Employee Experience Must-Haves to Attract and Retain Workers

February 08, 2022

Learn how to boost recruiting and retention of top talent with employee experience fueled by connection and backed by best practices.

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After nearly two years of layoffs and freezes, the hiring race is back on—and it truly is an employee’s market. Let’s look at how to give your organization a competitive edge in attracting and retaining the modern workforce.

The Digital Way Is Here to Stay

From employer transparency to workplace flexibility, several Gen Z-driven trends have slowly been gaining traction over the past few years. When the pandemic hit, though, these existing workplace trends accelerated an existing trend of remote work and organizations all over the world got a crash course in how to do it successfully.

“We saw a lot more demand for digital, automated solutions during the pandemic. Tasks and processes that used to be paper-based (onboarding and open enrollment) or face-to-face (education and training) swiftly became digital,” says Steve Beauchamp, CEO at Paylocity. “The benefit is that you’re going to appear much more modern and technologically savvy — but once you start that way, you’re not going back.” In addition to being much more efficient, operationally, digital solutions create a better user experience for employees throughout the entire lifecycle.

Connection and Communication Are Critical

When considering which tools organizations need to provide a better employee experience, there’s a lot to consider but improving team communication and connection has really taken precedence. This is increasingly top of mind as organizations seek to improve employee engagement in remote and hybrid workplaces. For a communication tool to be truly effective, it needs to mirror the social experience employees are used to having outside the workspace. And companies can’t rely on a single tool either to achieve this, whether it’s Zoom or something else. As Steve puts it, “The number one thing is you’ve got to have a tool to connect and communicate with people in a really engaging and interesting way – and that tool can’t be email.”

Having a social collaboration tool does more than connect you to your employees. It also connects employees to each other, facilitating real-time, continuous performance feedback that’s effective and reminiscent to experiences they once had in-person, 1:1 with managers and peers. In fact, workers today expect ongoing coaching and feedback as part of their employee development, making it table stakes to provide user-friendly tools that reflect the applications they use in personal lives. All-in-one solutions make it easy for employees and managers to send and share real-time communication on performance and more.

Push these non-negotiables to the top of your priority list to ensure social collaboration is benefiting your organization:

  • Promote transparency: Keep employees up to date with real-time company news and updates.
  • Improve onboarding and enrollment: Provide easy access to key documents and push reminders to ensure deadlines are met.
  • Connect employees to company and peers: Offer a solution that not only sends out timely communication but facilitates deeper collaboration and connection.
  • Consolidate into one platform: Because employees don’t want to use multiple tools, give them something that simplifies their day-to-day.
  • Make data-driven decisions: Ensure your tools provide you data and insights on the activity, engagement, and sentiment of your employees

Give Your Organization a Video Revamp

From quarterly town halls to everyday meetings, the pandemic forced businesses to change the way they share information – including here at Paylocity. One of the most successful methods the Paylocity team, particularly leadership, navigated these trends was through video. Video has proven to be an invaluable tool for keeping the lines of employee communication open, even from a distance.

According to Steve, “The singular method of being in front of a group of people just didn’t work anymore.” But he also notes that just using Zoom for your video could cause some fatigue — but savvy organizations are finding different, compelling use cases for video:

  • More timely town halls: Replacing long, quarterly lengthy town hall meetings with smaller, more frequent “mini” town halls (live or on-demand) provides real-time news and updates, keeping employees interested and engaged.
  • Increased information retention: Viewers retain 95% of message when they watch it in a video versus to 10% when reading it. Sending video messages to your employees - particularly during onboarding – can help them be more productive and have a more engaging experience throughout their employee lifecycle.
  • Bite-sized learning experience: Whether it’s in a classroom or over Zoom, an eight-hour training session has its challenges. Use asynchronous video segments to cover part of the training, creating opportunities for self-guided learning and refresher later.
  • Improved authenticity: Video communication in general helps you appear more authentic and not all your video endeavors have to be scripted, rehearsed, and perfect. It’s the barking dogs, mispronounced words, and casual t-shirts that make you more authentic and relatable to your team.

Capture the Voice of Your Employees

Want to get a better understanding of ongoing issues or get ahead of potential problems? Ask your employees – and take their comfort level into consideration. Give them a range of methods to provide feedback, from a 1:1 meeting with their manager to anonymous employee surveys. Their input is key not only to improving engagement but to creating a better employee experience and a stronger organization overall. In fact, employees that feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work!

The distance created by the pandemic has made engaging your workforce in this way more critical than ever. According to Steve, “when you’re not able to make in-person, personal connections, it’s even more important that people feel like they have different ways to still have a voice.” Surveys and polls are quick and easy to create; plus, they’re easy to share and provide immediate, actionable feedback your organization can build upon.

For a deep dive into the critical systems and processes HR professionals need to have in place in order to attract and retain top talent, check out our Post-Pandemic Survival Checklist and Guide to Employee Retention Strategies.

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