Competition between companies to attract customers is not a new concept. However, for a number of years now, we have seen all sorts of initiatives arise among employers to attract the best employees! Fitness centres, integrated daycare services, even ping pong tables: employers must always find more ways of wooing a smaller and more selective workforce. Does an offer of kombucha and chia seed muffins hold a new power of attraction?
We’ve come a long way from the time when an employer only had to dangle an attractive salary to permanently fill critical positions and ensure its own sustainability. Reality has become much more demanding! An example: the new trend in Silicon Valley is to feed employees by offering daily meals and snacks for free!(1) A good way to keep your staff productive, you say?! Could it not just be smoke and mirrors? Will all these frills really help to unearth a workforce that is not only competent but also engaged and that will grow within the organization?
To ensure the employee experience is fully integrated into the organization, we must talk not only about attracting and integrating employees, but also about their growth and engagement within the company. And it is urgent! According to the State of the Global Workplace Gallup survey, only 13%(2) of employees worldwide feel engaged at work. This statistic demands that the different stages of the employee’s career path are made more meaningful. As noted by speaker Heather Slawner(3): “When we’re clear about why we’re here, where we’re going, who we serve and how we’re getting there, we start to feel valued and fulfilled!”. To feel fully engaged, employees need to feel their work has meaning. We’re not talking about dwelling on a few benefits or attracting productive employees with a carrot. In his recent book, Jacob Morgan(4) clearly identifies the issue: “I define ‘employee experience’ as an organization creating a place where people want to show up instead of assuming that people need to show up.” This means that employers have to change the way they view their employees. They should see them not as an expense, but as an investment!
Many studies(5) show that there is a positive correlation between customer satisfaction (and therefore company success) and employee satisfaction and mobilization. The more an employer listens to its front-line ambassadors, the more it can bet on seeing a return on its investment. This is because the employee experience and the client experience are based on the same pattern of values.
Caring about the employee experience is therefore a prerequisite, and even critical if employers want to tackle the attraction and retention problems they face! It is a competitive advantage that must be part of the winning practices in human resources management. “To improve our employee attraction and retention, we must first make their experience with the company a positive one.”(6) [translation]
Where to begin? More than ever, organizations must pay attention; engagement surveys, exit interviews, and HR analytics have become vital tools. Organizations no longer have the luxury of ignoring this wealth of information. It is by analyzing data from its first clients, the employees, that organizations may be able to understand that it’s not the Foosball table or the in-house smoothie bar that makes the difference!
- Heather Slawner, How to Think, Act, and Communicate Like the World’s Beat Trusted Advisors, Congrès CRHA 2017.
- Jacob Morgan, The employee experience advantage: how to win the war for talent by giving employees the workspaces they want, the tools they need, and a culture they can celebrate, 2017.
- Christina G. Chi, Dogan Gursoy, Employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and financial performance: An empirical examination, School of Hospitality Business Management, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4742; Bernhardt, K.L., Donthu, N., Kennett, P.A., 2000. A longitudinal analysis of satisfaction and profitability, Journal of Business Research 47, 161–171; Harter, J.K., Schmidt, F.L., Hayes, T.L., 2002, Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and business outcomes: a meta analysis, Journal of Applied Psychology 87 (2), 268–279; Koys, D., 2003, How the achievement of human-resources goals drives restaurant performance, Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly 44 (1), 17–24.
- Louise Bourget, Visez l’excellence : créez l’expérience-employé, Forum Qualité, automne 2009 https://www.qualite.qc.ca/centre-de-connaissances/articles-et-etudes/visez-lexcellence-creer-lexperience-employe/