Some employees in the modern workplace are trading in larger salaries for greater lifestyle perks. Instead of simply receiving a paycheck each month, today’s workers want to feel appreciated, and they want to know their well-being truly matters to their companies. The way employers engage with their employees is no longer centered solely on the monetary value they can provide, but on recognizing and retaining truly great talent on their teams.
In addition to recognition of their hard work, these modern employees want tangible perks like technology-driven experiences and personalized benefits (Forrester Research, Employee Experience Powers the Future of Work, 2017). Seventy-one percent of respondents in a Hays survey said they would accept lower pay for a job that aligned with their ideals (Hays US What People Want Survey, 2017); and according to a MetLife study, 72 percent of employees showed more loyalty to employers who offered customizable benefits (MetLife, 15th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study, 2017).
As more people in the workforce are adapting their values, talent managers need to adjust their strategies to provide more personalized and engaging employee experiences, or they risk losing quality workers (LifeWorks, Taking Care: How to Develop and Support Today's Employees, 2017).
Building a Toolkit to Gauge Employee Needs
To personalize the employee experience, managers require personality assessments, thorough definitions of each role within the company, and performance management data. Harnessing each of these elements will help HR leaders provide employees with more personal experiences, increasing productivity and reducing turnover along the way. Here’s how:
1. Apply Results of Personality Assessments
Different departments value different employee skill sets, and some intangible elements such as the nature of a person’s character can be difficult to measure. Personality assessments help HR leaders place new hires in positions where they will thrive and be more productive. By using assessments such as The Predictive Index and storing the information in an applicant tracking system, managers can anticipate the best fit for new employees.
Ask employees to take an assessment, then study the results from each department. Use those results to better define the culture for each department, then fill them with candidates who exhibit similar traits. Take sales teams, for example: These groups will often welcome new hires who are outgoing, adaptable, and self-motivated over reserved hires who need more direction.
[Related: How to Screen for Retention]
2. Implement a Learning Management System
It’s important for HR managers to have deep understandings of each role within their companies; they should be aware of the skills and knowledge required for success in each position as well as the ways employees in each role could advance. This practical knowledge helps HR leaders show employees that they have the potential for growth within the business and that their work has real value.
Employees will feel empowered by their employers' interest in their growth, and employers will benefit by having a highly skilled, dedicated team — if they give employees the right tools. Learning management systems provide employees with the educational resources and opportunities they seek in order to be successful. Listen to what employees want to learn, then use a system such as CypherWorx to create courses focused on those topics.
[Related: Employee Engagement Playbook]
3. Track Performance Together
Tracking performance and improvement over time is the final key to personalization. Measurable goals give employees something to strive for and managers the data they need to build more productive teams. It also puts managers and employees on the same page — it tells workers their managers care about their growth and helps managers stay informed about employee progress.
Managers and employees who create goals during performance reviews should track progress in regular one-on-one meetings. Ask employees how they view their roles within the company, then use the feedback to create growth plans based on their personal goals within their roles. Custom performance plans can increase productivity while making employees feel appreciated. Plus, employees who can see the connection between their work and company performance tend to stick around longer and take more pride in their work.
[Related: Employee Satisfaction Surveys]
Making Positive Change Stick
If you’re using data to create a strategy for personalizing your employees’ experiences, you’ll need a system to house all this information. A centralized online document system within your human capital management platform will help you store and automate information transfers without sorting through mountains of paperwork. These platforms can also help manage metrics and analytics such as turnover so you can see whether your employee experience efforts are having positive or negative effects.
Your company’s workers are people who want to feel respected, heard, and valued. They want to know their work is meaningful — not just personally, but for the company as a whole. Employees and companies need each other to improve and succeed in the long run, after all. Implementing these tips to create personalized employee experiences will help your company build a cohesive, engaging work environment where employees and the company alike can thrive.
Christian Valiulis is Chief Revenue Officer at APS and is a member of the Forbes Business Development Council. As a national human capital management and full-service payroll processing company, APS delivers a unified cloud solution backed by guaranteed payroll tax compliance services.