Redesigning the employee experience
Customer satisfaction is rapidly being contested by employee satisfaction especially in the SME sector. According to an article by Xinhua:
The Singapore SME market employs 56% of the workforce and contributes 42% of the Gross Domestic Product.
Therefore, there is no doubt that SMEs are the big influencer. Yet, they often bear the brunt on a lot of fronts.
Employee experience is not a static thing, it’s a moving target and in today’s fast paced digital environment, organizations are re-examining the employee experience. Recognizing the influence that the employee experience has on workforce productivity, SMEs are now resorting to more comprehensive approaches on how to influence it.
Employee satisfaction cannot be the same experience for every employee, it is the sum total of many experiences. Due to fewer employees, this might be a challenge for SMEs but with a focused approach, it is surely achievable. The best way to think about designing the employee experience is to think of it as a never-ending infinity loop or a process that is all about observing issues, learning from mistakes, strategizing remedies and implementing them to eliminate the shortcomings.
Look for talent within your organization
One of the significant gaps to be addressed is hiring i.e. talent acquisition. However, hiring does not necessarily have to be an external search. SMEs can benefit from internal hiring. If a vacancy can be fulfilled with an internal resource, it not only cuts down the cost of hiring but also builds growth prospects for your employees. Another cost effective way of hiring is through employee referrals. It can help attract talent with less cost and efforts made by the HR department. It may also help in attracting candidates who are better suited to the company culture and profile.
Branding is important
SMEs must learn to represent their employer brands better. Taking the branding business seriously can significantly help SMEs. It is often said:
“Everything that is packed well, sells well”
This holds true for a brand name too.
Attracting new talent by means of recruitment sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor, is a perfect example. The new generation workforce select future employers by means of evaluating employee experience of former and existing employees. Glassdoor has a separate tab wherein employees provide feedback on their work experience with organizations they’ve worked for. Having a strong presence across the web and on social networking sites, will greatly assist SMEs assess what their brand experience looks like.
One of the most prominent parameters that an employee considers while looking for an opportunity is the salary structure. Though a SME is not expected to pay as much as an MNC, the structure must at least be as per the industry standards.Since SMEs run on a budget, learning and development within the organization often takes a back seat. This impacts an employee’s overall understanding of the company and prompts them to question their individual growth.
One of the suggested options is outsourcing the hiring process wherein the hiring agency acts as an extended arm of the SME’s recruitment team. This ensures hiring is carried out by experienced HR professionals who will focus on candidate quality. This leaves room for an SME’s HR staff to focus on improving employee experience, performance appraisals and strategy formulation to improve employee satisfaction.
The SME advantage
Last but not the least, it must be remembered that in the market where talent is everyone’s need, there are no zones which are exclusive to MNCs or SMEs. Everyone is vying for the same talent pool. The lure for financial remuneration is as much as it is for opportunities. Hence, SMEs must reiterate on their advantages to give employees some food for thought. Some of the advantages that SMEs can highlight are smaller the number of employees, better the interaction with the management; learning opportunities; scope for innovation etc.
Redesigning the employee experience in an SME is not easy but it is also not a difficult climb. All it needs is a relook at the way SMEs have been functioning till now. Revamp the work environment to imitate an MNC culture albeit at a smaller scale and give your employees the universe to ideate and innovate. A strong hold on ‘human resource’ for an SME would mean a stronger and a more creative workforce that can churn out wonders.