Employee Engagement

How to Create an Authentic Employee Experience at Scale [Webinar Recap]

A positive employee experience has been shown to increase workplace enthusiasm, business performance, and organizational commitment; three key components to improving an organization’s workplace culture. Knowing this, you may be asking: what can you do to create an employee experience that’s both authentic and scalable? To address this question, Blueboard, Sapling, and ThinkHuman hosted a webinar conversation with very special guests:

  • LaToya Lyn, Employee Relations & Senior HRBP at Compass (Moderator)
  • Pamela Do, Learning & Development Manager at Betterment
  • Jackie Jenkins, Chief Transformation Officer at United Way
  • Kerry Van Voris, Chief People Officer at Oscar Health

Check out the full video and recap below. For more great HR Webinars, stay in touch via our Resources page.

Below are the top recommendations from our panelists on how to create an authentic employee experience at scale:

Tip #1: Think beyond the process

Employee experience is typically broken down into three structured components: the employee’s physical, technological, and cultural environment. While understanding these elements are important, the panelists agreed that it’s equally critical to look at the big picture and have a sense for how your employees feel about their experience. For instance, do your employees feel safe bringing their whole selves to work? Do they feel seen and heard? These are key questions to take into consideration. Here are a few ideas to help you create an experience your employees will feel positively about:

  • Have shared values or a mission. Make sure you develop a set of values or a mission that’s authentic, specific to your organization, and fosters diversity, inclusion, and belonging. While having a beautiful office space or kombucha machine is a nice to have, it’s ultimately how you shape your company’s values and mission that will determine how your employees feel about where they work.
  • Tap into your emotional intelligence. Don’t be afraid to tap into your emotional intelligence in the workplace! Your job isn’t only limited to growing your technical skills - it’s also a great opportunity to develop your sense of empathy and compassion. So take the time to put yourself in your employees’ shoes to understand how they might view their experience at the organization.  

Tip #2: Remember that employee experience and culture go hand-in-hand

Employee experience and company culture inform each other; The type of experience your employees have shapes the culture of the organization, and the type of culture you have plays a role in an employee’s perceived experience. There are many ways to strengthen both sides of the equation - here are some suggestions from the panelists:

  • Use technology. Technology is one of three pieces that make up the employee experience, along with culture and physical environment. At Betterment, one of their values is to “build relationships beyond the task.” To support this, the team uses Donut - an online buddy system that we also use at Blueboard - to encourage people to grab coffee, snap a selfie, and share something they learned about each other on a designated Slack channel.
  • But don’t forget about face-to-face time. While technology is an amazing way to connect with your team, spending time together in-person is also invaluable when it comes to creating an authentic employee experience at scale. This is especially true for companies with remote employees or a global presence. For example, the team at Oscar Health invests in getting face-to-face time with all employees and hosts offsites twice a year to discuss strategy and culture.
  • Consider meaningful recognition. An effective way to strengthen both the employee experience and company culture is to give recognition that’s meaningful, shareable, and personable. At Blueboard, we work with our clients to give their employees the chance to cross something off their bucket list, while supporting a culture of appreciation that stems from the top. As a result, we found that 94% of rewarded employees felt that receiving an experiential reward positively impacted their culture.

Tip #3: Open up avenues for feedback

As with any workplace initiative or program, the panelists recommended opening up as many avenues for feedback as possible. Not only does this give you a sense of where your employee experience currently stands, but it also identifies any gaps or areas for improvement that you can act on. Below are a few other tips to consider while receiving employee feedback:

  • Don’t make assumptions. It’s easy to make unfounded assumptions about the employee experience. But it’s important to recognize that assumptions aren’t always correct and can actually lead you to false conclusions. That’s why it’s necessary to find other ways - whether that’s through conversations with your employees or data and surveys - to support any beliefs you hold.
  • Use surveys. At United Way, the leadership team uses a short and sweet engagement survey to identify what is most important to their employees. They tabulate the results and share it back with their staff members to demonstrate that the executives aren’t just sitting in a room alone trying to solve all the problems - they’re tapping into their ‘people power’ to find solutions together.
  • Take advantage of all-hands. Company-wide all-hands meetings are also a great way to create an employee experience that feels transparent and authentic. At Blueboard, we host a monthly Ask Me Anything with the leadership team. During this time, employees are empowered to bring any and all of their burning questions to the table for discussion or upvote others using Slido. This fosters an environment of openness and also makes the leadership team aware of any issues or gaps in communication early on.

We hope you find these tips helpful when it comes to creating and scaling an authentic employee experience. If you’re looking to use shareable recognition to build a more positive company culture, we’d love for you to browse some of our experiential employee rewards here at Blueboard. To learn more about Blueboard and get in touch with our team, simply reach out to request a demo.

Stay tuned for more valuable webinars and upcoming events here on our Resources page - we can’t wait to see you again online!

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