Both ‘engagement’ and ‘experience’ are terms used frequently and, by many, interchangeably. Experience is a newer trend, but does the changing terminology reflect a different approach, or is it just the latest buzzword? Which is more important? How has the pandemic changed our perspective? Will ‘hybrid’ working change our experiences, or our understanding of what engagement is? These are all questions that organisations are grappling with.
For some, employee engagement is a top-down concept, focused more on the employer; while employee experience is bottom-up and focused on the employee. Employee experience, as for customer experience, is an easier way to map the ‘touchpoints’ and ensure shared ownership, meaning it becomes not just ‘a HR thing’.
We believe there are numerous factors that influence levels of engagement, and which determine a positive working experience, particularly in today’s changing world of work. However, our own experience tells us that there are some critical inputs to consider:
- The level of understanding and support for the organisation and its priorities
- The practical employee experience of the workplace, the job and the way they as individuals are treated
- The trust employees feel in their organisation’s intent, in their leaders, and in their manager(s)
- The team relationships they have – with colleagues they work with, and especially their line manager.
Understanding and identifying which of these ‘input’ levers to pull to have the most impact on a desired outcome helps answer otherwise complex questions, such as ‘What should I focus on to improve engagement and experience within my part of the organisation?’
Employee engagement strategies
Explore the key themes having the greatest impact on engagement, such as leadership, communication and trust, and identify actions, programmes and priorities.
Employee experience strategies
Explore which aspects of the employee experience are most and least positive, identify the ‘moments that matter’, and articulate the desired employee experience and the necessary actions to deliver it.
Employee empowerment diagnostics
Identify the factors which empower employees, establish what these factors look like practically, and design activities and interventions to implement them.
Employee research and insight has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. It has moved from a simple measurement of employee satisfaction, to deep-dive analytical measurement of the whole employee experience and lifecycle, employee sentiment analysis and complex segmentation analytics.
In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of change in our workplaces, with an even sharper focus on leadership and management, flexible working practices, technology, wellbeing, communication and systems and processes. To succeed, organisations have had to be agile and think differently to create a different set of behaviours amongst employees. Organisations have built people-centric, listening cultures, with wellbeing at the forefront, they have adapted their cultures to ensure workforces are inclusive no matter where you are working from, and people managers have adapted their style of management and communication.
However, at the heart of employee research is understanding employee behaviour and how organisations can provide the best conditions, leadership and management, and communication to enable employees to work at their best. What can be a challenge is where to start with the myriad of options and choices open to organisations when considering researching employees, and how to inject life into a stale employee survey process that has been in place for many years.
Create an end-to-end employee survey process as a stand-alone project, or as part of a larger cultural programme of work, with best advice on which platform to use, as we are platform agnostic.
Gather employee insight and analysis on day-to-day behaviours and experiences to gain a deeper understanding of current levels of engagement and identify the challenges.
Employee wellbeing and diversity
Ensure wellbeing and diversity is at the heart of your organisation, and that the behaviours of all employees support these strategies.
Want to discuss an employee engagement project?Get in touch