What are experiences at work?
Employee experience is more than just a HR buzzword – it’s an untapped asset for many businesses. As we spend more and more time in the office (whatever that might look like for you), the desire for meaningful, connected experiences in the workplace increases. Employee experience is comprised of:
Employees want to have a strong connection to their colleagues, managers, the company and the wider community. For example, at BRG we hold offsite meetings, weekly manager 1-2-1s, a monthly all-company meeting, a three-day annual company trip and weekly office drinks as well as other activities and celebrations.
Knowing the company and the work they do has meaning and purpose and being aligned to those. In addition, employees want to be rewarded in a meaningful, personal way.
Engagement increases when employees have the option to give back, and overall employee experience is significantly improved. Employees want to have an impact on their colleagues and community in which they live and work – giving back in meaningful ways, with the company helping employees to do so. At BRG, we have committed to a “1% giveback pledge” where colleagues donate three working days a year to a local cause or charity which is meaningful to them, arranged by the BRG.
Receiving specific, real-time appreciation for good work, from the people that matter most. At BRG we embody this in the form of our Redii employee reward and recognition software, as well as open and honest feedback.
How it impacts customer experience and your bottom line
The way employees experience a brand – or life at work – also has a direct link to commercial outcomes inside a business: Be that reduced turnover, increased employee engagement, client acquisition and retention, or an enhanced customer experience. This part of the puzzle completes the cycle as company culture has a direct link to the customer experience. According to Accenture, employers who invest in a great employee experience outperform others by 122 percent on key success metrics. And with research showing it extends to customers, it affects more than just workplace culture – it impacts your bottom line too.
In fact, one study from IBM showed that companies ranked in the top 25 percent on employee engagement reported nearly three times the return on assets and double the return on sales compared to organisations in the bottom quartile. This creates a real competitive advantage for those businesses investing in employee engagement. They not only save on recruitment costs by retaining their top performers, but the flow on effect of delivering a great customer experience amplifies this advantage.
Millennials and experiences at work
In the past, work was a location. Today, work has shifted from a place to a space, and the technology shift from fixed communications to mobile communications has redefined how and where we work. The millennial generation is largely responsible for reconceptualizing how we work in response to the above. They are striving for deeper, more meaningful connections in the workplace, and in today’s employee market, creating the kind of work-life balance Millennials crave, is a compelling competitive advantage.
By 2025, millennials will make up 75 percent of the global workforce. According to Forbes, “Millennials want experiences. They see opportunities everywhere and they want optionality – the ability to move in a variety of directions and pursue different learning opportunities.” A recent US study reaffirms this, finding that Millennials are willing to prioritise a better experience at work over a higher salary bracket. They will, as a whole, prioritise a meaningful career over greater financial security. And if they feel they aren’t making an impact and are not progressing, they aren’t afraid to leave. A Deloitte survey has revealed that 43% of millennials plan to leave their job within two years.
However, according to Ashley Goldsmith, Chief People Officer at Workday, “It’s not only Millennials who want optionality. We’re seeing this across all generations of employees. People are happier and more productive, regardless of age, when they are provided with more engaging work experiences”.
How we can help your business
Our Redii.com team monitors this trend on a daily basis. They provide reward and recognition platforms to clients to help support and deliver employee engagement programs – and experiences form a central part of this offering. Clients recognise the impact that shared experiences have on developing connection, trust and productivity in the workplace, and thereby opt to reward their people with ‘things to do’ instead of cash bonuses or material goods. And the results speak for themselves with Redii.com claiming companies with recognition programs that improve employee engagement have 31 percent lower voluntary turnover.
This topic along with other key themes is explored in depth in our white paper “The Experience Economy: Riding a rising tide.” You can download your free copy below.
Also published on Medium.