5 Ways to Improve Employee Experience & Boost Engagement
- POSTED ON APRIL 24, 2023
Organizations have become more complex and the job of leading them increasingly challenging. They need managers who can be productive while fostering a culture of well-being and high employee engagement. Leaders today must learn how to bring out the best in their teams by caring for almost every aspect of the employee experience.
You’re about to discover 5 ways leaders can use the “coach approach” to improve employee experience and boost engagement.
What Is Employee Experience?
In the 1990s leaders were focused on “employee satisfaction” which was simply about treating employees fairly. Since then we’ve come a long way. The focus in 2023 is on the experience of the employee which is a human-centric way of thinking about the organization, taking into consideration how employees feel about all aspects of their work life, including well-being. Basically, the employee experience refers to a person’s perception of their journey through all the different “touchpoints”, the various interactions with people, systems, and policies in the physical and virtual workspace.
How To Increase Employee Engagement
Although employee engagement is influenced by the employee’s overall experience in the organization—from workplace culture, and communication, to psychological safety, and company values, it is the MANAGER who has the most important role, by a long shot. According to Gallup’s research on the State of the American Manager, it’s estimated that managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across business units. There is no one more important to the success of the employee experience than the manager.
So what can managers do to improve employee experience and boost engagement? In 2023 managers need to focus their efforts on the 5Cs, ask themselves powerful and inspiring questions, and solicit employees’ help to find the answers.
1. Career Development
Managers need to create an environment that helps employees learn, grow, and reach their full potential. By having regular coaching conversations and giving attention to career development managers will attract top talent and retain valued employees.
Managers, ask yourselves these questions: What are the dreams of each individual on my team? Where do they want to be in a year's time? What do they want to learn? How could I support them better in their growth?
2. Culture of Recognition
Managers need to foster a culture of recognition by showing appreciation for employees’ contributions and for who they ARE. Engaged employees are those who feel SEEN, valued, recognized, and acknowledged for their strengths, and their essential qualities, in addition to the work they do.
Managers, ask yourselves these questions: What are each team member's positive qualities and strengths? What is the “primary language” of appreciation of every individual? Whom can I acknowledge today? How can I show more appreciation to the team?
3. Connection With Purpose and Meaning
Managers need to help employees feel a deep, strong connection with the work they do. A sense of purpose provides positive energy and direction that helps people recognize the importance of intention in their lives. Having a sense of purpose is also linked to well-being. Employees will give more to the team, and their effort and attention to quality will go up.
Managers, ask yourselves these questions: How can we focus on purpose and meaning in every meeting? What are the different ways we can celebrate success? How can we listen better to each other? How can we use storytelling (from both clients and team members) to connect to the difference we are making in the world?
Managers need to prioritise health and well-being. At the end of the day, nothing is more important than health. After the last 3 years, prioritizing employee wellness has become more of a focus than ever before. Well-being directly impacts employees’ energy, quality of life, and quality of work performance.
Managers, ask yourselves these questions: How do I care for the personal well-being of my team members? What are the different ways I can enhance the life of each individual on the team? How, as a team, can we build our collective strength? How can I support the team in working smarter, not harder?
Managers need to promote team collaboration and psychological safety. A huge part of employee engagement comes from being part of a team you trust and enjoy working with.
Collaboration is key to co-creating a more transparent, productive, and happier team.
Managers, ask yourselves these questions: What’s my team's level of trust and vulnerability? How can we improve it? What team agreements do we need to bring out the best in each other? How can we embrace candor and conflict in our communication? What is our shared vision?
A Human-Centric Coach Approach To Leadership
The modern employee needs a human-centric coach approach to leadership. People want to be part of organizations that care about much more than just results. Managers who focus on the 5Cs and ask powerful questions will not only have the greatest success in creating engaged and high-performing teams, they will be better prepared to navigate the challenges of the future, which undoubtedly will keep coming.