With the impact of COVID-19, employees want to know, now more than ever, that they are acknowledged, appreciated, and respected in their workplace. New approaches to recognition and the employee experience can meet the employees’ emotional needs for validation and bridges the gap between responding to employees’ psychological needs while meeting the employer’s business objectives and targeted outcomes.
Strategic recognition will bring forth the promise to change the employer-employee workplace relationship substantively and positively – inspiring employees and building cultures that generate sustained value for all stakeholders.
In a recent article by Josh Bersin titled, The Employee Experience Platform Market Has Arrived, Bersin, an internationally recognized thought leader, highlighted three important points around the employee experience and the importance of recognition in the workplace.
#1 The Dynamic Employee Experience
Employees crave more than just the traditional methods of assimilating to their work environment; instead, they want to know how their new environment will accommodate their emotional needs and that their work efforts are acknowledged. Bersin stated that “employees regularly discuss culture, management, and the work environment as important factors” Employees are seeking a workplace that will fulfill their emotional desires and value their contributions. This is realized when companies increase performance, productivity and experience reduced turnover.
However, companies spend much of their precious resources focused on talent acquisition (recruitment, hiring, onboarding, etc.) and are then surprised and disappointed when the talent does not meet their standards or when productivity is low, and top talent departs. Forward-thinking companies should proportionally invest in their employees’ ongoing experience if they wish to see substantial workplace improvements in engagement, productivity, and retention.
#2 Consumer Level Experiences in the Corporate Environment
LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook showed us how to create meaningful and memorable digital experiences when we use their tools. We know to connect with our friends, family, and colleagues in digital environments that can now carry complex emotions. The COVID-19 experience has highlighted this even more.
Employees expect that they should experience the same or similar levels of emotions and connections in their workplace. Bersin suggests that companies “need a user-centric architecture for employees,” where feedback loops and communications can flow freely and consistently.
Many employers are still delivering archaic experiences when it comes to employee recognition. Juxtaposing 70’s style award ceremonies and printable certificates and forms for a generation of employees who wouldn’t recognize a touch-tone (let alone a rotary) phone.
Employers must deliver recognition experiences that are at least similar to those created by the major social media companies. Employees need (and deserve) an integrated and centralized recognition platform that delivers meaningful and engaging experiences that promote positive collaboration, improved productivity, and recognition in a format and manner consistent with their time and familiarity with technology.
#3 – Employee Experience Platform – Next Essential Component of HR
Now that Workday, ADP, SuccessFactors, Infor, etc., have worked out how to reliably pay employees, track time, attendance, etc. – it is time to move onto the actual employee experiences.
Bersin states that HR needs a system that can handle the “ever-expanding and ever-changing landscape” of employee interactions. The promise of new developments with EXP gives employees hope that their psychological needs are a component of addressing a person’s desire to realize their potential (think back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs).
Those companies who see employees as having significant potential to help drive business outcomes (see BlackRock’s Human Capital Metrics Engagement Priorities) are investing in Employee Experiences, and technology is a key enabler for improving recognition and engagement practices. Technology ensures that higher-quality recognition interactions can fulfill the promise of delivering unique and highly personalized employee experiences.
Employees want to know that their talents and contributions are appreciated and celebrated. They genuinely want to feel like they are in an individual (and valued) contributor to the business’ success. Employees serve as the lifeline of the company.
Oprah Winfrey once said, “what we all want (in the human experience) is to be understood and validated.” When a company fails to give its employees proper recognition for their work and the contributions they make, the research shows reduced productivity, business outcomes, and higher turnover (particularly for higher-performers). It holds true that when employees feel valued, that same value translates to all contributing factors of the business’ success. This level of success can be viewed in all industries, including healthcare (see link Employee Recognition and Patient Satisfaction).
The employee experience is a vital link in the cycle of building a highly successful business. As Bersin puts it, “when organizations succeed, employees become raving fans.”
Considering these factors (and particularly in this new world of remote employees), companies should invest in having an employee experience platform that meets their employees’ needs – and in this context, the need for meaningful recognition.
Bersin’s overall goal for the employee experience platform is to “deliver next-generational employee experience by making employees feel as if their organization has an understanding of needs throughout the entire employee journey.”
WorkProud delivers on the promise of meaningful, consistent, and engaging employee experiences that cater to employees’ personal needs and helps build positive, productive, and engaged workplaces.
We will help you make employees proud of their work and proud of their company.
Why is a positive employee experience vital for an organization?
Remember, employees serve as the lifeline of the company. When they feel their employers acknowledge and accommodate their psychological needs, they become “raving fans” of the company, which can translate into increased engagement, productivity, and retention.
Is it necessary to have an employee experience platform (“EXP”) for the workplace?
Yes. Investing in an EXP can deliver on the promise of bridging the gap between meeting the employees’ emotional need for recognition while also satisfying the employer’s business objectives and desired outcomes.