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Improve Employee Experience: 4 Tips for Managers

What makes your company irresistible to employees? That’s right: it’s all about the employee experience. We talked to Assoz.-Prof. Dr. Barbara Stiglbauer from JKU Linz about how you can improve the employee experience. 4 immediately applicable tips included!

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4 immediately applicable tips for managers

What can you do as a leader to actively shape the experiences your employees have at work? And thus create a strong, motivated and committed team?

That’s what Assoz.-Prof. Dr. Barbara Stiglbauer from Johannes Kepler University Linz told us in our last Expert Talk. Here are her 4 tips on how you can improve the employee experience.

Tip #1: Communicate, communicate, communicate!

In order to know what your team needs for a good Employee Experience, you first have to ask. Giving employees a voice, listening to their employee voice, continuously asking questions and starting a dialog is a first step. Barbara Stiglbauer knows that, too:

“So communication is certainly a good lever. And in this respect “Voice” of course. That one actually asks. You can also just do it very informally, start really talking to people on a regular basis. To the point of absolutely professionalizing the whole thing.”

And if you have heard the voice of the employees? Then it’s a matter of: Do something with it, take action, actively refine the employee experience.

It is important to communicate clearly and on an ongoing basis which topics are currently being addressed. This is the only way for employees to feel that they are being taken seriously and to continue to contribute.

That’s maybe one of those little tips, too: companies or the management level often address different issues anyway. Only that takes some time to have a concrete plan on how to implement it and so on. And the employees don’t get it. Then the employees are frustrated because they think: They’re not doing anything. But de facto a lot is happening anyway, it’s just that it hasn’t reached the employees. And that’s where it really pays off as a manager to keep your own employees inthe loop.”

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Tip #2: Set expectations

Leadership also means clearly addressing mutual expectations. For some challenges, there may be no immediate solution at the moment. As a manager, you have to communicate that, too.

It’s also very important to address expectations a bit, on both sides. And also looks at what is actually realistic. As an employee, I may have the expectation that if I list all sorts of things now, that they will all be addressed. Like a checklist. But that is just not possible. And that’s where it’s important to reference and also give feedback.”

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Tip #3: Trust > Control

“Trust is good, control is better.” This saying has not applied to managers for a long time. Because: Appreciation has a lot to do with trust. So it pays to take a leap of faith as a leader:

“Giving up control, that’s scary. You don’t know: How do they do it? But if you relinquish control, i.e. give the other person more options, then you are giving something to the employees. And we humans simply have a strong need that if we get something, we also give it back accordingly. That’s called the reciprocity standard that we have. And it’s definitely coming to fruition.”

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In any case, companies are not doing themselves any favors with micro-management:

“And micro-management goes down very badly with the employees. This is very frustrating. On the one hand, because it simply takes a very, very long time with the executives themselves. And then they don’t have the time for the actual management tasks. And secondly, employees often experience this as a lack of trust and appreciation . That’s not so favorable.”

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Tip #4: Empower managers

Barbara’s secret tip for a good employee experience? Train managers well and give them the time and resources they need for their leadership work. As a manager, you should also demand this.

What’s very important, in my opinion, is that you train the managers well in that regard. And that they are given the resources in other ways that they can do good leadership. Because managers play a major role in creating working conditions that enable a good employee experience. And that also means training managers accordingly. And most importantly, that they also need to be given the time that they can really do leadership meaningfully and well.”

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Want to dive deeper into the topic? Then check this:

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Want to know more about employee experience? Learn the basics in our article.

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