The employee experience, particularly around wellbeing management at work, is a trend I’m very happy to see increasing. Companies are really starting to realise that staff expect – and deserve – more than just basic benefits.
Because of this, I wanted to ask Jasper Dezwaef, a psychologist with a background in marketing research, to explain how and why businesses are focusing on enhancing the employee experience. The PhD graduate is the co-founder of Wenite, a startup that’s revolutionising wellbeing management by digitalising processes which, in his own words, “are really boring for HR departments”.
By automating survey analysis and storing data so it’s super easy to access, Jasper’s team helps companies improve their employees’ work lives. Wenite assists businesses in figuring out what their staff truly want and need and, maybe more importantly, how to give it to them.
Here’s why Jasper believes that focusing on culture and wellbeing is super important for companies.
Younger workers are different from the Baby Boomer generation, says Jasper. “On one hand, work-life balance is very important and they want their employer to take them into account. And on the other hand, they’re spoiled when it comes to customer experience,” he explains. “When we order something online, it gets delivered to our door. And if we’re not happy with the purchase, we send it back – no questions asked.”
Employees nowadays expect the same sort of service from their HR department. They won’t wait long for responses when they’ve reported a problem.
If you really want to make your company customer-centric, you need to lead by example. As Jasper rightly explains, your staff are your business’ advocates.
“If you don’t listen to your employees – after they fill in a survey, for example – this is a bad experience. And if that’s the kind of experience that you offer your employees, how can you expect them to offer a great experience to your customers?”
Not all businesses believe that the employee experience is an important focus, but it does have a return on investment. Your staff are integral to the company, says Jasper, so you need them to be as happy as possible.
Leaders should be aware that improving the employee experience has a positive impact on profit margins by reducing sick days and staff turnover.
The best companies go the extra mile for their employees and compete with each other to gain recognition for the experiences they offer, says Jasper.
It’s no wonder, then, that this leads to the best candidates wanting to work for these businesses.
Now you’re up to speed on why it’s important to focus on wellbeing management at your company, here’s how to do just that.
If your employees say they’re struggling with mental health, it can be helpful to hand out solutions on a silver platter. Stress is costly for a company, not to mention the economy and society in general. But the real problem is that people are too busy. They’re overloaded with tasks. So this is where businesses need to focus their attention first.
A great employee experience at any level unburdens the employee, says Jasper.. Life is busy. If you can offer a way to make it easier, this makes an impact for staff. Forget money and a nice car as these can only offer a certain amount of comfort.
You need to really listen to what your employees want and then tailor that to both their mental and physical needs.
If employees are open and show ‘weakness’, they often fear this will have repercussions for their career. So a company’s way of listening to staff should be anonymous. But this is a challenge, says Jasper, because to help individuals and provide them with a great experience, you need to tailor your solutions or your offering as an employer.
New and assistive programmes can help, however. For example, there’s a startup that is linking employees to psychotherapists anonymously.
“You could also embrace a digitalised, centralised platform that automates all the boring stuff for you, giving you data and metrics that you can use to look into the employee experience on a team level,” Jasper explains. “We use AI to help leadership teams see the trees through the forest; to make it easy to see quick wins or identify problems. And then we work towards a solution with the help of change management or wellbeing management consultants. We make a diagnosis, but we also give out a prescription.”
Jasper gives the example of finding out that employees suffered from backaches while working at home with suboptimal equipment and buying them standing desks to solve the problem.
It’s also really important to innovate and work on the customer experience when asking employees for feedback. Jasper uses the example of not wanting to complete a survey at the end of a transatlantic flight. You just want to get off the plane! His company uses AI to guide their surveys, taking into account personal preferences and allowing employees to earn credits for answering the questions.
Voila! These are all Jasper’s top tips on enhancing the employee experience, reducing staff turnover and improving your CX in the process.
Is wellbeing management something your business needs to work on? Listen to more of what Jasper has to say about the topic in the podcast we recorded together. Once you’ve done that, I’d love for you to get in touch with me on LinkedIn or Instagram and let me know what you think!
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