Construction leaders often look for employee engagement models to solve the challenges that they are having with their employees. But they are looking in the wrong place. Their focus needs to shift to employee experience (EX).
Employee experience is the collective perception of everything that an employee sees, feels, and does with their organization.
EX can be confusing, over-whelming, and complex. While there are commonalities across an organization, each employee’s experience is unique to them. It begins before they start with a company (the candidate experience), and continues throughout the employment lifecycle from onboarding, during career growth and development, to offboarding.
A model brings clarity to the confusion.
Investing in employee experience means that organizations are bringing their employees into the center of their decision-making process.
To harness all the benefits of a magnetic employee experience, three things are needed:
Organizational Trust: it is critical to ensure that employees’ expectations and reality are aligned
Work Environment: an inclusive environment that empowers each individual to thrive and enables a sense of belonging
Meaningful Work: now more than ever, employees need an individual connection to shared purpose
ORGANIZATIONAL TRUST IS CRITICAL
Leaders define what takes priority (i.e. values), communicate what is expected (behavioral norms), and recognize what they are most proud of (through shared identity). They also embody what it takes to be successful, so employees will imitate the leaders’ behavior in hopes of being successful themselves. While senior leaders are critical in setting the direction of the culture, the employee experience is ultimately filtered through their direct managers.
When a managers’ words and/or actions are at odds with the values, behavior, and identity that have been communicated by senior leadership, without consequences, organizational trust is eroded. By contrast, when they are in alignment that magnetic employee culture is fostered: one that brings people in and keeps them with the organization.
WORK ENVIRONMENT GOES BEYOND THE WALLS
The environment within which each employee works has a profound impact on their experience and performance. The physical workspace, whether that is in an office, on a jobsite, or working from home, has the ability to create a connection, or a divide, between the organization and employees. But the environment extends be-yond the physical workspace to the tools and technology used to get the job done, access to information and decision makers, and a sense of belonging to the team.
Many organizations actively measure and pursue a di-verse, representative workforce, but increasing numbers does not mean there is alignment with employees feeling included, that they belong. When a true sense of belonging exists, that they are safe to take risks, the benefits of a diverse organization can truly be harnessed.
MEANINGFUL WORK IS EXPECTED
More than anything else and more than ever before, employees are looking for meaningful work – a shared purpose.
Meaningful work is about connecting the day-to-day tasks to a greater company vision that is aligned with one’s personal values. When this alignment is achieved, employees are three times more likely to refer friends and colleagues: evidence of a magnetic employee experience.
As you look as your organization, focus on what is important: employee experience.
Want to know more? Download Construction's Leading Indicator: Employee Experience now.