If your employees are discontent at work, this will bite you back where it hurts the most: your wallet.
Not only are unhappy staff unproductive at work, but losing them eats away at your financial resources as well. For each employee lost, you need to invest in job postings, assess their knowledge multiple times, and onboard them; in fact, replacement costs amount to about two times the employee's annual salary.
And it’s not just about the salaries. In most cases, people flee an organization due to poor employee experience. Bad management, inflexibility, lack of accountability, trust, and respect, as well as uncertain growth prospects are typically the culprits — and they are all easily preventable.
So, let us show you how you can potentially secure a spot on those coveted “Most Attractive Employers” listings, by making people engaged, productive, and eager to stay.
#1 Provide a Safe Environment for Detailed, Honest Feedback
Collecting timely feedback from employees prevents pent-up frustrations from boiling over and resulting in decreased productivity, workplace conflicts, or resignations. Moreover, it helps keep employees engaged in their job and the company as a whole.
However, people don’t usually go out of their way to share their displeasure with HR and managers, at least not until it’s too late — so you need to be proactive.
To create surveys that your employees won’t roll their eyes at, you need to carefully think through anonymity, frequency, and content.
Anonymous or Not?
There are arguments in favor of both options.
People are less likely to hold back in anonymous surveys, and you’ll get to work with more accurate data. On the other hand, anonymous surveys can’t tell you exactly who needs help or changes.
We suggest doing both but give advantage to anonymous surveys whenever possible. Team and position-specific surveys are great because they direct management to specific challenges waiting to be addressed. General surveys should be sent all over the company, as they will reveal general company-related sentiments and broad issues.
Choosing the Right Frequency
Quarterly pulse surveys are a “one size fits (almost) all” way to track and observe employee sentiment. They’re not too frequent but are still spaced out in a manner that allows employees to shape their feelings around new circumstances and new events between surveys.
Pay special attention to new employees during their first months with your company. You’re going to need a couple of extra one-time surveys for them:
- After the first month — See if the initial onboarding process went smoothly and if there’s anything else they need or would like to change about it.
- After three months — Check how they’re settling in and whether they fit with the rest of the team.
- After six months — This period shows them the real ins and outs of their work past the “honeymoon phase”, so they’ll have valuable feedback to provide, especially about their future plans.
Annual employee engagement surveys are good follow-ups after annual recaps on the company level.
One general rule is not to send the surveys too frequently. They won’t be taken seriously, and employees tend to avoid filling them in.
Survey Topics, Questions, and Length
Employee engagement surveys aim to reveal:
- How long do people intend to stay
- How much they identify with the company values
A perfectly measured survey will contain 10-20 open-ended questions. Questions should not be overly intrusive and personal, difficult (or unpleasant) to answer, too obscure or broad.
Below is a good question; it shows your interest in their career development and well-being:
Q: Is there any professional course or training you think would improve your work? Name the course/training and elaborate on how it would help you in a sentence or two.
However, avoid questions such as this one:
Q: Do you feel your team leader unjustly favors other team members?
This question is extremely unfair to ask because employees will be afraid to answer honestly (because they might get on the bad side of their superiors). Moreover, you would be pitting employees against each other.
#2 Feedback Implementation: Resolve the Burning Issues ASAP
Because what’s the point of all those surveys if you don’t put the answers to good use?
When analyzing the responses you got, pinpoint the broadest issues first, the ones shared across the departments.
For example, if 80% of employees respond “Yes” to “Do you feel your workload prevents you from maintaining a healthy private life?”, pay special attention to what is going on — because people have been less hesitant to quit in recent years.
Now that you’ve identified the issue, it’s time to find the cause.
A good way to discover what makes your staff overworked is to monitor employee activity. For example, an employee tracker like Insightful will show exactly what their working hours look like, including:
- Projects they’re working on
- Overtime hours
- What takes up the most time
- Apps and websites they’re using during work
These productivity insights are easy to interpret and instantly point to blockers and jam-packed schedules. Now, you can fix what’s wrong properly: redelegate tasks, hire more people, expand the busiest teams, and acquire more effective work tools.
For the cherry on top, be sure to check if your solutions work — that’s where those surveys will come in handy. After you’ve applied the remedies and given them enough time, be sure to check if they’ve worked.
#3 Meet Your Employee Persona!
By now, you’ve surely heard of Buyer Persona — but what about an Employee Persona?
An Employee Persona is a blueprint of an “ideal employee” for the position.
Having a clear-cut vision of the right person is beneficial in multiple ways:
- It’s a key part of the hiring process: you’ll let people know what you need right away, so unfit candidates won’t even apply for the job.
- The HR department will tailor the onboarding process to their knowledge, skill, and experience levels.
- You’ll be able to set clear expectations and KPIs for new hires.
By creating an Employee Persona as soon as possible, you’ll hire enthusiastic people who are the best fit for the job; they’ll know what’s expected of them, how to deliver it, and you’ll know what it takes to keep them satisfied.
#4 Let Them Breathe: Revamp Your Flexibility Policy
Employers who are adamant about dragging people back to the office are in for a nasty surprise: staff will seek out other opportunities under managers who support more flexible working conditions.
Smart managers, employers, and team leaders all have one thing in common: they listen to their people carefully, and the people have spoken: work from home opportunities are increasingly a must have!
Flexibility should no longer be an exclusive perk, but rather a norm. After all, if the work is getting done on time and in high quality, why should you care when, or where they’re working from?
And here are just several reasons why people are happier when they work remotely:
- There’s no traffic to worry about; they can get more sleep, more time with family, and save money (and nerves, tbh).
- They can design their home office as they prefer, and make it more cozy and fun.
- Switching up places is easy; let it be a local coffee shop or a sunny beach.
- It opens new doors for people with a disability or chronically ill people.
- They can concentrate better than in an open office.
We assure you, remote work will improve the employee experience; after all, it allows people to tailor the working hours and premises as they please.
With Employee Monitoring, Productivity And Flexibility Go Hand In Hand
You don’t have to pick — your workplace can be both hybrid and extra productive. Employee screen monitoring will help you keep an eye on things, even better than in the traditional office.
Should the employer monitor staff working remotely, these are the stats that point to high or low productivity levels:
- Clocked In/ Out — Tells when they’ve started and ended their workdays and shifts.
- Apps/ Websites Visited — Shows what they’ve used during their working hours.
- Break Time — When and how long the breaks last.
- Idle Time — Reveals the data on computer activity.
- Manual Time/ Offline Work — Time spent working without a computer.
You can let your staff work wherever they want, let it be a coffee shop, a beach, or from the comfort of their homes. Employee laptop monitoring software tracks their work wherever they go, and silently works in the background to provide you with accurate productivity data.
Employee software for activity monitoring can replace the physical office, or unite it with employees from other countries and timezones. An employee time tracker can effectively erase the borders.
#5 Create a Career Roadmap for Them
Having job security is priceless. It keeps people on board even when things are far from ideal and external issues cause your business to take a blow.
So, what constitutes a secure job?
Several things: knowing they won’t be ditched when things get tough, good management, and a comfortable work environment where their growth and progress are inevitable.
A career roadmap will show they’re the company’s most valuable asset, and that you plan to stick with them for a while. Most importantly, it gives employees something to look forward to: a good professional reputation, exciting career prospects, and a higher salary.
A career development roadmap should show:
- Current standing/professional assessment — A current job description, skill level, and a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.
- Career goals — A description of where they want to be in 6 months, in a year, in two years, etc.
- Action plan — What they should do and learn, as well as the resources they need to progress.
Conclusion: Tools To Improve Employee Experience In The Workplace
To foster a healthy workplace culture and create a great employee experience, be sure to:
- Create a safe space for their honest feedback.
- Implement employee suggestions.
- Establish an Employee Persona to avoid hiring unfit people and set clear expectations for staff.
- Introduce hybrid work for extra comfort, while keeping an eye on their productivity with employee tracking software.
- Sketch out a plan for their future within the company.