Why a positive employee experience matters
With all the changes we’ve experienced in the workplace these past few years – from an increase in hybrid work, to reductions in force, and the tight labor market – the task of creating a positive employee experience can feel like a moving target. 😩
Yes, the work of improving employee experience is never really done. But sometimes the best way to spark an idea for your people programs and initiatives is to listen and learn from your peers.💡
Our own Global Director of Customer Success, Chris Jones, recently facilitated a rockstar panel of HR leaders to discuss how they’re doubling down on connection and belonging to create positive employee experiences at their companies. Chris sat down with:
- Jenny Davis, Continuous Improvement Manager (People Team), OVO
- Kelly Pope, Onboarding Coordinator, Eurest
- Sylvia Flores, Chief of Brand, Espresa
Here we share six key takeaways from their conversation.
Show appreciation through employee recognition. 🙏
When you get caught up in day-to-day tasks, it can be easy to miss the smaller moments that deserve recognition and appreciation. That’s especially true in the food service industry, shared Kelly, where the focus is often on a seamless customer experience, and not necessarily the experience of front-line workers. Eurest is looking to change that with a new employee recognition program called Hero. “It’s an internal opportunity for guests or other team members to recognize others for a job well done,” she said.
And while there is a monetary component to the program in the form of gift cards, the most important part of Hero is letting employees know how their work is appreciated by the company.
To build a positive employee experience, start with belonging.
Nearly every company will tell you they care about belonging, but who actually lives it? Jenny shared that OVO hired a belonging consultant to carry out the vision of belonging and inclusion that the company’s founder had set – where everyone is valued for who they are as an individual. One aspect of OVO Belonging is employee networks that are open for anyone to join. These are centered around common interests, such as neurodiversity, generations, pride, and accessibility.
“Rather than being a once-a-year thing we talk about just before the engagement survey, we’ve woven belonging into all our communications,” shared Jenny. That includes weekly employee emails and town hall topics, and it’s even woven into OVO’s recruitment process through Enboarder.
Go beyond the paperwork during onboarding. 🖇️
“We are big Enboarder lovers over here. I couldn’t do what I do without having some many automated pieces,” said Kelly. She’s especially excited about the opportunity to bring back in-person onboarding classes this year. “The value is truly in that team-building and connection with the people they’re onboarding with.”
Crafting "iconic moments"
Jenny also shared her excitement about building in more “iconic moments” into the employee experience at OVO. “If somebody becomes a parent for the first time or they’re promoted or move internally, these are all different touchpoints where we have an opportunity to support our people, but also pair it with technology so it’s scalable,” she said.
The first iconic moment Jenny was tasked with improving was onboarding. In partnership with Enboarder, OVO “completely transformed the end-to-end journey” and now has a 120-day guided journey that starts four weeks before new hires join the company. OVO went from 15% automation in the onboarding process to 85%, which means people managers and HR can focus more on connecting with new hires on a personal level.
“One of the first people leaders to go through the journey reached out to tell me, ‘It’s a week to go before Ashley joins. I found out she’s in the same city as me, so I’m meeting her for coffee and cake on Friday’ … That was why we did that piece of work, so that our people leaders could concentrate on connecting with individual and understanding – outside of the admin tasks – what they need as a person to be able to transition into the company and really feel like they’re adding to value quicker into their career with us,” shared Jenny.
Give people managers the tools to succeed. 🧰
According to CEB, 60% of new managers fail in their first 24 months in the role. Oftentimes rockstar individual contributors get moved into people management without any formal training or guidance.
Kelly shared how Eurest is taking a different approach when it comes to professional development for managers – and it all starts during onboarding. “We hold a soft skills live class … It’s a really fun class to focus on some of the intangible, non-operational skills during their onboarding,” she said. Some of the topics covered include team building, DISC personality assessments, and business etiquette. “It’s amazing to see those light bulbs start going off for people, whether they’re new leaders or they’ve been a leader before. It’s cool to see them get that spark of energy to go out and improve their teams.”
When it comes to communication, meet employees where they’re at. 🗣️
Jenny shared that OVO has multiple touchpoints for internal communication, including a weekly all-company update on Thursdays and a people leader update on Wednesdays. And then once a month there’s a company-wide meeting called OVO Together, where half the content features guest speakers across the company sharing new innovations and the other half is for open questions.
“One of the things we found with those sessions was a lot of the questions were people-related, having to do with holidays or benefits or pay. So we created a separate monthly session called Ask the People team, which is an open session for anyone to ask their people questions,” said Jenny. Those recordings are then shared out with the rest of the company along with the regular drumbeat of communications.
Consider personal, localized rewards in the form of Lifestyle Spending Accounts. 💰
It can be challenging for companies with employees in multiple countries to offer a truly global reward experience. Sylvia shared how her company Espresa has introduced a solution called Lifestyle Spending Accounts: “It’s able to meet people globally with everything they’re looking for across the board. So if you’re in New Jersey and you’re looking for childcare, your company has a benefit for that. If you’re in Nigeria and you’re looking for a food benefit, there are options available.” It’s about meeting employees where they’re at with benefits and perks that appeal to their unique needs.
Create a positive employee experience with Enboarder.
Any of the tips shared in this recap – from communication, to benefits, recognition and professional development – can be built into Enboarder’s Human Connection Platform via automated workflows that create an amazing experience for your employees. And the best part is you can get a program set up quickly with our library of pre-built templates. Get a demo today!