How to Build Workforce Experiences That Boost Your Bottom Line

Workforce Experience - Employees at WorkAre your employees engaged at work? If you’re like most companies, less than two in ten of them are. Gallup’s State of the Global Workforce report found that 85% of employees either are not engaged or are actively disengaged on the job, and that’s costing companies in the United States an estimated $450 - $550 billion every year.

Those numbers have remained stagnant over the past several years, even in companies that recognize the issue and invest in engagement programs and strategies.

So what’s the problem? Why aren’t employees satisfied and contributing at work? And more importantly, what can you do about it?

Over the past decade or so, we’ve seen a shift away from employer-centric engagement programs that focus on productivity, management, and HR. These top-down strategies simply don’t work. According to Gallup, the best way to help employees reach their full potential is to design workforce experiences that center on employee needs. 

But what does that mean exactly?

Why Investing in Workforce Experience Is Good For Business

Positive workforce experiences create an environment in which employees can do their best work. It’s not just about making your employees happy, and it’s not even limited to engagement alone. Engagement and satisfaction metrics generally focus on productivity and business outcomes, but these don’t go for enough. Workforce experience, on the other hand, diagnoses how you can help employees do their jobs most effectively. And that is critical for your business.

A well-designed workforce experience will:

  • Attract the Right People – Positive workforce experiences undergird your employer brand. Talented workers can afford to be choosy about their employers, and they will be looking for a workplace where they can be most effective. When you design workforce experiences where they can thrive, that will become a key element of your employee brand – and it will make you stand out from competitors.

  • Give Employees the Tools They Need to Do Their Work – This is the crux of a well-designed workforce experience. The tools you provide for employees should create a friction-free work environment. These tools include software, apps, and digital processes, but they also include workplace design, communication, team interactions, and management styles. It’s not just about quantifiable metrics (although those are important); it’s about how the environment at work makes your employees feel.

  • Help Employees Serve Customers Better – As your employees become more effective in their work, they will serve your customers better – and that’s the key business reason for investing in workforce experience. Rather than using a top-down approach to motivate employees to produce more, shifting the focus to workforce experience creates the ideal environment for your employees to thrive. In turn, they deliver better service to your customers, and your customers stay happy.

How Do You Create Effective Workforce Experiences?

So how do you create these magical experiences? Here are four ways to get started.

  1. Consider all members of the workforce. Your workforce isn’t limited to on-site employees. It also includes contingent workers, candidates, vendors, and contractors. That means your workforce experience strategy will need to include support, recognition, and rewards for these people as well as those on your payroll.

  2. Understand employee motivations. Engagement surveys typically focus on business drivers like productivity, management, and revenue generation. What they fail to measure, however, is how an employee feels while at work. Total life experiences – including health, wellness, interactions with colleagues, and work-life balance – all contribute to daily performance in the office. Regular rounding sessions with managers and frequent pulse surveys will help you gather insights from your employees so you can determine what kind of environment will help them to do their best work.

  3. Create a culture of trust. According to Harvard Business Review, people who work in trust-based cultures experience 74% less stress, 106% more energy, and 76% higher engagement, as well as higher productivity, fewer sick days, and less burnout. Building a culture of trust starts with understanding how to foster deep connections and greater empathy among employees. You can do that by recognizing excellence and achievement, practicing clear, frequent communication, empowering employees to control their own work patterns and spaces, and supporting both personal and professional growth.

  4. Design digital processes that serve employees, not HR. Are your HR processes designed only to gather the information you need or do they also factor in usability and intuitive learning on the part of your employees? Human-centered design makes technology more accessible for all employees, and it incorporates the kind of flexible, intuitive experiences that people already expect from their personal devices. On a practical level, that means creating mobile-first apps, considering the UX of your HRIS as well as its functionality, and supporting communication through integrated technology. 

The key point to remember as you develop intentional workforce experiences is that your business will benefit the most when you enable employees to do their best work. That’s the business driver behind the strategy. 

As the old saying goes: Take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers. Employees who feel recognized, respected, and valued will serve your customers more effectively, generate more revenue, and get more done.

And that’s worth the investment.


HRIS Comparison Tool