Today, only 30 percent of U.S. employees are engaged at work, which is costing $450 billion to $550 billion per year in lost productivity. In 2017, the employee experience matters more than ever to keep workers engaged and productive. As it becomes more and more difficult to attract top talent, companies and HR leaders are doing all they can to create great employee experiences to keep talent engaged, focused and loyal to the company.
According to the Future Workplace and Beyond.com study, 83 percent of HR leaders said "employee experience" is important or very important to their organization’s success, and they are investing more in training (56 percent), improving their work spaces (51 percent) and giving more rewards (47 percent) to enhance the experience.
Some of the more common ways companies try to boost the employee experience include free food, unlimited PTO or company happy hours. Here are three additional but unexpected drivers of great employee experiences that are sure to boost engagement and happiness.
1. Limit office hours
Nearly 50 percent of U.S. workers say they routinely work more than 50 hours each week, often without overtime pay. Old-school thinking might suggest that putting in longer hours at work (late nights and weekends) leads to greater productivity and results. Studies actually show the opposite—productivity falls sharply after a 50-hour workweek, and someone who puts in 70 hours produces nothing more with those extra 20 hours. Enforce policies that limit office hours to working hours or encourage employees to take earned time off so they can enjoy the employee experience without being overworked.
2. Be transparent about career paths
Millennials, who make up more than 30 percent of the American workforce today, are also the most likely generation to be actively looking for new jobs, raises or promotions. And 40 percent of millennials expect promotions every one to two years. To be satisfied in their jobs, they need training and development opportunities as well as the potential for career growth. Emphasize opportunities for advancement throughout your recruitment efforts but also on a regular basis. Keep millennials engaged by developing a detailed career path process and promotion track.
3. Create workspaces that encourage connection
More and more people are working remotely, and businesses are opening satellite offices in different locations to attract talent. For these reasons, companies recognize the need for digital workplaces and collaboration technology to enhance productivity and the employee experience.
Keeping your talent satisfied and engaged is critical to retain them. These three drivers can help shape your employee experience into a positive and productive one.
Editor's Note: This post was previously published on Inc.com and has been republished here with permission.