Think for a moment about some of the most memorable experiences in your life.
Was it when you accomplished something you had worked hard on? Was it a place you visited that was new, different and exciting? Memorable experiences impact us and tend to stay with us for long periods of time.
Early in my career, I was invited to participate in a professional development program. It was an honor to be selected to participate in this exclusive program, which was conducted offsite over a period of several weeks. Since this was before cellphones and email, we were completely disconnected from our day-to-day jobs. Even though I didn’t work directly with most of the people in this program, this shared experience created a bond that was deep and lasted for years.
At other times in my career and now with clients, I’ve participated as a member of a team working on a short-term project. We come together regularly, have specific goals and objectives for our work effort, and we deepen our relationships as we do our work. Sometimes we come together socially or got out for a fun excursion, to expand the relationships and learn about each other in a slightly different setting. By the end of the project, we have built lasting relationships and deep trust.
These experiences were truly memorable. And they elevated my overall employee experience to something bigger than my job. I felt connected, engaged and appreciated.
No doubt you’ve heard the stories just as I have about someone who starts a new job and it takes them a week to get a computer with access to all the systems they need to do their job. Or the stories about people who work together for years, but don’t really know anything about each other’s lives. Would your employees say their work experience is memorable? Is it days filled with endless meetings, emails and work waiting to be done, but little connection?
Employee experience spans from the moment recruiting starts, until well after the last day of employment with the organization. It includes all aspects of the culture, social interactions with colleagues, and the physical workplace, to name a few. In today’s tight job market, employee experience is becoming a focus of many HR departments.
At a basic level, employee experience is really about employee well-being. To what extent is the environment both physically and psychologically safe. To what extent are individuals nurtured and supported in the work environment or are they just labor to be used and tossed aside when they are no longer needed.
How is your organization creating a meaningful employee experience? Five years from now will employees remember feeling energized, connected and that the experiences were memorable?