Business Leadership Today

Improving Employee Experience in the Workplace


Matt Tenney, Author of Inspire Greatness: How to Motivate Employees with a Simple, Repeatable, Scalable Process

Employee engagement is often highlighted as a key factor in an organization’s success. However, the foundation of this engagement is the employee experience

Far from being a peripheral aspect of the workplace, employee experience is the life force that keeps an organization alive and thriving. It directly influences performance, productivity, and retention.

A positive employee experience often translates into a sense of purpose and passion for work, leading to increased effort and better-quality outcomes. This, in turn, fosters a more engaged, committed, and motivated workforce, driving the organization’s success.

Employee experience is a key determinant of overall well-being, job satisfaction, and long-term retention. Nurturing it is like tending a garden—it requires attention, care, and a conducive environment for each individual to bloom in their unique way.

Understanding and improving the employee experience is essential for an organization’s long-term success. It requires sound strategies rooted in a genuine commitment to serving employees and meeting their needs. 

To improve employee experience in the workplace, organizations should maintain strong communication, including feedback, promote a supportive and inclusive work environment that fosters belonging, help employees find purpose in their work, and utilize tools that improve both leadership and engagement. 

This comprehensive approach ensures a positive and enriching experience for all employees, ultimately contributing to the organization’s success. In this article, I’ll explore how to manage these aspects of the employee experience to help employees engage and thrive.  

Make Communication Count—Establish a Feedback Loop

In any organization, communication is the grease that makes the machinery of operations run smoothly. It is the conduit through which tasks flow, updates ripple, and solutions emerge from discussions, keeping the gears of progress in perpetual motion.

Effective communication provides the clarity employees need to excel and keeps everyone on the same page, reducing misunderstandings and fostering a sense of unity and cooperation.

Regular feedback is a necessary component of communication. It provides employees with an understanding of how their work is perceived and where they stand in terms of their performance. 

Constructive feedback helps employees identify their strengths and areas for improvement, promoting personal growth and development. It also makes employees feel valued and heard, which enhances their overall experience in the workplace.

For instance, companies like Google and Microsoft have implemented regular feedback systems where employees receive timely evaluations from their peers and superiors. These systems have been reported to increase employee satisfaction and engagement, demonstrating the power of strong communication and feedback in improving the employee experience. 

Prioritizing open communication and regular feedback helps organizations create a work environment where employees feel supported and motivated, leading to improved productivity and morale.

Make Employees Feel Supported—Promote an Inclusive Work Environment

An inclusive work culture provides an environment where individuals of all backgrounds, identities, and abilities are welcomed, valued, and equally involved in the organization. It’s a place where diversity is not just accepted but celebrated and where every employee feels a sense of belonging.

Inclusivity in the workplace brings a wealth of benefits. It fosters a culture of respect and acceptance, which can lead to increased employee satisfaction and retention. It’s also good for business. Diverse teams bring a variety of perspectives, leading to innovative solutions and better decision-making, which improves overall profitability.

Beyond inclusivity, a supportive work environment that values employees’ well-being and work-life balance is key to providing a positive employee experience. 

A supportive work environment is one where employees feel their needs are understood and respected and where they are provided with the resources and flexibility to balance their work and personal lives. This includes flexible working hours, remote work options, and access to wellness programs.

Promoting such an environment requires intentional effort. Here are a few strategies:

  • Diversity and inclusion training: Regular training sessions can help employees understand the importance of diversity and learn to respect and value differences.
  • Open communication: Encourage employees to share their experiences and ideas. This can foster understanding and break down silos and other barriers.
  • Fair policies and practices: Ensure that your organization’s policies, including hiring and promotion practices, are fair and do not favor any particular group.
  • Celebration of diversity: Celebrate different cultures, traditions, and holidays to make all employees feel seen and appreciated.
  • Supportive policies and programs: Implement policies and programs that support employees’ well-being and work-life balance. This could include flexible working arrangements, wellness programs, and mental health resources.

Make Work Meaningful—Help Employees Find Purpose

Finding purpose in one’s work is a powerful motivator. It goes beyond the paycheck and taps into the intrinsic motivation that drives individuals to give their best. When employees see the purpose in their work, they feel a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, leading to increased engagement and productivity.

Employers can help employees find purpose in several ways:

  • Connect work to larger goals: Help employees understand how their work contributes to the organization’s mission and goals. This can give them a sense of purpose and make them feel part of something bigger.
  • Provide opportunities for growth: Offer opportunities for professional development and learning. This can help employees see a future in their role and find purpose in their growth.
  • Encourage autonomy: Allow employees to have a say in their work processes and decisions. This can make them feel valued and find purpose in their contributions.

Purpose-driven work has a profound impact on the employee experience. It leads to higher job satisfaction, lower turnover rates, and a more engaged and motivated workforce. By helping employees find purpose, organizations can create a positive work environment and drive success.

Make Leadership Matter—Utilize Tools for Leadership and Engagement

Leadership plays a pivotal role in shaping the employee experience. Effective leaders inspire their teams, set clear expectations, and foster a positive work environment. They are instrumental in building trust, promoting collaboration, and driving engagement.

There are numerous tools and strategies that can improve both leadership and engagement in the workplace:

  • Leadership development programs: These programs equip leaders with the skills needed to effectively manage and inspire their teams.
  • Employee engagement platforms: These tools provide a space for employees to communicate, collaborate, and stay connected. They often include features for recognition, feedback, and social connection.
  • Performance management tools: These tools help leaders track and manage employee performance, providing a basis for feedback and development conversations.

The impact of these tools can be transformative. They can help create a culture of continuous learning and improvement where employees feel valued and engaged. They can also provide leaders with the insights they need to make informed decisions and drive organizational success.

Matt Tenney has been working to help organizations develop leaders who improve employee engagement and performance since 2012. He is the author of three leadership books, including the groundbreaking, highly acclaimed book Inspire Greatness: How to Motivate Employees with a Simple, Repeatable, Scalable Process.

Matt’s ideas have been featured in major media outlets and his clients include numerous national associations and Fortune 500 companies.

He is often invited to deliver keynote speeches at conferences and leadership meetings, and is known for delivering valuable, actionable insights in a way that is memorable and deeply inspiring.

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