The Employee Experience Part II: Wellness at Work, Ongoing Education, and Exit Interview
To pick up where we left off from The Employee Experience Part I, it’s important to take into consideration three final valuable components that conclude this series. We know that incentives in the early stages of a new hire’s journey can leave a lingering impression on their decision to stay (for the short term), but an employer that invests in Wellness at Work initiatives and Ongoing Education will cultivate a healthy and happy workplace, which in turn can improve their peoples’ overall quality of life. Only if and when an employee makes the difficult choice (keyword: difficult) to leave - and hey, it happens - will the value of conducting an Exit Interview be revealed.
Wellness at Work
When employers implement strategies that promote wellness in the workplace, they demonstrate that the well-being of their people, and not just performance, is a priority. This can strengthen relationships and bridge the gap between employers and employees by creating a safe and collaborative environment where people can be heard and engage in meaningful dialogue. Some ideas of a thoughtfully designed workplace can include placing a suggestion box in a neutral zone like the lunch room, dedicating a quiet space in the office for meditation, or initiating a pre- and post- workday stretch. Next time, ditch the donuts and bring in a healthy snack; or better yet, start a Tuesday salad club. A boss that leads by example will certainly inspire their team to also make healthier choices.
A company that offers programs to deliver ongoing education opportunities demonstrates their belief in investing in their people. Whether trainings take place in-house or outside the office, the intention of supporting the professional development of their employees is made clear. While not every employer can afford to fund third-party institution training, there are opportunities for in-house training and soft skills enhancement which can provide great value to both the employer and employee. Employers can take the first step by finding out what their employees are interested in (perhaps using the aforementioned suggestion box) and then consider doing a scan of qualified personnel that may be interested in flexing their teaching muscle by conducting some trainings internally.
One word of advice: don’t make it awkward. Even if you as the employer did everything right (read Employee Experience Part I and II), at the end of the day, it’s not personal, it’s business. Conducting an exit interview tells the employee that you appreciate the time they have dedicated to your company and care about improving the employee experience for others in the office. Having said that, an exit interview is also an excellent way to gain valuable insight into the minutiae of every day work life; something that many owners and senior level execs just can’t see. Some great questions to ask include: Why are you leaving? What are some ways we could have improved your experience? What skills or qualities do you think are most important when hiring for your replacement?
Consider this, if an employee’s choice to leave is a difficult one, then you, the boss, did a damn good job to make it so.