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Remote & Global Workforce

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How to Build Connections and Improve Employee Experience in Distributed Work

There’s no denying that the remote work boom has transformed work for employers and employees. Partly as a direct by-product of COVID-19, organizations have been empowered to start tapping into global remote talent pools while expanding their business into new markets.

Employees, too, have found that the changes in the world of work better accommodates their preferences. But it’s not all sunshine and roses.

Remote work also opened the door to HR challenges in the form of isolation and disconnection. HR leaders have increasingly noticed that they were contending with lower employee engagement.

Employee experience is founded on how employees interact and feel about your company. Feeling disconnected and disengaged from the company isn’t the experience anyone hopes for.

In this article, we’ll discuss why the employee experience is essential to remote work, the connection between the employee experience and employee lifecycle, and what you need for a better employee experience.

A necessity for remote work

Think of employee experience as a two-sided coin.

On one side, the focus is on the hum-drum, day-to-day processes such as filling out paperwork, reviewing policies, granting login access, and so on. This side of the coin makes it all too easy to forget there are people behind the skills and positions we’re hiring for.

The other side solely revolves around the employee experience, from their first interaction with the company to their last day.

That might include:

  • Understanding what your employees do best
  • Having a manager who knows how to coach them to reach their potential
  • Making sure employees are aware of their value proposition and purpose as part of the company

These are critical components to cultivating a positive employee experience. Each one helps employees gain a sense of connection and belonging—especially for remote workers, who may need more reassurance of the role they play at the company.

The employee experience and employee lifecycle

Employee experience is closely intertwined with every stage of the employee lifecycle, from the moment they apply to the day they offboard.

These two cornerstones, onboarding and offboarding, are in many ways the two most important milestones in the employee lifecycle. The experience employees have in these stages sets the tone for engagement, belonging, and employees’ connection to the company.

Little wonder, then, that 50% of HR leaders are focusing their efforts on the employee experience to make these moments more seamless. Let’s look a little closer at how we can make that happen.

The importance of onboarding and offboarding

Onboarding helps employees confirm whether they made the right choice and affirms the details discussed in the interview. At this stage, employers set expectations of what to expect from you. 

At the same time, employees grasp what’s expected of them and how their role contributes to the company’s mission and goals. This initial connection is meant to help them feel connected and supported by their new team and prepared to start their new job.

At least, that’s what we hope. Unfortunately, only 29% of new hires feel prepared and supported after onboarding.

Offboarding, meanwhile gives organizations a moment to reflect on why their best talent leaves and what they can do to provide a better employee experience moving forward.

Poor offboarding can expose you to unsavory reputational consequences. Videos circulating on TikTok and Instagram show workers sharing live footage of being fired or laid off. Former employees use these videos to explain their not-so-good experiences and why no one else should work there.

Remember that current employees are also spectators to how you handle terminations and layoffs. Even though they’re not the ones leaving, it’s still an experience that will shape how they view your company.

Technology makes a difference

58% of companies admit they focus primarily on the processes of onboarding and offboarding rather than the experience of it. And 47% report struggling due to not having the right technology.

In short, HR leaders are struggling with:

  • Onboarding remote employees and contractors
  • Assigning, sharing, and tracking credentials
  • Gathering evidence for compliance
  • And offboarding employees

The fact that businesses are grappling with all these processes at once means they may simply need more bandwidth to truly cater to the employee experience and build a connection and fosters engagement. As a global employer, in particular, creating a comprehensive employee experience involves learning and understanding the traditions and cultures of your multinational workforce. 

You can’t do that to the best of your ability when you’re fixated on processing paperwork.

The future of HR

Looking to the future, many leaders are taking notice of that point and looking for employment tools that can help improve the employee experience.

For instance, CHROs plan to prioritize employee experience due to the benefits of engagement and connection. 77% of HR professionals believe onboarding will become even more critical.

Gallup suggests spreading out the time-to-productivity process through a year. While the onboarding process can happen in a matter of minutes, it can take several months to establish a trusting and respectful employer—employee relationship. This will become a vital concept as organizations shift their focus from growing to retaining their talent.

Platforms like Multiplier handle the busywork of processes like compliance—so you can focus on making sure your people have the experience they deserve, wherever they are.

Reach out to an expert to find out how Multiplier can help.

Will Smith
Will Smith

Content Writer

Will is a Content Writer at Multiplier. With a background in technology journalism, he is passionate about busting jargon, getting to the heart of complex topics, and writing pieces you'll enjoy reading.

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