Creating a satisfying employee journey is a benefit for any business keen to reduce staff turnover and boost job satisfaction levels for team members. And in today's tumultuous climate, this has never been more important.
In fact, according to a recent Gallup poll of US employees, for the first time in a decade the percentage of engaged US workers declined in 2021. Just over one third of employees (34%) described themselves as ‘engaged’, while an alarming 16% said they were ‘actively disengaged’. Australian companies can take note. Disengagement in the workplace is a universal problem and one that costs companies precious money, time and resources.
Studies show that about 20 per cent of employee turnover happens in the first 90 days of employment. This means that one in every five people who start a new job today are likely to have left that job within the first three months. Founder and Director for Digital Affair, Tim Mundy, says this creates a huge financial cost for organisations who are investing in onboarding and training, but not considering the entire employee journey.
“When a new employee joins an organisation it’s also when they’re going to be most vocal to friends and families about what they think of their employer. Everyone asks their friend what their new job is like and a negative review negatively impacts your employer brand,” says Tim.
The map of employment satisfaction
Ascertaining the peaks and troughs of when and how your employees truly interact with your company is an integral part of mapping their successful journey as employees. Anyone in a service-based or retail industry should have a comprehensive understanding of how CX (customer experience) is based on appreciating how different aspects of your business branding, products and services affect the way those customers perceive a brand. Similarly, an employee’s journey within your company is filled with many different touch points. By mapping these various touch points, employers can glean valuable insights into how employees contribute and evolve within your business.
To better understand the power of the mapping process, here is an explanation of the stages that charts a ‘typical’ employee journey.
An employee’s first day is not when their journey with your company starts. In reality, that journey began when they interacted with you as a candidate. From the moment they searched for available positions in their field of capabilities, your job ad was the first stepping stone on their journey. (Well, it may actually have been a priorinteraction with your Employer Brand, but let's start here for argument's sake).
Seeing the process of job application through their eyes is an important way to get a sense of how they view your company and brand. After buying a house, getting married or starting a family, starting a new job is one of the biggest decisions they will make in their life. Appreciating this and building an experience that effectively supports an individual through this crucial period is extremely important. Based on their experience applying for their current role, do you think they would recommend a friend to work with your business? If not, why not? What lessons can you learn from each step they took, in order to make the employee journey a smooth and positive one for future employees?
Important metrics to consider include:
● New hire satisfaction: Do you have a system in place that enables you to address negative feedback in real time to reduce the risk of turnover?
● General candidate satisfaction: Do you survey candidates about their experience applying for a role with your company?
● Timeliness: How long is your job application process for available roles? Be truthful about the length of time it takes to hire a new employee - from the moment of application to the date a formal offer is made
The earliest days of a new employee joining your company contain a goldmine of potential data to collect. Positive experiences in these first days and weeks can set the tone for what is to come. It also gives you direct and real time feedback on the accuracy of your employer value proposition, so it’s important to explore how welcome any new employee feels and whether they feel they have access to all the information they believe they need to understand their role properly.
Analysing metrics that measure their ease of access to important information they needed as a new employee - everything from security information for entering the building to locations of key meeting rooms and specific team leaders’ offices are a necessary part of ensuring a smooth induction process. In this day and age though, companies that focus less on compliance and more on cultural assimilation and ensuring new starters understand the personalities and interests of their new team mates, tend to have better retention rates. Think about building these things into your process – have hiring managers take them to lunch, fill their calendar for the first week with key stakeholder meetings so they have nothing to worry about. Send them home with a bottle of wine or a personal welcome note after their first day. Going the extra mile here pays dividends in the long run.
Measuring employee success is obvious but can be overwhelming. With so much potential variation, the amount of available data can be enormous, providing a rich vein of material to help determine the success of an individual’s performance. Potential metrics include analysis of goals reached, access to materials for training and development or length of time spent working through those materials to fulfil their role.
Successful organisations today are flexible and have solid digital platforms (think Workplace by Facebook, Yammer or Slack) to enable deep collaboration and cross functional engagement. With the future of work continuing to focus on connecting disparate workforces and empowering employees to ‘work from anywhere’, ensuring teams have access to resources online will make all the difference.
Feedback loops, open lines of communication and easy access to company resources and learning materials all make for a positive employee experience and productive outcomes. Look at the ways in which new employees access information and are able to communicate between other staff members. Could it be improved? What steps could be taken to smooth this process?
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool to help generate positive feedback about your brand. To measure how effectively your employees are advocating for your company, some metrics to measure include analysing the number of employees who openly mention your brand’s products or services on social media, as well as looking at how many company posts are liked and shared by employees.
Designing an employee experience for the type of talent you typically hire will reduce turnover and increase engagement. By continuously improving this experience based on insights and analytics, you can ensure employees feel they’re constantly being heard and cared for, improving overall employee engagement.