Let me tell you a story based on true events. The girl named Jess – short for Jessica – was only an undergraduate student when she started working. At first, she was going from place to place looking for a job that she would feel comfortable and engaged with. During those years she had an opportunity to work with two different retailers where she has gained very different experiences. Good Company vs Bad Company. Let’s start with the one that made her smile.
Good Company: Validates Employee Experience
This workplace required a lot of communicational skills, deep and detailed knowledge about the products, and good, positive energy. Every sales employee there had to be an expert in the field. Jess found it very quick to adapt and eagerly achieve the best results. There was a clear reason for it – the company cared about its employees more than anything. In other words, it gave all the possible tools and efforts to enable their employees to do their job in the best way possible. Let me tell you more about them.
Education and Knowledge
To reach the desired results, which were generating sales and reaching the company’s targets, every team member had to be an expert in the field. They had to know all there is to know about the product in order to sell it efficiently. At first, Jess felt overwhelmed about all the information that she had to take in, but all her worries went away after she was introduced to their education program. They created an online learning platform where all the employees studied about the company and were examined. It was a mandatory process that was carried during working hours and did not take any of their personal time. Actually, it was a great way to keep yourself busy when it was needed! Well done for great enabling of information and managing free time at work.
Motivation and Rewards
Organization demonstrated their dedication and care for their employees with their generosity. For every sale that Jess made she got a percentage of commission on top of her base salary. Who does not want to get paid for personal efforts? This has created a highly motived team of individuals that were eager to do their best job every single day. Also, let’s admit, a healthy level of competition hasn’t harmed anyone.
Successfully passing the probation period also was awarded generously. The company valued people who decided to stay and dedicated their spirit to their business, so they needed to show it. After three months of training and learning, Jess was given a generous check that she could use on their products. Also, the points that she collected in their education program became redeemable as vouchers for any chosen store. The feeling of validation and evaluation made her a loyal part of the team. She was naturally inspired to care for this organization as it was her own. Isn’t everything in life about ‘Give’ and ‘Take’?
Positive Culture and Healthy Management
Although providing good tools and awarding for efforts is highly important, one of the biggest factors for great employee performance is the culture in the workplace. Jess was instantly welcomed into the team as it was a family. She felt safe and taken care of. On the days when her personal life seemed harsh, colleagues and managers showed compassion and care. Besides the emotional support and friendly faces, each and every worker was pushed to express themselves and be their unique self. The Organization implemented it with the understanding that the greatest thing comes from within, and a person could only do their best when personal attributes are embraced. It has created an atmosphere where every day at work is exciting, safe, and friendly – like meeting your closest friends.
All these factors not only made employees happy but also reflected in amazing organization’s results, revenue, and brand that everyone loves. The company was investing in people and that came back to them with a boomerang of a huge success. The leaving day was very sad for Jess. She knew that this is what she will be looking for in her next workplace.
Unfortunately, the following experience was quite the opposite.
Bad Company: Doesn’t Pay Much Attention To Employee Experience
Poor leadership and bullying at the workplace
Although her responsibilities were pretty much the same – the outcomes and results ended up being contrary. The first red flag that Jess faced was her manager trash-talking about the previous employees. Instantly she felt the risk of being emotionally judged. In fact, her intuition was right. After some time had passed (not long) she started receiving negative comments from her boss that were rather personal and mocking. Most importantly there wasn’t even directed to her job but her own self. Jess felt that she was being bullied. Each day was like a challenge just to show up at work. But she respected her job ethics and decided to not give up.
Lack of Tools, Support, and Trust
At this job, Jess was also required to take in a lot of information that was crucial for efficient and high-quality service. It is natural in the process of learning to make some mistakes (that is also a part of the process) and it is essential for employers to manage them with patience, help, and support. Instead of that, Jess received blame, anger, and even more pressure. Her work quality was as low as her self-esteem. Jess felt as if she was not trusted to do her job with her boss ‘breathing down her neck’ at every step and that really didn’t help with her performance. The Constant pressure escalated into stress, after-work tears and even depression. From the side of the organization- very poor achievements, financial struggle and enormous turnover rate.
To conclude with, Jess’s story demonstrates how much employee experience is valuable and essential for the overall company’s success and when it is overlooked – failure. When you provide your workers with the right tools, adapt motivational concepts, and create a safe and friendly environment, they feel entitled to care and elevate your business. When you fail to do that – they see you as an enemy and a source of unhappiness and distress. That results in poor performance and achievements.
By Kamile Puidokaite
The lesson for companies: People are an investment and not a resource. Organizations grow when their employees do it first. 😊