How Employee Workplace Experience Will Determine Office Engagement

Employee experience is generally how your employees feel, hear, and see when interacting with the different aspects of your business. This spans from the interaction with the leadership, the team, the physical environment, technology, the work schedules, communication and more. Moreover, the experience that your employees have with your organization will determine how engaged they will be in their work. Give them a good experience and you can expect happy and highly engaged individuals who are committed to give their best to achieve the organization’s growth. On the other hand, a bad employee experience can lead to unmotivated and disengaged employees, and reduced productivity in the end. Here are ways workplace experience will influence employee engagement.

Recruitment experience

The recruitment process is the first touch point the employees have with your organization. Providing a good experience at this point will earn you highly engaged employees from the word go. New hires will start their roles motivated and fully committed to live your vision. Moreover, if you consistently offer the best experience, the effects can be for the entire life cycle of the employees with your organization.

Some of the practices that you can incorporate in your hiring strategy to improve employee experience include simplifying the application process, maintaining constant communication throughout the process, and putting in place an effective onboarding process. This might include sending a welcome gift, assigning an orientation buddy and providing the new hires with the resources they need to be productive.

Social experience

A good social experience in the workplace entails creating a safe social environment where employees are not afraid to be themselves. They can share their opinions and concerns without fear of intimidation. In addition, it provides a conducive environment where employees and the management interact and collaborate in more meaningful ways to create strong relationships. Indeed, it is an environment where every employee will love to wake up to everyday, which increases engagement and loyalty. In addition, a positive social experience at work enhances the mental wellbeing of the employees.

You can create the best social environment by encouraging interactions among employees. Creating breakout rooms and organizing events are some of the ways that you can achieve this. In addition, being more approachable and deliberately invested in your employees well being goes a long way.

Physical work environment

The physical environment also contributes to employee experience in the workplace. If the employees have to fight discomfort – uncomfortable desks, too cold or too hot temperatures, unpleasant smells, uncomfortable light levels and the like – the experience won’t be a positive one. Moreover, it will significantly affect the engagement levels of the employees to the organization and their work. Additionally, employees want to work in office spaces that feature modern designs that inspire collaboration, communication and creativity.

Building an ideal office is a great option, but it can be expensive. However, you can choose to rent office spaces in Los Angeles or any other city where your organization is located. The good thing is that shared offices are designed with the modern worker in mind. They will provide the ideal physical environment for the best employee experience and ultimately improved engagement.

Work experience

Are your employees feeling included and visible in the organization? Are their efforts being recognized and rewarded? Do they feel like their growth matters? Do they feel supported to be productive in their work? Answering such questions can give you insights on the kind of employee experience your team has regarding their work, growth and the organization. If employees feel supported through continuous training and career development opportunities, the experience will be great and the more engaged in their work they will be. Likewise, your employees are likely to be highly engaged if they feel that you appreciate the efforts that they put in driving the company forward. Rewarding and recognizing them will give a positive work experience.

Technology experience

Technology has become an integral part of modern life. Your employees won’t have a good experience at work if it lacks a touch of technology. It is important to ensure that your employees have the technology they need to get work done and be productive. And, that’s not all, they want advanced technology that is highly responsive for the best experience. Moreover, most people, especially the millennials, are attached to their devices, with some preferring to bring their own devices to work. Thus, allowing employees to bring their own tools to work impacts the employee experience significantly. And, when they love the workplace technology experience, engagement is bound to spark.

Conclusion

Employee experience has a lot to do with how employees are engaged in their work. If your employees have a positive experience with different touch points in your organization, they will grow enthusiastic about working for you and their work. However, you need to keep in mind that for employee experience to be effective in driving engagement, it should be done consistently.

Opening the Office vs Working Remotely: Finding a Compromise

There are no two ways about it: the COVID-19 pandemic has brought havoc to hundreds of workplaces around the globe. Many have been forced to send employees home out of health concerns and those that have stayed open have put themselves and their employees at risk. Beyond that, most are dealing with boom-and-bust style business as customers either avoid their stores or buy in bulk to limit their exposure. 

 

To say a company hasn’t been impacted in some way would be naive.

 

Now businesses are under more pressure than ever to reopen. As already limited and confusing federal and state aid expires, most companies are finding themselves forced to decide between paying the bills and putting employees and customers at risk. Finding creative ways to strike a balance between staying remote and opening the doors has become a goal of most successful businesses.   

Staying Remote

Pros

There are certainly pros to staying as remote as possible. The primary one being that you are prioritizing employee safety and encouraging them to look after their and their family’s health. Focusing on taking care of employees and promoting a safe workplace for everyone is a valuable bonus both for employees and customers — some employees even love working from home so much they are hoping to do so permanently

 

Additionally, modern technology allows for employees in many sectors to do their jobs completely online. Likewise, employers can encourage their employees to capitalize on technology to keep track of their mental and physical health. The mental health aspect can be especially valuable when they are stuck working from home.  

Cons

Of course, there are some cons to stay remote as well. The biggest most employers are worried about is a decrease in overall productivity. This can come from several things such as an employee’s inability to easily communicate and collaborate with co-workers and partners. It could also be a problem associated with the many distractions that come from working from home. 

 

Many employers also feel as though their company culture is suffering while employees are working remotely. It can be challenging for employees to feel connected and part of a supportive workplace community. Fortunately, there are some ways to help maintain company culture while working remotely

Opening Offices

Pros

However, for some employees, the ability to get everything done while having employees work remotely is elusive at best. Some jobs simply require in-person service. For businesses that require some level of human interaction, opening up can be the only thing that will keep you afloat. And it might not be a bad thing — many people are eager to interact with their favorite stores in some way, even if it isn’t traditional.  

 

Many of the reasons that business owners are hesitant with continuing to work remotely are also major pros to reopening. You can more easily monitor the productivity of employees and work towards rebuilding company culture. The idea of moving back towards normal is also tantalizing and there are plenty of ways to be successful in reopening

Cons

The big elephant in the room for reopening is the risk of a Covid-19 outbreak in the office space. Forcing employees to come back and having an outbreak could bring all sorts of legal challenges to your business. This is especially true if your employees are completing high-risk jobs without proper protections.

 

Additionally, it can be a real issue for your company’s image down the road. Customers are not itching to go back to businesses that have experienced a COVID outbreak even after the risk has been mitigated. Choosing to open the doors too soon — especially with the massive rise in cases across the U.S. — could spell disaster for the company.  

Making a Decision

Deciding to keep employees working remotely or sending them back to work and reopening your public-facing business is really difficult. There are plenty of pros and cons to each choice, many of which could make or break your company. As you weigh your options, think about the risks, benefits, and needs of your company.

 

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your options either. To keep their businesses running, some companies have altered their products and services to make things that are in demand like hand sanitizer while others have greatly boosted their online services. Striking the right compromise may also involve switching things up for employees such as half coming into the office while half remain working from home. 

 

Weigh the pros and cons, choose what is right for your business and your employees. Sooner or later we will adapt and get through this difficult time and many companies will be better off for it. What have you been considering as a business leader and what has led you to make the decisions you are making?