Why Employee Experience is Critical to Retention

In a world driven by technology and social media, there is definitely something to be said about the ‘human touch’, especially in the travel workplace and within employee experience.

According to last year’s Society for Human Resources Management/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, there is a definite trend among HR professionals to transform the modern-day workplace in a more human experience for employees to address the challenges of low employee retention and high staff turnover.

HR is shifting its efforts away from management systems and procedures such as performance management, and are now actively looking to instill a culture of coaching and value-based reward programmes to engage employees and improve performance.

Increasingly more organisations are also tying employee recognition efforts to their core values with good results.

The numbers basically speak for itself – 81 percent of organisations surveyed had an employee recognition programme, and 60 percent said their programme was tied to organisational core values.

The survey findings also showed that many organisations are making other efforts besides employee recognition to influence workplace culture and create a more positive workplace through initiatives such as health and wellness programmes and also learning and development programmes.

In my personal opinion, what does a human workplace look like in the travel industry in 2017? Here’s some key stand-outs:

Inclusivity: Inclusivity for me comes back to human nature and our core needs and values which include having a voice, feeling respected, having a strong sense of belonging and the freedom to be our own selves.

From personal experience, I can truly say that travel companies which allow travel staff these freedoms will ultimately create a culture of diversity, leading to innovation and a feeling of inclusiveness, which in return will allow for staff retention and lower staff turnover within the travel sector.

Flexible working hours is one such example. Once an employee has been with the company for a certain amount of time, flexible working hours should be an important consideration. Micro management often happens when there is a lack of trust.

Talk and converse: A lot can happen and change in six months, not to mention a year.

This should however not be misconstrued as appraisals becoming redundant.  In a travel job, appraisals still very much play a role in setting targets and goals of what needs to be achieved with associated pay raises and bonuses.

However, travel companies thriving under the ‘human touch’ will strive to have continuous conversations. For me regular conversations between HR and management in travel companies align employees behind an organisation’s priorities, but there is also an element of built-in employee feedback, which in turn will aid in goal setting and also speak to employee’s immediate needs.

There is no ‘I’ in team: It is quite obvious really. When people form part of a successful team, there will ultimately be achieving results, human connections and rewards which are of high importance in employee experience.