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The Powerful Dividends of Focusing on Employee Experience 

A robust and thriving employee experience boasts happy and loyal customers, high performing teams, and a work environment that exudes flexibility and purpose. A well curated employee experience captivates great talent and makes them want to stay. Powerful dividends like these cannot be ignored and employers must pay attention to ensure they maintain the competitive positioning of having the best talent serve their customers.

At HealthEdge, we have been committed to our employees for years. Years before the pandemic, we focused on employee engagement. Through annual surveys, we would tap into the employee voice and digest the results collectively focusing on how we can learn and grow and ultimately improve together. This has become the foundation of our approach to employee experience.   Since the pandemic, many forces have changed our approach to achieving the same end state. Internally, HealthEdge has grown organically and inorganically, we have acquired and welcomed new products into our product suite and constantly seek ways to fulfill our vision of innovating a world where healthcare can focus on people. Externally, we lived through drastic shifts that have left many lasting effects on the way we live and work. To continue to approach employee engagement the same way we had through all that change felt shortsighted and I am proud of how we stayed curious and flexible. This work is never done but with employee experience as our north star, creating something intentional with our company culture has renewed vigor.

If you are interested in doing this too, we recommend building your employee experience model around the following:

  1. Purpose

Employees want to know about your purpose. They want to feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. A powerful, compelling purpose and why is critical to employee engagement in their work and connection to those around them. We want our employees to be excited about how we’re shaping the future of healthcare. Therefore, it is our responsibility to tell that story, over and over.  You know the story and principles have sunk in when they begin telling others.  Find your company’s purpose and make sure it is persuasive and inspiring, then tell everyone, and then tell them again.

  1. Enablement

Enablement is a reflection of whether an employee has what they believe they need to do their job well. Fundamentally, this is highly subjective territory. I am not advising you to please everyone, but asking staff about their perspectives equips you with insights into their expectations.  This is about recognizing themes and solving for the collective. More than anything it is about listening to your staff and ensuring they feel heard.  Enablement goes beyond tools and resources used to do the mechanics of the job. It encompasses collaboration, community, and camaraderie as well. At HealthEdge, among other things, this dialogue and feedback has led us to streamline our digital collaboration tools as well as how we collaborate in person within our hybrid work environment.  We are always working to improve how we purposely gather during our monthly collaboration weeks. Talk to your employees about enablement, community, and collaboration topics because these are unspoken pillars that are critical to keeping employees engaged.

  1. Autonomy

Autonomy means setting the vision and empowering your employees to make it happen. It means trusting your employees and enabling them to make decisions. For years, we have been inspired by the work of Daniel Pink who coined “autonomy, mastery, and purpose” as the fundamental factors that DRIVE employees. Granting autonomy can manifest in many ways. It can be finding ways to support remote or hybrid work based on the asynchronous workflows. It can be evaluating how much oversight managers and leaders provide vs allowing your teams space to exercise new skills. With autonomy, employees can harness the power of maximizing their personal productivity, creativity, and flow. Autonomy is highly reflective work and leads to greater ownership over the work. As you get started, talk to your teams about small ways that would have big impacts.

  1. Rewards & Recognition

Rewarding and recognizing talent are paramount to employee experience. Rewards are tangible and transactional in nature: salary, benefits, PTO, holidays, etc. Regardless of the offerings you have available, it is paramount that your process for rewarding is consistent, fair, and equitable. Our approach to rewards at HealthEdge is merit based, meaning they are intrinsically connected to recognition of a job well done. In 2022, we added 4 extra company holidays in the summer – this created four 4-day weekends in the US, putting our values of encouraging our employees to take time to relax and recharge into action. Where rewards are transactional, recognition is motivational. Recognition is what drives behavior, builds connection, and breeds a self-sustaining culture.  Non-monetary recognition can take the form of saying thank you, publicly shouting out your appreciation of a job well done, providing new opportunities, mentoring/coaching, etc. People want to be seen and heard and recognized for the contributions they make. At HealthEdge we have an organic culture of appreciation best exhibited by our public and global “rockstars channel”. On this channel anyone can thank or give a shoutout to a person or team that made a difference, while the initial shoutout is amazing the best part is watching the shared celebration happen in supportive comments. Celebrate and recognize big and small efforts and be fair, consistent and equitable in rewards.

  1. Leadership

Finally, the last element critical to strong employee experiences is strong leadership. Leaders and managers are the lynchpin – from the behaviors they model, the vision they set, and the experiences they create with their teams. Leaders/managers bring the above elements to life and into everyday actions. Employees work for managers first, companies second. At HealthEdge we have focused on supporting, empowering, and equipping our manager and leader population to be brilliant at the basics: from how to host great 1:1s, to engaging in feedback, navigating potentially difficult situations, and strengthening their emotional intelligence (EQ). Assess how you are supporting the employee experience from this lens? Don’t lose site that manager relationships are the grassroots level of this work. 

The Dividends of Employee Experience

Employee experiences are an amalgamation of everything the employee interacts with beyond their day to day job tasks: people, process, tools, physical or virtual workspaces, etc. Most experiences are not under management’s control because true culture is what happens when no one is looking. The trick is focusing on what you can influence, facilitate, and improve. Remember to keep the end in mind as you embark on this work. Remember the interconnectedness of how employee experience, engagement, and satisfaction lead to improved business outcomes.  Happy, satisfied, engaged, empowered, connected employees expend discretionary effort. It is that effort of going the extra mile to; deliver better products and services, provide enhanced customer service, become brand ambassadors who speak highly about the company, that builds connection and loyalty resulting in people who are more likely to stay and refer others. You will know it is working when the virtuous cycle begins – when without intervention you notice these efforts in action organically.  There is so much you can start doing today to yield better employee experiences- let’s make work better!

Learn more about working at HealthEdge here.