we noted in our blog on “Engineering Serendipity”, one of the best ways to increase innovation, happiness and camaraderie is to create an environment that encourages chance encounters between employees who might not otherwise meet. One good way of doing this is to have shared kitchen and break out areas. Another is by hot-desking; and a great way to facilitate hot-desking is with our HotLocker Agile lockers, which allow everyone to move around the office but still maintain a personal storage space.
6. Make Room for Collaboration
A modern workplace should offer a wide variety of spaces for employees to collaborate in, from large meeting spaces that can accommodate whole teams to smaller meeting spaces for more intimate conversations. It’s also good to offer break out areas, with relaxed seating and coffee tables, for bringing people together informally – our Bleachers system of modular seating helps make a perfect space for some blue sky thinking.
7. Be Mindful
Wellbeing is more highly valued than ever, so it’s essential to provide a healthy work-life balance for your staff. Try offering enjoyable fitness and recreational activities, or organising canteens to encourage healthy eating.
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to combat anxiety and stress, and also boost creativity. Hence it’s great to provide quiet spaces, and to offer courses in meditation or subscriptions to mindfulness apps such as the world-famous Headspace.
8. Simplify Everything
This one is so important: simplicity is everything. A good way to simplify a modern workplace is to give employees more control over their working days and environment. For instance, way-finding tools can allow employees to find a free workspace, or a colleague, at the touch of a button. Set up your own wayfinding app with platforms like Spreo or Serraview.
9. Stay High-Tech
It’s vital for any modern company to stay up to date with the latest developments in technology. Not only can technological advances increase productivity, they can also keep your staff happy in unexpected ways: for instance, personal temperature control apps allow employees to feel comfortable at all times, while smart parking systems are able to direct them to an empty spot as soon as they arrive. And millennials, in particular, like their workplaces to be as high-tech as their homes.
The best companies improve their employee experience by taking inspiration from those that understand it best: their employees. Managers should be in constant communication with employees through open feedback systems and regular pulse surveys – meaning quick, short surveys, usually filled out online, that allow them to take the pulse of how everyone’s feeling immediately. The CultureAmp platform is highly rated and regarded as the world’s most powerful employee feedback and analytics platform that spans employee experience, engagement and effectiveness. We’re in an age of crowd-sourcing, and sharing, and the best way to solve any problem is often to listen to your employees.