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Creating an Employee Experience That Drives Business Success

Insperity's Michael Lipe explains how companies can build an effective employee experience to ultimately drive value for the business

Creating an Employee Experience That Drives Business Success

During an interview with ACG’s GrowthTV, Michael Lipe, managing director of brand and market strategy for Insperity, explained how companies can build an effective employee experience that will help them attract and retain talent in today’s tight labor market—and ultimately drive value for the business.

An edited and condensed version of the conversation follows.

KATIE MULLIGAN: What constitutes the “employee experience” that we’re discussing today, and why is this a critical focus area for businesses in today’s environment?

This section of the report is sponsored by Insperity and originally appeared in Middle Market Executive’s Summer 2022 issue.

Read the full story in the archive.

MICHAEL LIPE: The employee experience spans every stage of the employment journey—from the point an employee is hired, to their onboard- ing into the organization and getting to know their role and their team, all the way through their various performance reviews and ultimately to a point where they’re either resigning or retiring from your organization.

At every point along that way, you want to be thinking about what the experience is that that individual is having. Now more than ever as we’re competing for talent, having the ability to have a positive employee experience is probably one of the very best ways to recruit new people into your organization, because they become advocates for you as an employer. At the end of the day, it’s one of the very best ways that we can connect the employee experience to the customer experience, which is obviously a revenue-generating function. So having a great customer experience begins by having an outstanding employee experience.

KM: How does an employer determine what drives their employees and how to create an experience that’s going to resonate with them?

I think if you look at every individual, you need to think about what is going to maximize their productivity and their purpose around the work that they’re doing.

ML: The first thing is to acknowledge that there’s no longer a one-size-fits-all approach to this. Through the pandemic, we’ve had to learn to adapt and adjust to different work styles. I think if you look at every individual, you need to think about what is going to maximize their productivity and their purpose around the work that they’re doing.

There’s this idea of FOMO, or fear of missing out, right? Many employees really had FOMO during the last two years, when they were not able to engage with their colleagues and have those impromptu coffee break conversations, which often spur great ideas and great collaboration. But on the other hand, I heard someone reference the idea that there’s this thing called JOMO, which is joy of missing out. It’s kind of a funny way to look at it, but it’s this notion that there are employees for whom those interruptions or disruptions really break their ability to be as productive as they can be. I think we found that there are individuals who have been as productive as ever during this time and appreciate that they’re given the flexibility to work in a way that maximizes their potential.

Employers today really have to recognize the fact that not everybody’s going to be in a certain situation. It’s going to be a continual balance between what’s good for the culture and what’s good for business results, but also what’s great for the employee to maximize their productivity.

KM: Given that there is no real one-size-fits-all approach to designing an employee experience, what should business leaders consider as they get started?

ML: We first need to look at two dueling pressures that exist today.

For one, you have people that are resigning from their current positions and being offered other roles that are not geographically bound—potentially for significantly more money. Then you also have this other factor of wage inflation. Those two dueling effects can have a tremendous impact on your ability to create an employee experience that’s consistent across the board, particularly when you think about pay equity practices. Loyal employees who have remained with you throughout this turbulent time are seeing new people come in and hearing that they’re getting paid significantly more money.

Installing those pay equity practices is critical from a risk-management standpoint, which business leaders need to think about when they’re considering the right thing to do by their employees. There are so many other ways that you can do it, and it can be a heavy lift as you described. It’s the kind of thing that you want to be as proactive about as you can.

If you’re waiting until after the issues have happened, you’re continually in a sort of cleanup mode. Particularly when you’re thinking about an M&A transaction or merging two organizations together—culturally and operationally—if you can think about those HR practices that need to be in place ahead of time, working with a great HR partner that can help you do that will help solve a lot of the downfield problems that might occur. Insperity has worked with tens of thousands of small businesses that are growing and thriving, and that are really acknowledging the role that people play in their business and success. We’re just honored to be a part of their journey.

Watch Michael Lipe’s discussion with GrowthTV below: