In the old days, companies used to pay very little attention to their employees’ experiences outside of raw productivity. As time has gone on and the corporate landscape has evolved, however, forward-thinking companies have started to appreciate that constructing positive experiences for their employees is crucially important.
Companies are now realizing that if they want to acquire, retain, and get the most from top talent, they need to go beyond providing adequate compensation. Competitive companies now emphasize something called employee experience management. Effective employee experience management can help improve employee satisfaction, loyalty, and productivity in myriad ways. Companies have long since recognized that maximizing the positivity of customer experiences is necessary for optimizing their bottom line. Now companies are recognizing that they need to care for every facet of the employee experience as well.
In this article, we’ll explore what employee experience management is, as well as what’s required of an effective employee manager. We’ll also look at recent trends in the employee experience management landscape.
What Is Employee Experience Management?
First let’s start with the obvious question: what is employee experience management? Employee experience management involves the intentional cultivation of positive experiences in every one of an employee’s encounters with their organization. This includes the employee’s initial recruitment and interview experience, their training and onboarding, their ongoing professional development, their everyday workplace experiences, as well as their departure. Every company will have a different set of possible experiences to consider as part of its employee experience management. This is determined by the nature of that company’s operations. HR obviously has a critical role to play in employee experience management, as—at most companies—does IT.
Every aspect of an employee’s hiring, their day-to-day activities, and their long-term development is necessary to consider as part of effective employee experience management. If an employee has a problematic relationship with a colleague and feels disempowered from correcting the situation, they are likely to have repeated negative experiences. Similarly, if an employee is inhibited from performing their duties because they’re given faulty or inadequate tools, their experience will be negative. Even if the physical environment of the office is uncomfortable—due to inadequate lighting, hyperactive air-conditioning, or excess noise—the employee’s experience will be negatively altered.
All of these negative employee experiences harm employee satisfaction, diminish loyalty, and obstruct the performance of individuals and teams. And these negative experiences will all find a way of hurting the company’s bottom line.
It’s therefore crucially important that companies consider what’s required to structure regularly positive employee experiences. Employee experience management is essential to employee motivation and productivity.
Employee Experience Manager Skills
Positive employee experiences don’t just happen by accident. They’re deliberately cultivated by effective employee experience managers. Let’s take a look at some of the most important employee experience manager skills. If you’re crafting your employee experience manager resume, these are the skills you’ll want to highlight.
The first skill an employee experience manager needs is effective communication. Employees need to feel heard and cared about. This requires empathy, warmth, and the ability to proactively speak to employee concerns. Skilled employee experience managers are good at understanding employees’ desires, as well as making employees feel reassured that their needs and concerns are centered and will be proactively attended to.
A big part of effective employee experience management is problem solving. Skilled employee experience managers are able to anticipate problems before they arise, and to respond to unanticipated problems when they do arise. When employees encounter a problem of any kind, seeing their problem resolved turns a negative experience into a positive. Sometimes the solution to employee problems isn’t easy. It might require coordination among different departments. It might involve delicacy and diplomacy in handling inter-colleague conflict. Or it might involve innovation in creating a structure that doesn’t currently exist.
Good employee experience managers are able to balance big-picture thinking with detail-orientedness. Employees care about larger considerations like their compensation structures, of course, but every single aspect of an employee’s encounter with their job plays into their overall satisfaction. Seemingly nitty-gritty details like workplace climate control, well-stocked vending machines, and even intra-office newsletters can all play a large role in how employees feel about their jobs and their companies.
Being able to work with technology—and to understand how other employees interact with the technology they need to do their jobs—is an increasingly integral part of being a good employee experience manager. From Xerox machines to mobile communications, skilled employee experience managers are able to attend to everything an employee needs in order to do their job well and smoothly.
Employee Experience Manager Interview Questions
If you’re hoping to land a job as an employee experience manager, you need to be prepared for your interview. Here, we’ve listed the employee experience manager interview questions you’re most likely to encounter.
- What have you done in the past in order to increase employee engagement?
- What, in your opinion, are the most important factors for employee satisfaction?
- How have you used data in order to create better employee experiences?
- Describe an employee experience problem you’ve encountered and how you worked to resolve it.
- How would you observe and respond to a decrease in employee engagement within your department?
- What are the most important strategies for effective communication with employees?
- Have you had an experience where you’ve had to coordinate across multiple departments in order to address an employee experience issue? And how have you handled it?
- What are the most important factors for a company in our industry to consider when it comes to employee experience?
Employee Experience Manager Trends
Employee experience management is a field that has to adapt with the times, as employees are regularly confronting newly emergent challenges and bringing new expectations. Let’s look at some of the most important employee experience manager trends.
- Cultivate a shared culture. Companies are increasingly focusing on creating a positive culture that emphasizes collectivity and incentivizes employee loyalty. Doing things like organizing intra-office events and establishing a common set of values helps construct a group identity that builds trust, enhances teamwork, and encourages employees to work harder because they identify with the company.
- Support employee well being. Getting the most from your employees doesn’t just involve cracking the whip and telling them to work harder. The most productive employees are also the healthiest and happiest employees. This means supporting mental health, encouraging a positive work-life balance, and providing wellness programs that allow employees to show up to work as their best selves.
- Adapt to new technologies. The rate of technological change is faster than ever. Employees need the most up-to-date tools in order to perform their jobs optimally and to allow the company to remain competitive.
- Invest in professional development. Employees operate at their best—and feel most taken care of—when their companies invest in their development. This includes sufficient onboarding as well as ongoing training, so employees are always well equipped to meet whatever challenges they’re going to face.
The world’s most progressive and competitive companies are increasingly focusing on employee experience management for a reason. Ensuring that every aspect of an employee’s experience of their job feels positive and supported is key to making employees feel secure, loyal, and invested in the success of their company. If you’re trying to maximize your company’s competitiveness by getting the most from your employees, you’ll want to invest in employee experience management today.