Several industries face a serious skills gap, and the engineering sector is no exception. Engineers are in-demand but can be hard to find and keep. The challenge lies in making sure engineers stick around for the long term. In this article, we will discuss how you can upsell your employee experience to help you hire the best engineers and retain them for years to come.
What Is the Employee Experience?
The employee experience is the journey an employee takes with your company, from the moment an individual looks at your job ad until you part ways. It comprises everything an employee learns, does, sees, and feels in every stage of their employment with you.
Why Is Employee Experience Important?
If you want to hire and retain engineers who can adapt easily and quickly to change, your employee experience is critical. It can be one of your best competitive advantages when hiring top tech talent, as Jacob Morgan said in his book, The Employee Experience Advantage:
“In a world where money is no longer the primary motivating factor for employees, focusing on the employee experience is the most promising competitive advantage that organizations can create.”
Thus, employee experience is an increasingly important competitive differentiator in every industry—not just in technology.
The Shift From Employee Engagement To Employee Experience
There is an evident change in the way people choose where to work and why they work today. This, in turn, has an enormous impact on the hiring market and the recruitment strategies employers use, especially when they are looking to hire the best engineers. In the traditional employee engagement strategy, success was measured in how much an employee is committed to helping their organization achieve its goals.
Today, the market has shifted to a more holistic approach to employee experience due to several factors:
- As the younger generation enters the workforce, they want more opportunities to have a voice. This means that companies need to understand how different these people think, feel, and behave compared with the generations before them.
- Competition for talent is tighter than ever. As a result, it has become a business imperative to provide a better employee experience to stay ahead of the competition.
- The way we work is rapidly changing. With automation, digitization, disruption, and other economic factors, companies are forced to adapt in terms of experience.
- Personalized employee experiences are fast becoming an expectation. Employee expectations now dictate that they be treated as unique individuals. They expect the same takeaways from interactions with a company as if they are brand consumers.
- Online reputation matters. The potential for bad and damaging reviews to go viral made companies more cautious with their employee interactions to protect their brand.
The Employee Experience
Focus On Human Experiences Over Processes
Focusing on employee experience to hire the best engineers can be intimidating. It involves much more than matching skill sets and handing out technical questions when interviewing. To better incorporate human experiences in your hiring process, it’s crucial to understand what they mean and how they directly affect productivity, efficiency, and your bottom line.
While most talent management strategies default to process improvement and transactional care of people, the use of human behavior insights is essential in bringing out the best in people. It truly enhances your business performance through talent. Here are three employee experience examples:
Easy Hiring Process vs. True Job Fit
As much as engineers love a smooth and fast hiring process, companies must provide added value. Getting hired and placed in a team by a company that genuinely understands what an engineer does best can provide an experience that boosts confidence and positions its employees for success.
Knowing vs. Connecting With The Mission
It’s one thing for an employee to memorize a company’s mission, but having a deep understanding of their contributions in achieving the mission will give their work purpose. It then becomes an experience that encourages and supports employee engagement over time.
Nice Manager vs. Great Coach
Having a nice manager surely is a treat. However, when engineers have a great manager who cares for them and knows how to coach them, it’s an experience that can enhance productivity and passion.
Remember that the main idea is to help create intuitive and adaptable moments around what matters most to people and your business goals. When you put people in the center of your processes, you are on your way to upselling the employee experience in order to hire the best engineers in the future.
Engineering The Employee Experience
How you treat your employees during their time with you will have a lasting impact on them and your company, which will certainly go a long way in order for you to hire the best engineers. Three basic environments shape an employee’s overall experience. These are:
All companies have cultures that are inherently theirs. It may be what the C-Suite dictates to employees, the shop-floor camaraderie outside senior management, or an employee’s understanding of a company’s values, practices, and attitudes. Workplace culture is the mixture of leadership style and organizational structure, a sense of purpose, and different employee personalities and interactions.
To work efficiently, companies must invest in suitable tools and tech. This especially rings true for engineers. When an engineer is required to bring tools or purchase tech, this sets a tone that they are working alone in achieving business goals. Today, the technological landscape is so vast that it’s easier than ever for companies to provide engineers with the tools for maximizing efficiency and helping them get the work done.
Whether remote or on-site, engineers who are happy in their physical work environment will concentrate better, have improved well-being, and have higher productivity. Providing a safe space for employees and providing autonomy to work from home or in multiple workspaces also contributes to a positive employee experience and paves the way for you to hire the best engineers in the industry.
How To Bring Your Employee Experience To The Next Level
If you only focus on employee engagement and corporate culture, you miss out on incorporating all your workplace, HR, and management practices that contribute to the employee experience you provide. Here are some tips on how to upsell the employee experience to hire the best engineers:
Combine Your Operational And Experience Data
Throughout an engineer’s time with your company, you’ll get enormous operational data, from personal details and training to their salary history. Now, combine that with what they tell you about their experience.
By looking at the two sets of data, you uncover greater insights into why things are happening in your company and what you can improve. For instance, operational data tells you how much you’ve spent on employee perks. In contrast, experience data tells you whether your employees enjoyed those perks or what they would have preferred instead.
Enlist C-Suite and Leadership Support
Getting senior executives and team leaders involved is essential in building a superb employee experience. From large-scale initiatives to day-to-day management and engagement, leadership support has a huge impact on your overall employer brand, which is essential in order to hire the best engineers out there.
Ford Motor, for instance, went through a transformation in 2016. Driven by CEO Mark Fields and VP for HR and Corporate Services Alicia Fields, they made it a mission to “make people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves.” Their campaign was enormous in scale, and it moved from a product to consumer and employee experience focus in its workforce solutions.
The idea was to make car-sharing and car parking a breeze for their employees and move that innovation to the consumer market. That was the beginning of FordPass. This example only shows that when C-level executives and leadership teams are engaged, involved, and accountable, driving innovation is possible.
Put Your Employees First
Make every focal point in your employee lifecycle engaging, meaningful, and personal. Learn about what your engineers are doing every day and find ways to simplify work and improve productivity and performance. When you interact with each of them, consider personal factors such as cultures, home situations, and backgrounds.
Be prepared to invest in workplace environments in the form of better work premises or autonomy to work remotely. Listen to surveys to get valuable insights from your employees.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. So it’s better to replace your once-in-a-blue-moon employee engagement surveys with regular pulse surveys and open feedback platforms. Get feedback from one-to-one performance conversations and exit interviews. Using tech tools helps you gauge different metrics. For example:
- Through safety pulse or customer service pulse, you can get an early warning when something is wrong with critical business metrics.
- You can measure the effectiveness of action plans following an employee survey.
- You can get insights into how various employee feedback affects other business outcomes, such as turnover, performance, and the voice of the customer (VoC).
The idea is to gather real-time insights, understand your people, and positively impact your bottom line. According to Qualtrics, employees are 12 times more likely to recommend their employers if they feel like their feedback is being heard and actioned.
Upgrade Your Employee Experience To Hire and Retain Engineers
When you hire the best engineers, you have to keep them. They are your greatest investment, and they’re hard to find. Losing top talent due to preventable reasons doesn’t just take up your HR department’s time but also negatively impacts your company’s bottom line. Creating an engaged workforce who want to stay on for a long time can only be achieved with a positive employee experience.
FIND AND HIRE THE BEST ENGINEERS WITH AGILE WPS
Agile Workplace Staffing (WPS) knows the value of having the right people in your team and building meaningful relationships with them throughout their entire journey with you. Agile WPS makes it easier for you to focus on what matters; providing an excellent employee experience.
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