There are many sides to the business coin, but there are two vital aspects any company in any industry cannot afford to overlook: customer experiences and employee experiences. The money will come and go, but people will always be the constant. Both customers and employees are vital to business; without either, there would be no business. As businesses, we tend to focus on our customers more than our employees. The truth is that it’s important to improve employee experiences.
How Employee Experiences can Impact Businesses
Companies and industries suffering from high staff turnover rates should be particularly keen to tackle this issue head-on. It’s not going to go away by itself, and it’s definitely a problem. Constant changing of employees is an inefficient and costly price to pay for not looking into how to improve employee experiences in the business. Training employees devours time and, in some industries, is even thrown out altogether because ‘they’ll just be gone tomorrow’.
Employees leave for all sorts of reasons of course. It may be something that’s completely out of your control – a change of their circumstances at home or in general life – but most of the time employee retention comes down to things like management, salaries, and company culture. As a business with a bottom line, there’s only so much to be done with salaries – suffice it to say that it’s important to pay accordingly – but other elements can be tackled to improve employee experiences and increase staff satisfaction and retention.
The Question of Management
Bad managers come in all shapes and sizes. There’s the insecure bad manager whose lack of confidence means that they’re putting the decisions off and loading the employee with unrealistic expectations. There’s the can’t-plan-a-thing bad manager whose time management and resource planning skills are so off the mark that it’s utter chaos in their team. There’s the bully bad manager who’s just a jerk, and then there’s the overachieving superstar bad manager who is so good and confident in their work that they sometimes forget that not everyone who reports to them can work at their pace or keep up.
There’s also merciless combinations of all of the above. At the end of the day, however, managers who don’t know how to manage are the bane great employee experiences and need to be handled.
So how do you handle bad management? Company leadership needs to step in and identify the source of the problem: is it a matter of confidence? Does the manager need more training in their field? Are they a good fit or would they be a better fit in a different position or role? Should the manager be replaced or fired if they’re really that bad? Senior management of companies usually have ways in which to tackle these issues, but first, they have to identify the problem.
Employee Workloads & Work Ethics
Some people claim to thrive under pressure – though, honestly, I’d like to see some actual substantiation of this claim, the entire point of ‘pressure’ is that it’s uncomfortable and stressful. I know that when I’m facing tight deadlines my blood pressure climbs and I can only work under pressure for a week or two before something has to give. I don’t consider that ‘thriving under pressure’; I might spin it as ‘able to work under pressure’ instead.
Employees need to not be overwhelmed by their workloads. Depending on their work ethic, some employees will drown more quickly than others – a lot of which can come down to their outlook, drives, and time management skills. There comes a point, however, where there is such a thing as ‘too much work’, in which case management might need to spring for more resources or look at splitting the work up a little better. If they don’t, employees will crack under the pressure and either resign because of it or burn-out and be unable to deliver their “A” games.
We live in interesting times where company culture impacts more than just the productivity of our teams. Millenians and Gen Zers alike are on the look out for good company cultures. Company culture is all about delivering great employee experiences, whether it’s to provide a good working environment, extra activities, or simply have a ‘fun’ way of doing things in the office, there are a lot of different ways to deliver a desireable company culture.
Company culture goes a long way to making up for any other deficits the company might suffer from. If your employees are happy where they are, they’ll likely forgive you being unable to give them a little extra cash at the end of the year, and they’ll probably overlook the times you have to make them work late. Making a company a comfortable, happy place to be is a surefire way to hold onto your team.
At the end of the day, to improve employee experiences you have to be in touch with your teams, understand how they’re functioning. Luckily, mystery shopping companies can help with that.