Focus on the Employee Experience to Create a Culture of Success
For HR and business leaders, employees are customers. This means that analyzing and improving each stage of employees’ journey within the company is crucial.
Creating a fulfilling place to work is a major part of any employer’s job. You don’t do this out of a sense of altruism but because it is the best thing for the value of your company. Happy and engaged employees onboard more quickly, are more productive, stay longer, and continue to spread goodwill after they leave.
Common Problems With the Employee Journey
The employee experience consists of four stages: recruiting, onboarding, growth, and offboarding. However, because hiring managers and their teams are often so busy with their own work, recruiting can feel like a burden. This, unfortunately, leads to a subpar recruiting experience — even for candidates who are hired.
The most common complaints from job candidates include the length of the recruiting process, poor communication, and insufficient or unhelpful feedback. These issues lead to new hires feeling exhausted right when they should be most excited about starting with a company and rejected candidates forming bad perceptions of the company.
To ensure you avoid these mistakes, we recommend that companies treat their job candidates as customers and ensure a great recruiting experience, regardless of the outcome.
Companies typically underinvest in onboarding, which is a shame because onboarding provides an opportunity to test whether new employees will be effective at their roles. The key predictor of effectiveness is onboarding into the company culture, so extending the onboarding process beyond the first few weeks of employment is important.
Take the time to truly understand which values are most important to instill in new hires, and create a strategy to make sure they are clearly communicated. Planned activities and less formal approaches are both great ways to tackle onboarding. Additionally, Pomello metrics can be used to understand how successful the onboarding process is at communicating your company culture to new hires.
After employees have been effectively onboarded, their growth period at the company begins. This period can last many years, and it is when the payoff from investing in strong recruiting and onboarding processes becomes visible.
The biggest mistakes that companies make after the initial onboarding period are missing signals that employees are becoming disengaged and failing to intervene in time to avoid turnover. The goal of the growth period is to set up a virtuous cycle of investment, which ensures that the employee will continue to invest in the company and vice versa.
Once an employee decides to leave your company, you need to make sure that his or her perception of the offboarding experience is positive. Rather than formalities, treat exit interviews as real opportunities for feedback by asking the following questions:
- What is the primary reason for your departure?
- When did you first start thinking about working elsewhere?
- What most attracted you to the company you are joining (if any)?
- What is one thing we could have done to keep you working here?
- What advice do you have for us to help make our employees happier and more engaged with their work?
This feedback should be relayed back to the manager of the departing employee’s team.
How People Analytics Can Help
Here’s how people analytics can help improve each stage of the employee experience.
The most important data points for recruiting are creating a consistent system for scoring candidates and calculating a candidate Net Promoter Score. These two metrics are important barometers for understanding how the recruiting function is performing over time. Candidate scoring helps you to understand which channels your best candidates typically come from and to identify when those channels stop producing good candidates. Candidate Net Promoter Scores show how your company is perceived by potential employees, and decreasing scores are a leading indicator of talent acquisition trouble.
Similar to a customer success program, your onboarding program should feel like an employee success program. You have a responsibility to ensure that new hires receive adequate road maps to become successful in your company. Best practice is to pick a small number of employee milestones that cover the basic skills and knowledge associated with the job as well as with the company culture. Each hiring manager should be responsible for ensuring that new hires reach milestones within 60 to 90 days of joining the team.
Managers must consider each employee’s career path and goals and take responsibility for helping them hit those targets while also setting new objectives. While these metrics are customized to each individual, consider making this aspect of management part of how team leaders are evaluated for their success. Managers should also be able to report on each team member’s goals and growth biannually.
The key metric for offboarding is the outgoing employee Net Promoter Score, which is similar to the NPS used during recruiting. The biggest risk in offboarding is that the employee feels the company is bitter or resentful toward him for taking a leap in a new direction. However, many employees feel the offboarding process is bureaucratic and permeated by passive aggression on the part of managers. In most cases, the most appropriate reaction is to congratulate the employee on his or her new opportunity.
Employees’ relationships with a company are some of the longest-lasting bonds the company will cultivate over its lifetime. The high levels of both potential and competition surrounding these relationships make managing every stage of the employee experience increasingly critical. With the help of Pomello, companies can use management science and predictive analytics to more closely focus their attention on improving the employee experience.