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4 Initiatives to Improve Your Digital Employee Experience

Oct 25, 2022| Reading time: 13min

BY Monica Bright-Hill

Manager of People Operations

“But do people really like working from home?” That’s a question I often hear when I say we’re a fully remote company. 

And I understand. Gone are the opportunities to spontaneously grab coffee with a coworker or share stories about the weekend. These micro-moments so often found in the office can improve employee engagement, job satisfaction, and workplace culture.

But remote workplaces can foster those connections and benefits, too… if leaders prioritize their people. Your employee experience – sometimes referred to as people experience – isn’t just something that happens at a remote company. Instead, remote leaders need to establish (and constantly improve) their digital employee experience to ensure their people’s needs are met, professionally and personally. 

That looks like planning with intentionality at every stage of the employee lifecycle. Ready to double down on your employee experience strategy? Read our four tips below to start prioritizing your people, no matter where their office is. 

1. Add Technology to Your Hiring Process

Smart organizations focus on the digital employee experience at every stage of the employee lifecycle, meaning even before new hires sign on the dotted line. Focusing on your hiring process helps improve your overall candidate experience, streamline decision-making for talent acquisition teams, and boost transparency into your practices. 

Use Social Media to Give People a View Into What It’s Like Working at Your Company

If social media isn’t a part of your employee experience strategy, add it to the list ASAP. It’s a low-budget – if not free – way to show people what it’s like working for your company. Post even when you aren’t hiring. That way, when it’s time to increase your headcount, you already have a community of people vying for those open roles.

Beam, for example, uses Instagram to give candidates visibility into their work environment. Senior talent manager Florence Odumosu explains, “Applicants get an idea of what an average day of working remotely at Beam entails, while it allows us to attract people from different walks of life, who may not have otherwise thought about joining our business.”

And over at ChartHop, employees write about their own experiences with the company. This communication not only provides insight into the organization’s practices, but also inspires other people to be their best selves (and work for a company that allows them to do so).

employee experience strategy - social media

Encourage employees to jump on social media as part of your employee experience strategy. People are more likely to read and connect with real experiences. 

Conduct Interviews Virtually for Speed, Convenience, and Flexibility 

In 2020, 86% of HR leaders switched to virtual interviews, and many haven’t turned back. We all know that remote interviews are better for scheduling purposes, but did you know that they also provide a better employee experience for your existing workforce and candidates?

One of the ways we ensure we’re providing a positive people experience is using BrightHire, an interview platform that automatically records and transcribes interviews. That way, our talent acquisition specialist can focus on running a great interview rather than trying to take rapid notes or relying on fuzzy memories. Recorded interviews can be replayed, shared, and analyzed, so our hiring managers can hire faster and reduce bias that may inadvertently happen in-person. 

Establish a Virtual Portal to Give Insight Into the Hiring Process

You want to ensure your candidates have a solid digital employee experience before they’re even offered the job. But according to the American Staffing Association, 80% of respondents said applying for jobs “feels like sending their resume into a ‘black box.’” 

You can therefore stand out to applicants when you provide a more transparent experience – namely, by sharing status updates within an applicant portal. These portals may also allow candidates to self-schedule interviews, thus granting more flexibility to select times when they’re available. 

A caveat here is you’ll want to balance the use of digital technology with the human touch to build better relationships with candidates. For example, applicants prefer to learn they won’t be progressing to the next stage of the process through a timely note (that includes detailed interview feedback) rather than by an update on a website.

2. Implement Thoughtful Tech-Based Onboarding

Since 2020, 20% of new hires are less engaged with company values and 28% report a weaker bond with colleagues. Not good. It’s therefore important to prioritize your employee experience strategy – specifically, when it comes to onboarding – to ensure your people feel connected to their colleagues and happy at work.

Below are five ways to personalize your onboarding practices: 

  • Create an onboarding dashboard. Amber Hyatt, director of product marketing at SilkRoad Technology, has solved for poor onboarding by creating a personalized onboarding dashboard that makes new employees feel more informed (and connected to) the company. She says, “Here they discover content that’s designed to engage them, like a friendly note from their manager, first-day information, welcome messages and photos from new teammates, a glossary of company acronyms, a virtual copy of your employee handbook as well as other details about the new hire’s department and job responsibilities.”
  • Establish an onboarding buddy program. An onboarding buddy program is a solid way to enhance your digital employee experience (and help ensure new hires stay for the long run) because it fosters connections from day one. 
  • Schedule 1:1s with teammates. Joanna Capitano, director at Westchester University’s Center for Newcomer Onboarding, suggests organizations should “proactively schedule one-on-one meetings for their newcomers with their key stakeholders and encourage peers to reach out to new employees.” Doing so helps new hires immediately feel a sense of belonging and better equipped to collaborate with colleagues. 
  • Survey your new hires. An employee experience survey helps you understand new hires (everything from knowing their shirt size for swag to learning what they’re seeking from their role) and reveal common connections between teammates. 
  • Include About Me profiles in company-wide communications. Make sure you introduce new hires during All Hands meetings. Better yet, encourage employees to create an About Me profile that colleagues can access to help foster connections. 

ChartHop employee profile example

ChartHop’s Slack integration automatically posts updates to an employee’s About Me profile to foster connection between team members, creating a thoughtful people experience.

3. Create Online Resource Groups

It’s important that employees feel supported at work (hence the rise in establishing employee resource groups). But it’s also critical to go one step further and give employees a digital space for these interactions to take place. These online spaces build community and deepen connections between your people, even though employees are physically apart. 

Rosanna Durruthy, VP of Global Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at LinkedIn, has found the creation of resource groups necessary for workplace connections. She says, “Harnessing the power of employee (online) resource groups is one way, we’ve found, to maintain connective tissue across global, distributed, and remote teams.”

HBR suggests establishing a Slack channel or virtual group lunch where employees can find support and share experiences. One of our practices at ChartHop is hosting monthly “Chart Talks” where employees can join virtual discussions on a variety of topics. Another way we provide space for interaction is by creating a variety of Slack groups for professional and personal needs. So whether you have a question about a project, need to share the cutest picture of your puppy, or feel compelled to provide a helpful resource, you have a place to go and a community to willingly receive it.

digital employee experience - Slack

When you prioritize inclusion and belonging as a part of your digital employee experience, employees are more likely to connect and show vulnerability (all of which makes a stronger workplace culture).

4. Enable Employee Self-Service for Basic HR Tasks

Many HR professionals remember when the job consisted of fielding questions all day, every day. How did anyone get anything done?

Luckily, there’s now a better way to do things: enabling employees to find answers for themselves. But that solution doesn’t mean that you’re dodging responsibilities. It means you’re giving people – specifically, 73% of them – what they want: a self-service system. 

Your People team will still of course be a resource, but employees shouldn’t have to email HR every time they want to calculate their remaining PTO or understand this year’s compensation summary. When you provide your employees with a digital employee experience platform, you’re equipping them with valuable information so they can take part in their own employee journey. 

Consider providing the following as a part of your employee experience strategy:

  • Personalized performance plans
  • Company org chart
  • Job descriptions
  • “How to manage me” guides
  • Compensation packages
  • 1:1 history
  • OKRs and KPIs
  • PTO

CH-Compensation Summary-01

With ChartHop, your people can log into their employee portal and view personal information such as performance reviews, compensation, and PTO. You can also send employee experience surveys to collect timely feedback to make the best decisions for your team.

When you empower your people with the information they need to make the right decisions, you’re doing your job as a remote leader. This transparency, in turn, fosters trustworthiness between leaders and employees.

Design a Digital Employee Experience That Engages and Empowers Your Workforce 

Ready to strengthen your employee experience strategy? Consider adding technology to your hiring process, implementing helpful onboarding, creating resource groups, and establishing a self-service center for employees. 

But remember, your people experience isn’t something you check off your to-do list. Your practices and initiatives should be habitually analyzed – through employee experience surveys and data reports – to ensure you’re making the best decisions for your people and organization. Therefore, by constantly prioritizing your people experience, you’ll not only help your current workforce, but also fortify your processes to attract top talent in the years to come.

If your employees are spread across the country, you not only have to consider your people experience, but also your compensation strategy. Are you paying employees location-based or value-based salaries? Read our tactical guide on setting the compensation model that’s right for your organization. 

Download the guide here

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