Employee experience is a concept that encompasses an employee’s observations and perceptions of the organization which he is working for, often influenced by its physical space, personal like/work balance, and the use of methodologies and technologies that enhances productivity.
Analyzing the current scenario of the largest global market companies, we find HR strategies that encourage large investments in the creation of functions and departments dedicated to improving people’s work experience. Such thing demonstrates that the EX importance has been noticed and that organizations with larger investments in this area are those that will retain the best talents.
But it is key to point out that, being recognized as a good employer involves, at first, consistency between what the company discloses and practices. That is, the organization’s image is mainly a reflection of the ability to build a good workplace, paying huge and continuous attention to the employee’s experience. No marketing strategy will be fully effective if it is not based on actions. Therefore, HR professionals and company managers must be aware of the best policies for the area and always be seeking people oriented improvements.
Providing a good experience for employees is essential to ensure the highest performances of each team and to keep employees more committed to the company’s results. With all this engagement, in addition to the optimization of internal processes, the consumer will experience an improvement in the quality of the services provided.
But what is employee experience anyway?
Employee experience is nothing more than a people management strategy that works to engage employees. This is primarily done through value alignment and dialogue. In general, the employee’s experience is how he feels in the work environment and how the company transmits its values on a daily basis.
This is a result of the maturing of the market, which has increasingly demanded differentials for companies to remain competitive. The improvement of the management process has shown to the organizations that the employees are the key resource for a good business performance.
Therefore, understanding how the experience between employees takes place becomes fundamental to achieve this objective. The employee experience as a whole develops a series of strategies that improve the routine within the company, with motivating leadership, a pleasant organizational environment, career plan, benefits, etc.
The employee experience can be improved in several ways and such will depend directly on the profile of your personnel and your available resources. There are no standards of success, only good practices that can be replicated and must be measured for a good strategy.
How to improve employee experience on your company?
Here, the logic works similarly to the customer experience. Just as you need to know the consumer very well to offer the best solutions, you also need to understand employees if you want to provide a pleasant environment that meets their needs.
Therefore, the first step is to carry out a comprehensive organizational climate survey to identify any factors that must be damaging the harmony and positivity of the workplace. Doing this, managers will be able plan more accurate strategies.
However, it is worth remembering that, it is necessary to go far beyond creating a relaxed atmosphere full of beanbags, game rooms and creative layouts to succeed. The employee experience is a much more complex concept, linked to autonomy, recognition and continuous learning.
- Provide a work environment of constant growth and appreciation
Anyone who thinks that salary is the biggest attraction for an occupation is wrong. Today, many people seek to work in companies that value human capital and offer opportunities for professional development. Therefore, many are willing to change companies even if the initial remuneration is lower.
It is interesting to create a career plan, to sign agreements with educational institutions and invest in strategies for professional improvement, so employees can develop their skills, increase their responsibilities in the company and, consequently, contribute effectively to the organization’s positive results.
In fact, allowing the worker to opt for the home office modality is also a way to improve such experience. This strategy allows the employee to achieve a better balance between personal life and career and, as a result, work with more joy and commitment.
- Offer a good infrastructure
Some of the critical assumptions of a good employee experience are related to the physical work infrastructure and care with the employee’s perception of the company. The more satisfied and motivated towards the place where they carry out their activities, the better the employees will perform.
Consider the internal services that need to be available for people to experience the workday more positively. Good bathrooms, adequate internet, resting areas, kitchen, furniture, workstations, etc., look for what makes sense for your company and pay attention to the quality of this delivery.
Next, consider applying an organizational climate survey. This tool will help you to identify points for improvement in the employee’s relationships and interactions, as well as the gaps in the benchmark — the distance between what you do internally and what the leaders do in promoting an excellent workplace.
- Flexibility of workspaces
The main companies in the market have already become aware that personal productivity is an indispensable requirement for a good market position. But this is not necessarily related to the presence of these employees in the workplace. Today, there is many possibilities for employees to work remotely, in a space of their choice — even more so for activities that require silence and concentration.
The idea is: a peaceful environment enhances the team performance. This principle of efficiency is already popular in relation to meetings, as some companies made an effort so that they only happen when it is necessary and with the shortest possible duration. Due to advances in communication tools, a lean business structure is gaining more and more prominence.
- Show empathy
Perhaps the best thing to do now is start from a place of empathy. When you approach the employee experience from their point of view, you will likely come up with impactful ways to engage them again.
- Authenticity. Take extra steps to ask questions to show you care about and are interested in what will make employees’ experiences better.
- Personal touch. Consistently communicate with a personal touch – specific employee praise, genuine concern for well-being – to build morale and increases engagement.
- Connect. Give employees time and opportunities to connect personally at least weekly. Ask them to cultivate ideas for better experiences during the social time – and bring them to you.
- Boundaries. Do not assume everyone’s definition of a great employee experience involves experiencing everything with everyone! Find out where employees want the line drawn between life and work.
- A remote option is a must have
Like it or not, many employees now expect their work experience to be not at work. Nearly 65% of employees say flexible scheduling and remote work options will improve their experience and loyalty, according to a survey. While you might not be able to offer fully remote roles, can you offer more hybrid options? To do that, you might work with:
- separate roles that must be done on-site all the time (high-physical-touch duties)
- find the duties in each role that can be done effectively while remote
- determine the percentage of time people in each role need to be on-site versus remote to do the work (for instance, 25% remote and 75% on-site per week), and
- offer employees hybrid options based on the ratios.
- Learning opportunities for all
Many employees cite opportunities to grow as a reason to stay at their job – or a reason to go after a new one. Of course, you want to be on the reason-to-stay end of that in 2022. But just offering employees a splattering of learning opportunities will not fulfill the goal. To improve the experience, you want to give them time and resources to learn in areas that will expand their careers.
The first step is to help employees establish a career path. When they have an idea of where they want to go, they can choose training that will help them get there. Then, lead them to self-directed learning, webinars, in-person events, schooling and company training to stay on the path. Or head in a new direction if or when that happens.
Why create an incentive travel program?
Looking for a little extra motivator to get your employees fired up? The chance to travel just might give them the boost they need.
Incentive trips are a way to reward employees for outstanding performance or achieving a very important goal. They have proved to be a powerful tool capable of strengthening the relationship between the company and employees and to reinforce the organization’s image positively. These trips must recognize efforts and motivate teams to perform high-level work with a focus on results.
Every professional wants to have their work recognized, even better is if this recognition comes in the form of a prize. Within this logic, incentive travels are gaining strength as an efficient HR tool.
A research conducted by the Incentive Research Foundation indicates that companies that offer experiences as rewards — rather than cash bonuses — see their revenues triple compared to those that don’t. However, these incentive trips for companies must be turned into incredible experiences. Thus, in addition to being really valuable rewards for their efforts, the awardees’ reports can involve their colleagues, motivating them to excel in future evaluation periods.
As this award depends on the results achieved, part of the travel costs will be covered by the profits that the company obtained after the campaign. In addition, the contributor awarded will dedicate much more energy to win a trip in the next campaign. On the other hand, those who have not yet been contemplated will have more enthusiasm to try harder after seeing the reports of those who have already won the trip. In short, incentive trips promote greater engagement among employees and make them feel valued.
What are the benefits of incentive travel programs?
Corporate incentive travel programs have become increasingly popular as a way of achieving goals and rewarding top performers. As organizations recognize the benefits of incentive trips, allocated budgets have grown exponentially from 0.5% in 2018 to almost 6% in 2022. So why have travel incentive programs become so popular? What makes them preferable over traditional monetary rewards?
Benefits of incentive travel for employers
At one time, organizations would disregard incentive travel programs because they considered them to be exuberant and unnecessary with little tangible value.
But that school of thought is on the way out. Leading companies now agree that incentive travel programs are highly effective with a measurable ROI.
Tangible benefits: It will come as no surprise that monetary incentives are still the leading reason organizations invest in incentive travel programs. A study by IRF in 2019 deemed that “increased sales and/or profits for the company” is still the leading benefit of incentive travel. Hard dollars and corporate profitability are, naturally, of the utmost importance.
Soft power benefits: While increased sales and profits are still the primary reason organizations are using incentive travel awards, IRF’s 2019 study found that “soft power” benefits such as higher employee engagement, better productivity, improved relationship-building between employees and management and the retention of employees and partners are becoming more important to buyers. But that doesn’t mean “soft benefits” don’t produce monetary rewards.
Motivated employees are inspired to develop themselves professionally and reach higher levels of success. This leads to improved performance, more sales and, eventually, increased revenue.
Benefits of incentive travel for employees
Despite the obvious joy of a free holiday, incentive travel initiatives provide many benefits for employees:
Improved growth opportunities: Incentive trips allow employees to transgress the often-impenetrable barriers of the corporate hierarchy. This nurtures their emotional bond with the company and enables them to connect with corporate heavyweights.
Creating opportunities for employees to further their careers is critical for job satisfaction. Most of your employees do not want to be stuck in the same role forever, they want to grow and take on more responsibility.
Stronger interpersonal connections: Incentive travel also provides employees with quality time away from the office, allowing them to build strong relationships and lasting memories. These connections contribute to job satisfaction and improve collaboration.
Strong emotional ties increase the likelihood of an employee going the extra mile or supporting a colleague, even when the task does not pertain directly to their role. This is a great indicator that your employees are satisfied and engaged at work.
Recognition of contributions: Employees want their hard work to be acknowledged. That should not come as a surprise, right? According to a study performed with 1,500 American employees, 82% of them are happier when they have recognition.
Travel rewards are a fantastic way of demonstrating appreciation to an employee and making an example of their efforts. When mid-level employees see that their top-performing peers are being well rewarded, they are more likely to reach strive for success themselves.
What strategies should my company employwhen it comes to travel incentive programs?
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing corporate travel incentives. The key to a successful program is to think about what will drive your team to success. An organization’s management team needs to decide what is within their budget and what incentives will work best within their business.
Organizations tend to choose group incentive travel for their top performers. However, there are exceptions. For example, a company with predominantly traveling sales teams might opt for individual travel offering a luxury trip for their top salesperson. After all, most employees who work solo would not find it much of a reward to spend time with colleagues they do not know. They would likely find the chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip with their significant other more motivating. It simply comes down to the nuance of each business.
If you are thinking of offering incentive trips to your employees, as a way of valuing and motivating them, but you do not know how to make them unique experiences, contact GT DMC. We can provide you all the specialized support to promote unforgettable moments in Brazil.