Team Amity

Why Employee Experience should be your top priority - Interview with Amity’s Head of People

The quality of your employee's experience is a determining factor of their overall performance and your business outcomes. Here, Amity's Head of People, Katie Wan, shares her thoughts and best practices to ensure an excellent employee journey within your organization.

October 1, 2020
By
Lauren Feille

Employee experience is a worker's perceptions about his or her journey in an organization, starting with job application through to their departure. From the company's culture, its workspace to the tools used, all that impacts the employee's journey, productivity, and performance.

Katie Wan, Amity's Head of People, shares her thoughts on the importance of delivering a high-quality journey to the employees, and how it can impact your organization.

Could you explain why a high-quality employee journey matters?

A company is as good as the people that work for it. While it's essential to focus on nurturing high performers who deliver top quality outcomes, any organization would have significant drawbacks if employees had short tenure, were not engaged, or had few opportunities to learn and grow. This could manifest in adverse business outcomes such as low retention and stifled employee potential.

By enabling employees to have a positive experience spanning their entire work life, we foster an environment where they can have micro 'aha' moments throughout their career. When talking about micro 'aha' moments, I mean the feelings employees get when they realize an important insight, experience success, or delight when overcoming problems or challenges. These experiences help keep their passion at work alive, bolster loyalty to the cause, and strengthen their purpose relative to their team and company performance.

Could you describe to what extent a positive employee experience affects an organization's success?

A positive employee experience — assuming this is replicated across an organization — holds excellent benefits for the overall business. I mentioned the above points on staff retention and other HR metrics. Still, the benefits are further reaching, with research suggesting that a positive employee experience can lead to increased innovation, greater profitability, higher customer satisfaction, and an enhanced brand.  Imagine an entire organization of people who frequently feel like a spark has been lit during the time they do their work. The impact on morale, output, and energy would be maximized.

My optimism for the employee experience should not be misinterpreted as having rose-tinted glasses in the workplace. There are challenges and problems to be faced and navigated all the time. However, providing the means for an employee to positively tackle these challenges, helping them have accessible resources, offering frequent feedback, and organizational communication, an organization can truly foster a positive work experience. This reduces the work demands in the workplace and makes all the breakthrough moments even more enjoyable.

What are your tips to ensure a healthy, productive, and engaging work environment?

Creating an ongoing environment for employees to thrive and succeed in the organization is critical.

Many companies may buy tech tools but see little return, hold 'training' workshops, write policies, and arrange teambuilding to boost employee engagement and retention.

The problem is that creating rare moments that are somewhat standalone does not sustain positive employee sentiment. After initial peak interest, employees go back to their day-to-day activities, and the boosted positive effect from the initial point slowly dilutes. The solution is to make every day a positive experience at work, emphasizing the employee experience.

Technology is not the silver bullet solution to achieve a positive employee experience. You could have the best tool in the world, but it could still fail at the implementation stage. To ensure a successful outcome is reached, I recommend designing a well-thought change management process that considers bridging employee skills gaps, boosting user adoption, and educating your team on how to use the tool.

As part of this plan, some additional tips are:

  1. Pre-identify and train a team of user champions and ambassadors across the organization
    For a maximum impact, these people should be dispersed at all levels of the company to boost usage.
  2. Have a well-thought-out support structure for employees using the tool once launched (e.g. FAQ resources or an employee help service with fast responses)
    Helping employees overcome their first hurdles is likely to convert them to long-term users.
  3. Role model from the top
    Don't underestimate senior leaders' and managers' impact using the new technology. Take the time to train and educate senior executives — without their support, changing legacy processes will be incredibly difficult.

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