Awardco’s Employee Journey Blueprint: Crafting the Ideal Employee Experience.
Awardco, a leading company in the rewards and recognition industry, has reimagined the way businesses acknowledge and appreciate their employees. With a focus on making it easy to keep employees happy, Awardco's innovative approach has proven to enhance morale and bolster employee loyalty, ultimately leading to increased retention rates.
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The concept is straightforward: when people are recognized and rewarded for their outstanding performance, they become more motivated and engaged in their work. This, in turn, leads to further recognition, creating a positive and enjoyable cycle. The subsequent article explores the employee journey and the role that Awardco plays in cultivating a thriving and productive work environment.
As the Co-Founder and CEO, Steve leads Awardco, an emerging company in the rewards and recognition industry.
The work environment is still being rocked by two influential trends: record levels of resignations (50 million people quit in 2022) and record lows in employee engagement (only 32% of employees report being engaged at work).
The worst part is these two things feed into each other. As engagement lowers, employees are more likely to quit. And as friends and co-workers leave for better opportunities, remaining employees get inundated with extra responsibilities, which often leads to stress, burnout and disengagement.
While there is no magic solution to fix everything, Steve breaks down one strategy that he thinks can help organisations increase retention and boost engagement: improving the employee journey.
What Is The Employee Journey?
The employee journey encompasses every single interaction that employees have with your organisation throughout their tenure. From the first time they search for your company online to their final day.
Let’s break it down into five basic stages.
These stages are broad and overarching, so it's important to remember that each employee will have a different journey depending on their role, their personality and their needs. However, with a general framework in place, you can better ensure that employees feel supported, valued and rewarded.
Here’s what to know about each stage’s role in engagement and retention.
The recruitment stage includes the first time a potential employee hears about a company to the day that they’re hired. Here are a couple of important points to keep in mind here.
• Your organisation’s online presence. Does your company post on social media? Do you talk about your core values and show how you exemplify them? Do you have positive reviews on Google, Glassdoor and LinkedIn?
• The interview process. Does your company have a structured plan for interviewing and hiring? Do you have well-written, explanatory job listings? Do you have a plan for contacting interviewees in a timely manner?
Just like a book cover is the first impression you have before reading a story, the recruitment stage is the first impression potential employees have of your business. This impression will shape how your employees feel about your company for the rest of their tenure.
Recruitment needs to be planned out for employees to start off on an engaged foot. Without a recruitment strategy, companies may not have good talent to retain in the first place.
Onboarding, often thought of as the first day or week of an employee’s tenure, should, according to most human resource experts, actually cover at least the first three months.
Consider this: Successful onboarding can increase retention by up to 50% and productivity up by 62%. But as of now, only 12% of employees think onboarding is effective. I think this needs to improve.
Here are some tips for planning your onboarding stage to take advantage of the increased retention and engagement.
• Plan months in advance. Plan out onboarding processes for months after an employee’s start date. Include helpful training, shadowing opportunities, follow-ups and frequent one-on-ones to ensure your new employees are comfortable and confident.
• Make the first day count. While onboarding should last months, the first day is vitally important. Make sure each employee starts off with an opportunity to meet their co-workers, has the equipment they need and clearly understands what’s expected of them from day one. The sooner they can start contributing, the sooner they’ll build confidence.
• Provide the proper resources. Along with clear expectations, which can greatly affect engagement and productivity, ensure managers know how to help new employees adjust. Also, create helpful resources, such as handbooks or FAQ pages, that can help new employees get accustomed to your company and culture.
Retention is the broadest of these stages. Many strategies tie into retaining employees, such as employee recognition, value-driven work, compensation, benefits and upward mobility.
In short, employees need to value the work they do, and they need to be valued for the effort they put in. Employee recognition has been found to lower voluntary turnover by 31% and help people stay happy. In the end, value-driven work improves employee engagement. As a part of this, I see competitive benefits and salary as a must. And upward mobility shows that employees can stay and be rewarded for their loyalty.
All of these facets of retention need to be in place for the employee journey to be successful.
Did you know that over 90% of employees feel that professional development is important to them? People want to know that their employers care about their growth. They want raises and promotions, yes, but they also simply want the chance to gain more responsibility and learn new skills.
Professional development can include all sorts of programs, including:
• Soft skill training, such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking or leadership.
• Hard skill training, such as the technical skills required for specific tasks.
• Continuing education to help employees gain new knowledge and skills in areas they’re interested in.
Most employees don’t want to work at a dead-end job with no hope of improving themselves or their position. For that reason, planning professional development opportunities for all employees is an important part of the journey.
Whether through layoffs, voluntary quitting or retirement, every employee will leave the company eventually. While this stage doesn’t affect retention or engagement directly, it can impact future employees.
Exit interviews are a great way to learn what the organization is doing well and what it could improve. Leaders should be open to feedback and objectively assess how to offer better benefits, improve the culture or make other improvements to avoid future employees complaining about the same things.
6. Improve Retention And Engagement With A Planned Journey
Recent trends are troubling, but with a well-thought-out employee journey in place, I believe you’ll have the framework necessary to guide employees through their experience at work. This can improve engagement, retention, happiness and satisfaction for any employee in any position at any level.