The past year and a half has been tough for everyone when it comes to work. Balancing home and work life, juggling child-care and Zoom calls, supporting family members who lost their job or went on furlough and many other concerns besides. As a result, the employee experience, whether they’re working from home, in the office or a hybrid of both, has never been more important.
At IPI, our employees – our people – are at the heart of what we do. They are what make us unique, what differentiate us from the competition and what make us the company we are today and who we will be tomorrow. With that in mind, our aim is to make IPI one of the best companies to work for from an employee perspective – to give them an experience that is as engaging and challenging as it is supportive and human.
Here are some reasons why providing your people with a stellar experience should be a priority now more than ever.
It’s good for employee wellbeing
Firstly, providing your people with an exceptional experience, wherever they’re working from, is good for their general wellbeing and happiness. Being a company where people genuinely enjoy going to work is no small thing – your people should want to get stuck into their job and see the difference their efforts make. So, make sure they know they are appreciated – recognise and praise their hard work and contributions. You’ll see engagement, productivity and employee happiness go up as a result.
Enjoying your work and having a good experience has a specifically profound effect on your mental health. With the likes of anxiety and burnout more prevalent than ever over the course of the pandemic – recent research found that 42% of global employees have experienced a decline in mental health since the pandemic began – it’s vital that people leaders keep an eye on the pulse of employees to ensure they are engaged, healthy, and happy.
At IPI, we initiated resilience ‘Skill Pills’ for all our people, providing advice on how to deal with times of uncertainty. We also host weekly company calls with the leadership team to keep the teams connected and informed, and carry out weekly pulse surveys where people can raise any concerns or questions anonymously. Frequent, open, two-way communication is crucial and helps us understand our people better so that we can ensure we are delivering on an experience that’s right for their needs.
It’s good for engagement and performance
When people have an enjoyable working environment, they’ll not only be happier and healthier, but they will be more engaged and productive. Indeed, when employees are engaged, they are 18% more productive, according to Gallup, and employees who feel that their organisation is truly hearing their concerns and needs are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform at their best.
While we don’t ‘manage performance’ at IPI – ‘managing’ fully capable and responsible adults is a somewhat outdated notion and isn’t effective in helping people reach their potential or goals – we enable performance through frequent open dialogue between managers and individuals, supporting them to achieve their goals and challenging them to take their career to the next level. By concentrating on building trust and offering genuine support through regular 1-2-1 meeting, our people leaders are truly enabling performance. With 89% of HR leaders agreeing that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are key for successful outcomes, we know that our approach can only do our people good.
But we also know that, as a company of 120 people, there may come a time when our people need to move on to other opportunities to continue in their careers. When they do, we want to have given them an experience that provides them with the tools and support they need to be the best version of themselves.
It’s good for your customers
A good employee experience is a good customer experience. That’s no state secret, and it’s especially true in the contact centre industry, where customer experience is its bread and butter. So having an engaged, productive and happy team of people is vital. Indeed, a Frost & Sullivan study on workforce engagement management found that 89% of surveyed companies felt that the quality of customer experience would be significantly enhanced by improving contact centre engagement.
At IPI, our purpose is to deliver an ‘Exceptional Customer Experience’ for all our clients. And we know this would never be possible without our people. When our people are enjoying their job, their enthusiasm and engagement is reflected in their interactions with clients, and subsequently our clients’ customers. Knowing this, we make it our mission to listen to our people. We encourage feedback (the good and the bad!) and are always looking for ways to improve our people’s experience.
By being transparent with our people and by listening and acting on what they have to say, we can truly make IPI an exceptional place to work. And we couldn’t wish for a higher commendation than being recently named one of the Best Companies to Work For, an accreditation based on feedback from our own people, a reflection of their engagement and support.
As our CEO, Sat Sanghera puts it: “Our people are what make our company great. IPI’s success – both internally and with our clients – has only been possible because of the skills, commitment, personality, diversity, emotional intelligence, and pure hard work of our team. The culture and environment we have fostered here where our people are encouraged to express their skills and personalities to make a difference to our clients and to support each other as colleagues is what makes us truly unique.”
Lisa Fradin, Chief People Office, IPI