Why digital employee experience leaders are winning at employee retention

Most leaders know that high turnover comes with a steep price tag. Replacing just one employee costs between 90% and 200% of their salary. With many companies still feeling the effects of the great resignation, it’s time to look at how digital experience leaders are weathering the storm to survive the big quit.

What’s causing so many employees to call it quits?

When the term “Great Resignation” started gaining traction more than a year ago, employers hoped it would be a short-term fad. However, the so-called Big Quit is demonstrating some serious staying power. Even as the economy cools and the number of job openings declines, resignations remain elevated. Employees are quitting at rates above pre-pandemic levels and the number of job postings is nearly 50% above 2019 baselines.

As companies continue to struggle with lackluster retention rates, leaders are desperate to get to the bottom of what’s causing so many employees to pack their bags. Contrary to common belief, it’s not all about compensation. In fact, limited opportunities for advancement, a lack of recognition, and inadequate levels of flexibility are some of the most significant contributing factors, according to a Pew research survey conducted earlier this year.

Digital employee experience: the workplace retention game-changer

Ultimately, retaining and engaging your workforce comes down to your organization’s ability to cultivate a compelling employee experience. 96% of talent leaders agree that improving the employee experience is becoming more important and believe it’s a way that organizations can retain talent and grow their bottom line.

While most stakeholders recognize its importance, only 52% of leaders say their organization currently provides a positive employee experience. In our digitally driven world, when enterprises miss the mark for employee experience, the caliber of their workplace technology is often to blame. As Gartner notes in their 2022 predictions, “Digital workplace applications play a crucial role in enabling digital dexterity and shaping employee experience.”

Fortunately, there’s a new generation of technological innovations designed to enhance digital employee experience. As an evolution of the intranet that takes the principles of a communications platform and builds on it to tackle a broader array of engagement challenges, an employee experience platform (EXP) is emerging as an essential tool to improve retention as the Big Quit continues.

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4 steps to upgrade workplace retention with an employee experience platform

Rather than making peace with a revolving door of new hires, businesses have an opportunity to harness technological innovations to improve workplace satisfaction levels. There are several ways that enterprises are leveraging employee experience platforms to enhance retention rates, including:

#1. Make the best first impression

Onboarding sets the tone for employee experience. If your people aren’t happy with your organization during their first few months on the job, it’s unlikely that they’ll stick around to see how things progress. In fact, approximately one third of workers quit their jobs within the first 90 days of employment.

When it comes to making a good first impression as an employer, it’s clear there’s not much room for error. Yet onboarding often falls flat because businesses rely on a one-size-fits all approach that doesn’t cater to the specific challenges and priorities of the role that a new hire is stepping into. As a result, many employees will struggle to fill in the knowledge gaps that their onboarding program failed to cover, leaving them confused and frustrated as they struggle to get up to speed.

Fortunately, leaders no longer need to settle for cookie-cutter onboarding experiences. Automation is entering the employee experience platform space, allowing employers to design responsive and automated journeys that lead new employees through a series of events designed to get them up to speed with their new role and integrated with their colleagues.

What’s unique about Unily’s employee journey offering is that it responds to user behaviors. Employees get to move through the onboarding journey at a pace that suits them, with gentle nudges keeping them on track over time. In the background, analytics data and elicited user feedback that’s built into the journey are used to highlight employees that are struggling and find ways to improve onboarding for the next new hire.

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#2. Cast a spotlight on internal mobility

Internal mobility is one of the most powerful retention boosters that leaders have at their disposal. 67% of employees say they would quit their jobs if internal mobility wasn’t offered and workers at companies with high career mobility stay 41% longer than those at organizations where opportunities for progression are lacking.

While internal mobility has plenty of benefits, activating it requires a collaborative effort across the C-suite. HR leaders will play a leading role, but they’ll also need to work in tandem with internal communicators to spread the message that your organization takes career development seriously.

However, the cross-functional effort is well worth it, as evidenced by the success of Love’s Travel Stops. Like many organizations with significant frontline workforces, high turnover was an issue that Love’s sought to address. Using their employee experience platform as the vehicle for promotion, the American travel stop enterprise created Love's Ladders, a page dedicated to sharing stories about employees who have moved from junior retail positions to more senior and corporate roles. Each entry inspires other employees and sends a strong signal that Love’s is committed to helping their people progress their careers.

'Love’s: Leveraging digital technology to foster an inclusive culture' case study flat pages

Case Study

Love’s: Leveraging digital technology to foster an inclusive culture

With more than 30k employees across the United States, The Love’s Family of Companies needed a way to connect team members on the road, at their desks, and working on the shop floors. By debuting a new, mobile-optimized employee experience platform, the enterprise created a digital headquarters that has proven engaging and accessible for all.

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#3. Cultivate a connected community

Leaders can’t overlook the important role that community plays in improving employee retention. 40% of workers note that they want to leave their jobs because they don’t approve of their corporate culture.

In the past, happy hours and water cooler conversations were the building blocks of a strong workplace community. However, in the world of hybrid and remote working, cultivating a compelling culture has gone digital.

An employee experience platform harnesses networking and collaboration features to help organizations build internal communities that bring employees across the business together to share ideas and form new relationships.

Incorporating pathways for recognition is an added bonus, since peer feedback can enhance performance by as much as 14 percent. Here the employee experience platform functions as a platform for celebrating achievements. Native reward and recognition features like Kudos encourage everyone to show their support for their colleagues and positively contribute to their workplace experience.

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#4. Identify potential churn risks before it’s too late

Most managers will tell you that they’ve been blindsided by an employee’s decision to quit more than once. While it’s impossible to be 100% sure that your people are with you for the long run, there are some tools that leaders can tap into to gain a clearer picture of how their employees truly feel.

The annual employee engagement survey serves its purpose of providing a broad picture of engagement levels, but where an employee experience platform can really add value is in the ability to collect more regular insights on employee sentiment. Pulse surveys and feedback forms let leaders find out how employees are feeling about specific subjects at any time. When employees have an outlet for their concerns, employers can react to ensure resentment doesn’t build in the shadows.

Employee experience form

4 ways to use intranet feedback forms to engage employees

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Turn digital employee experience into your competitive advantage

Now that workers are raising the bar for their employers and refusing to settle for sub-par opportunities, no business can afford to leave digital employee experience as an afterthought. To learn more about what it takes to cultivate an engaging virtual workplace with an employee experience platform, sign up for a demo.

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