While employers have made strides to improve aspects of the employee experience, a new study reveals that employees believe there is still a gap between good and great.
First, consider a few positive stats. A new survey from ServiceNow shows that 85% of employees are enthusiastic about their position and company when starting a new job, and 72% report a positive experience during their first few weeks.
But for many workers, starting a new gig is the peak of their employee experience. When asked to consider how their experience is today, just 63% continue to be enthusiastic about their position and the company.
How do organizations ensure that your first day won’t end up being your best day? That drop in satisfaction suggests early positive feelings aren’t lasting. Where are the key areas for organizations to improve?
There are countless moments in the employee experience that impact an employee’s experience with work and their relationship with their employer. Our research suggests a number of critical insights:
Day-to-day experiences matter
First, recognize that it’s not just the big moments that capture an employee’s experience. For example, our research shows that employees don’t find it easy to get simple things done, including finding information about a company policy (41%), resolving an issue logging in to software (46%), or getting a question answered about their benefits (45%).
Mobile device access is a gateway to productivity as well. In fact, 63% of employees with access to mobile tools believe it improves their ability to access needed information and 47% believe it helps improve their ability to get work done.
Employees see these as table stakes, while companies struggle to provide these basic support functions. And as organizations grow, so does the disconnect.
Big moments matter, too
We also need to recognize that workers need to know employers care about the big moments too, such as pre-boarding activities, offboarding to a new job, or taking parental leave. When it comes to these big moments, employees specifically state that employers could positively improve the employee experience with better support staff, better access to information, and better access to communication tools.
Even though employees are excited when starting new jobs, the pre-boarding process needs improvement. Less than 60% believe their employer clearly communicated what to expect on their first day and just a third of employers made it easy to complete pre-hire paperwork on a mobile device.
Employees reveal some especially interesting insights regarding offboarding and leave. For offboarding, two thirds of employees (67%) report that their former employer didn’t conduct an exit interview. A negative offboarding process speaks volumes about whether an employee would return: Only 43% would consider working for their former employer in the future, and only 42% would refer a friend or colleague to their former employer.
For leave, the numbers aren’t much better. Nearly half of employees don’t find it easy to hand off work before a leave of absence, and even fewer say the same about picking up projects upon returning from a leave of absence. This means the organization’s interest in “collaboration” is only going so far.
A holistic experience
Leaders should recognize that the employee experience is about far more than individual moments, whether big or small. It’s a holistic experience that employees engage with every day.
With all the talk of the employee experience today, are employers missing the mark on what really matters? Have employers been focused on everything but the service experience at work?
Recall that less than half of employees feel that finding basic, everyday information about their jobs and benefits comes easily to them. There’s also a gap between the positive emotions employees experience as they start a new job and their emotions after a few weeks or months in the job.
There is, however, a solution to these and many other problems, a solution that can alleviate concerns from employers and employees alike. According to our survey, 77% of employees expect their companies to offer a portal to access information in one central location.
A better service experience
HR is often playing catch-up at most organizations to create consumer-like experiences for new hires. To make real change, employers should consider the service experience holistically across the entire employee journey.
Making real progress may require employers to remove the burden of deciphering where to go and what to do. Employers should be offering employees easy self-service in the flow of their work. Employees should have the option to click, swipe, or chat to resolve an issue anytime and anywhere. And employees need to be better equipped with what they need during those important moments of change.
Download our full free report on the employee's point of view on employee experience. You will find even more areas where organizations can improve the holistic experience and harness the consumer innovations that employees expect in their work life.