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An Overview of the Employee Experience

The employee experience is how employees feel about what they encounter and observe over the course of their employee journey at a nonprofit organization—involving many different interactions and touch points across your organization. When looking at the journey of an employee—from the first day on the job, to the day of their exit interview—take into consideration their needs and how they evolve over time. 

From an HR perspective, viewing the employee experience as a whole can be overwhelming. By identifying the various stages and assigning a point person to each stage of the employee journey can make it easier to adjust or apply new processes.

The employee experience can be broken down into four main stages, each stage identifying a shift in what the employee needs, from the application process to when the employee leaves the organization.

Application Process

Think of applicants as a customer, create a simple and straightforward application process. A complicated, time-consuming process could put you at risk of losing potential candidates due to a rigorous application process. Responding to all candidates, regardless if they make it to the interview stage, should be a part of your process. Unsuccessful candidates may re-apply down the line for a role they’re better suited for or could be a potential customer one day. Treating each applicant with respect goes a long way as this is a representation of your brand.

Onboarding Process

Ensuring that you successfully onboard a new employee is critical. How do you know if your current processes are right for the journey of the employee? Be willing to ask and listen for feedback from the moment an employee joins your team. Utilize technology that makes it easier to collect their views, questions, and feedback through out the employee journey. For instance, onboarding surveys are a great way to collect and act on the feedback provided. With new employees, they can provide a fresh perspective on how your company operates and even offer insight on experiences with previous employers. Taking advantage of the opportunity to listen to employees during this stage, can help prevent minor issues from becoming bigger problems down the line. A smooth onboarding process can result in immediate productivity and long-term sustainability.  

Create a Sense of Belonging

Once an employee is established and has found their footing within their role, they need new challenges to continue their learning and development. These challenges motivate them, creates a boost in both engagement and productivity—a win-win for the employee and the organization. A lack of progression can lead to a decrease in productivity and/or employees looking elsewhere for new employment. It’s also important to gather feedback on a consistent basis, this shows you’re actively listening and taking action on their insight to help develop your staff.

The Departure of the Employee

When an employee decides to leave, it’s important to have an exit strategy in place to create a smooth departure. This is a vital part of the employee journey as the exit interview is an opportunity to gather honest feedback. This insight could help your organization make improvements to increase your employee retention and improve your employer brand.

Nonprofit organizations need to ensure they are focusing on the employee experience—aligning and understanding the stages of the employee journey. Employees can provide different types of feedback, all depending on their stage in the employee experience, so be sure to listen and have the tools in place to gather their feedback. Use their insights to improve how your organization operates, this offers an opportunity to better engage your staff and retain them for a longer duration.

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