While employee enthusiasm and motivation likely peaks at the start of a new job, this can quickly taper off if the employee experience is lacking. According to a new study by ServiceNow, employee enthusiasm wanes by 22 percent after an employee's first few weeks.
The study surveyed 1,400 people from around the world who work at companies with 2,000 or more employees. It asked respondents various questions about the employee experience and found that more than half (52 percent) of employees don't believe their employers invest in improving the employee experience.
Below, I've highlighted several specific employee pain points from the study, along with your team can support a top-notch employee experience, boosting engagement and long-term loyalty as a result.
1. Initial employee communication has room for improvement.
According to the study, barely half (58 percent) of respondents indicated their employers provided clear communication about what to expect before the first day. Additionally, only about half (51 percent) said their employers made it easy to access a new hire portal.
Your team likely keeps candidates engaged throughout the hiring process to stand out in today's competitive labor market. And this engagement shouldn't stop once an employee accepts your open role.
On my team of about 200 employees, as soon as a new employee signs an offer letter, we kick off digital onboarding, sending relevant documents for employees to review and sign before the first day. This includes the employee handbook, so new employees understand our company culture, policies and other critical information before walking in the door.
Before each employee's first day, we also make sure they're in touch with their managers so they know what to expect. And we work with our people team and IT department to ensure employees have the equipment they need to be set up for success. Little steps like this can make new employees feel welcome right away and keep their excitement elevated.
2. Employees don't feel their opinions matter.
More than half (55 percent) of employees surveyed do not believe their opinions matter to employers and only 40 percent believe their feedback is acted upon by their employer. Yet 67 percent believe sharing feedback is a valuable use of their time.
If employees do not feel their opinions are valued, they'll be less motivated to do great work and might even look for other job opportunities. And if your team doesn't collect and act upon employee feedback, you won't have any way of knowing how to improve the employee experience.
At my company, one of our core values is "eager to improve." This means each individual employee and the company as a whole should always work toward continuous improvement. And this includes improving the employee experience.
My team distributes employee surveys at least once a year. Once the data is collected, we share the results with the team and outline how we'll act on specific feedback. We also host quarterly town halls and during these meetings, employees are encouraged to submit questions for the leadership team, which helps them realize their opinions are valued. Your team can implement similar tactics to boost employee morale and enthusiasm.
3. Employers are falling short with the offboarding experience.
Turnover is inevitable at any company and it's critical to have the right offboarding experience in place. Not only can the right offboarding experience help exiting employees feel appreciated, but it can help your team collect actionable feedback to improve the employee experience in the long run.
According to the study, 67 percent of respondents said their employer did not conduct an exit interview. Additionally, less than half (45 percent) indicated their offboarding was a positive experience, while only 43 percent said they would consider working for their former employer in the future.
Whether the employee had a positive or negative experience, during employee offboarding and exit interviews, your team should make sure to prepare an objective list of questions to ask. And let employees know you appreciate their candid feedback and will implement it where relevant.
Another benefit of effective offboarding is it opens the door for employees to return if they're open to it, also known as "boomerang" employees. I recently wrote a piece that touched on boomerang employees and we have had at least one successful employee at my company leave and then return at a later date. Returning employees are already familiar with your company culture and how your team works, so will require less onboarding time and training.
It's critical to support an engaging employee experience for those you already have on staff -- or you'll risk having to start the hiring process from scratch in today's tight labor market. By understanding and addressing employee pain points, you can set your team up for success and employee retention.