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Four best practices for building a great employee experience

The Great Resignation may have slowed, but it certainly hasn’t stopped, with companies still experiencing employee exodus. Many employees are exhausted, overwhelmed, frustrated, and are reconsidering their entire relationship with work. According to research by Gartner, only 13% of employees are “fully satisfied” with their current role.

Employee dissatisfaction leads to turnover, disengagement, and lower performance — all of which can hurt a company’s bottom line. As a result, more and more organizations are starting to prioritize employee retention, engagement, and overall happiness. And that means investing in their employee experience, or EX.

Why EX is so important

Employee experience, or the set of daily interactions with people, processes, and technology necessary to a worker’s job, is key to keeping top talent. The data bears this out; according to McKinsey, employees with a positive EX are 16 times more engaged than those with a negative EX. They’re also eight times more likely to stay with their current employer.

Engaged employees are often high-performing employees. According to Gallup, highly engaged teams are 21% more productive than those with low engagement. They tend to show greater initiative, are more willing to tackle difficult problems, and deliver better customer service.

>So, how can companies improve their employee experience and reap these many benefits? A positive EX results from several factors: company culture, compensation, benefits, perks, management style, whether someone likes their coworkers, etc. One that’s often overlooked, however, is technology.

The relationship between EX, tech, and UX

The internal business applications your employees use each day definitely have an impact on their satisfaction. They may not be quitting because they don’t like the software they have to use, but frustrating app experiences can contribute to a general dislike of one’s job. This is especially true in today’s remote/hybrid work environments, where technology plays a bigger role in person-to-person interactions.

No one wants to deal with poorly-designed applications day in and day out at their jobs. Bad UX might be a minor annoyance at first, but over time it can snowball into real aggravation. And most likely, that’ll happen sooner than you think. Today’s employees are tech-savvy and have come to expect the same quality of UX and design from their work apps as they do from consumer apps.

Think your employees might be hitting the wall when it comes to dealing with bad UX? Some signs may include:

  • A high volume of support tickets
  • Poor app adoption
  • Negative employee feedback
  • Large numbers of unfinished tasks, transactions, and workflows

In addition, you might notice that employees are struggling to find key information or don’t know where to go for help. They may not even know their logins to critical systems because they’re using workarounds to avoid these difficult-to-navigate or poorly-designed tools.

How an employee portal can help

Unfortunately, many enterprise apps don’t have great UX right out of the box. So, should you toss them out and start over with something that has a better design? Fortunately, getting rid of your current applications isn’t necessary. After all, they represent a significant investment of both time and money; plus, your team is already used to them (even if they aren’t big fans).

Instead, you can build intuitive, beautifully designed experiences right on top of the systems you’re currently using. These include employee portals, which serve as a “single source of truth” for all employment and HR-related tasks and transactions. Basically, the portal updates the front-end of your current applications and systems without influencing or changing the back-end. It’s like taking a house with “good bones” and renovating it to make it more livable.

Four employee experience best practices

To make the most out of the HR platforms and systems you already have, follow these four best practices:

1. Start with human-centered design

Your employees want apps that work the way they do and not the other way around. The principle of human-centered design puts the user (in this case, the employee) at the center of every process, meeting their needs in the most intuitive, streamlined way possible. By considering what your employees want out of their apps from the beginning, you’ll make them happier while increasing efficiency and reducing the risk of building unused features.

2. Implement self-service

Build a personalized and easy-to-use self-service employee portal where workers can perform common administrative tasks like requesting time off, updating their address, enrolling in health insurance, or logging work hours. A good self-service experience empowers employees by helping them access the information and tools they need on their own time and devices. For example, the U.S. Department of the Air Force built a mobile-friendly, hire-to-retire portal allowing users to complete key HR-related tasks quickly.

3. Bring your systems together

The average employee spends 20% of their workweek looking for internal information. Switching between different platforms to find what you need makes simple tasks complex and impacts productivity. By implementing an employee portal, you can bring multiple systems into one platform and establish a single repository for critical documentation, training materials, employee conduct codes, and much more.

4. Focus on accessibility

Bake accessibility functionality right into your applications, which is especially helpful for government agencies and companies in the public sector that are required to be 508 compliant. Create apps that work with a screen reader and can be navigated with just a keyboard. The color contrast should be sharp enough, and any labels will be clear and large enough to read. And in fact, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs created a fully accessible and 508-compliant time-tracking application (which even won an innovation award).

Invest in your employee experience

In today’s challenging economic environment, crafting a positive employee experience can reduce turnover and boost worker engagement. Your employees — and your bottom line — will appreciate it. Learn more about how Skuid can help you optimize your employee experience and schedule a demo today!

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