Before the pandemic, many people would think of team stand-ups, lunch & learns, and potlucks as part of the employee experience. But the pandemic made these in-person activities impossible. As a result, companies had to rethink how they define the employee experience when working remotely. Technology like Zoom and Slack enable employee communication and relationships, but it’s not the only factor that plays into a successful experience.
We interviewed Blue Acorn iCi’s Erica Rooney, VP of Employee Experience, to uncover how companies can evolve and enhance the employee experience during and after the pandemic. Listen to the full episode or read the summary below.
How can companies keep their employees engaged during and after the pandemic?
After over a year into the pandemic, it’s less about engagement and more about trust, relationships, and people feeling valued. Similar to the customer experience, the employee experience is about every touchpoint in the employee’s career—from the moment they apply for a job on the website to when they exit the company.
We’re seeing companies get back to basics and focus on employees having good relationships with their managers and teams being flexible with how they communicate. For example, some people prefer Zoom over phone calls or vice versa. As long as there’s an open line of communication, it’s easier to understand each person’s preferences and how to adapt.
One thing that’s been challenging is getting people to connect across teams and functions. At Blue Acorn iCi, we’ve launched diversity and inclusion initiatives, so people have an avenue to connect and find commonalities with employees both within and outside their team.
How are companies adapting to a hybrid work model?
Some companies have decided to return to the office when the pandemic is over; others have decided to go fully remote. But most companies will fall somewhere in the middle with a hybrid model. The hybrid model offers flexibility for employees who want the option to work in the office but don’t want it to be mandatory. It’s difficult to ask people who have worked remotely successfully and established a better work-life balance to return to the office full time.
How can a company assess its employee experience?
Ask employees regularly about their experience through surveys or small group meetings. As you gather feedback, prioritize the suggestions, implement changes, and let employees know why you made the changes. Additionally, if you haven’t done so already, consider a return to work survey. This will give you insight into which individuals or teams would like to return to the office, who would prefer a flexible schedule, and how you’ll need to set up the office to accommodate these employees.
The pandemic has shown that companies can be more flexible with their people’s needs to ensure they have a valuable experience. When your employees have the tools, resources, and time to excel in their position, that ultimately feeds into a better customer experience.