How the UK’s Top Employers are enhancing the employee experience

Certified Top Employers in the UK have worked hard at improving the everyday experiences of their employees. Chloe Lawrence, HR Auditor at Top Employers Institute, explains how they did it.

Over the past few years, the world of work has changed radically. Employees have had a chance to reflect on what really matters to them in a post-lockdown world. And their employers have had to become increasingly inventive to get, grow and – above all – keep their very best people.

The result has been a far sharper focus by employers on the individual’s everyday experiences. It is no coincidence, therefore, that our latest research among nearly 100 certified UK Top Employers (out of more than 2,000 such organisations worldwide) shows that improving the “employee experience” will be their highest HR priority in 2023. It is these businesses others should look to: they excel in giving employees the very best experience possible, day in and day out.

UK Top Employers start as they mean to go on with their employees, by redesigning their “onboarding” experience. Travis Perkins, for example, has introduced virtual reality (VR) into its onboarding programme, replicating a live tour of its sites to make sure all new team members feel the same sense of belonging, no matter where they are based. Ageas UK has also been enhancing its onboarding and recruitment experience, working with its customer experience team to stand out from the crowd by identifying those pain or gain moments felt by a new or potential employee, improving the experience for all.

The digital world has made a big difference to the daily experience of many employees. Certified Top Employer QIAGEN, for example, has been focusing on increasing the transparency of its communications and connectivity with colleagues through its digital roadmap. Coca-Cola Europacific Partners is focusing on its digital experience data, measuring the adoption and satisfaction of its digital tools to drive more and more improvements in the employee experience.

Flexibility is another major part of a great employee experience, and it takes many different forms. UK Top Employer Mitie has introduced a fully flexible benefits system, which allows employees to choose benefits to suit their lifestyle and budget; while employees at RHP Group are able to choose their own learning and career development path.

Other organisations take a different approach to flexibility: at Phillips 66 Ltd, employees receive a personalised wellbeing plan, based on their responses to an online assessment. And flexibility can also apply to working arrangements, with Molson Coors introducing its “3Cs” – Connect, Collaborate and Celebrate – to underpin an approach to hybrid working that gives the best of virtual and office working to each employee.

Even when employees leave, the very best employers know the memory of their experience is well worth investing in. LNER has introduced an alumni programme, with a dedicated web page focused on keeping the door open for departing colleagues. This includes help with CVs and interview preparation, the sharing of stories of those who rejoined the business, and career opportunities for those who may wish to do the same. The team is also exploring discounts and offers through its reward portal.

There are so many ways in which smart businesses can improve the everyday experiences of their employees. And this need not be the preserve of big businesses with deep pockets. Any employer prepared to see the employee experience as a journey will begin to understand that everyday positive experiences along the way can make a very big difference to the engagement, performance and commitment levels of those that they touch.

Top Employers Institute recognises organisations around the world for their commitment to their employees and progressive people practices through its global Certification Programme.

Originally published on Top Employers Institute

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