Every successful organization relies on keeping employees satisfied, engaged, and motivated to do their work.
When your team members are happy and fulfilled in their careers, they are more productive, creative, and loyal. However, while much emphasis has been placed on creating an individual employee experience, a positive team experience is often overlooked.
While both employee experience and team experience are crucial to the success of an organization, they are not the same thing.
In this article, we will explore:
- the differences between employee experience and team experience,
- factors that affect each of them, and
- why they matter.
What Is Employee Experience?
Employee experience, it may come as little surprise, is the overall experience that an individual employee has with a business.
From the first interview until the exit interview, it defines each staff member's unique perceptions of a business. This includes a business' goals, practices, strategies, environment, benefits and wages, and more.
5 Factors That Contribute to Employee Experience
Every single interaction that an employee has with other staff, the company's culture, leadership, policies, benefits, and more, will shape their overall experience in some capacity.
However, there are 5 factors that majorly contribute to Employee Experience:
- Work-life balance
- Clear career path
- Learning opportunities
- Sense of belonging
- Work-life balance: An employee's work-life balance is one of the more significant factors that shapes their individual experience. Does the employee work long hours? Do they have enough time to participate in fulfilling hobbies? Do they get enough time with their families? Are they paid for their extra time and effort? The answers to these questions and more will weigh heavily on their employee experience.
- Clear career path: Surprise, surprise, no one wants to work in a dead-end job. Employees want to know there are growth opportunities within their position either by a clearly defined roadmap with attainable goals or by having the freedom to carve their own path forward.
- Culture: Workplace culture greatly influences employees' perceptions of a business. It determines whether employees dread coming to work or if they're excited to see their team.
- Learning opportunities: Just like how employees don't want to be in a dead-end job, they want to know there are plentiful opportunities for continued learning. Personal and professional growth is key to providing a positive employee experience. Learning new skills and mastering old ones keeps staff engaged with their work and helps them be most productive.
- Sense of belonging: In order to thrive and be their best selves at work, employees need to feel a sense of belonging with their coworkers. When team members feel comfortable being honest and expressing themselves to each other, they are more authentic and creative, and able to bring new perspectives to old problems.
What Is Team Experience?
Team experience is the emotional proximity and cultural connection shared between a group of people working towards a common goal.
It is a practice that creates a collaborative and supportive environment that allows teams to perform at their peak. Building a positive team experience means that team members are able to speak with transparency and bring ideas to the table without fear of rejection. Ideas flow freely to allow the team, and company as a whole, benefit from new opinions and insights.
Great Managers Create Great Team Experience
The main factor that forms great team experiences is hiring great managers that are able to connect with their teams on emotional levels, allowing them to empathize and achieve better organizational outcomes. At PepTalk, we believe there are 6 things that make a great manager — we call it the ACCORD model.
The 6 characteristics of the ACCORD model are:
A - Appreciation
C - Connection
C - Communication
O - Ownership
R - Respect
D - Direction
A - Appreciation
Making employees feel appreciated increases employee engagement with their work and decreases turnover. It gives them more energy, a positive outlook on life, and in turn makes them more motivated to pass their sunny disposition onto their colleagues.
C - Connection
Being able to understand your employees on an emotional level goes a long way in creating a culture of empathy. It helps employees feel comfortable expressing themselves and collaborating to reach mutual goals.
C - Communication
Ensuring that managers regularly meet with their employees, whether in 1-on-1s or team-wide meetings is a key part of fostering healthy communication and making staff feel heard.
O - Ownership
Accountability and ownership are everything when it comes to helping employees feel empowered. Accountability doesn't just apply to when mistakes are made — quite the contrary, actually. It means teams engage in the ownership of business outcomes and the decisions they made that led to them. It allows teams to feel a level of autonomy and contribution in a way that's antithetical to feeling like a cog in a machine.
R - Respect
This one is fairly self-explanatory. When employees know they are respected, they're more likely to stay engaged, have lower stress levels, and have higher morale.
D - Direction
Not to be confused with "directions". Great managers paint a picture of the end goal while incorporating each team members' strengths to ideate on how to get there.
Read more detail on creating a better team experience by downloading our ebook.
Differences Between Employee Experience and Team Experience
Employee experience is about providing comfort and connection with individual employees so that they feel satisfied in their tenure at the company. It considers the interactions that they have with their colleagues, leadership, etc. and how they engage with policies, procedures, benefits, and culture.
Meanwhile, the team experience places more emphasis on the bigger picture. It ensures teams are able to work together, build off each others' strengths, help pick up the slack during times of weakness, and help each other reach shared organizational goals. Employee experience plays a critical role within the team experience, and vice versa. Their symbiotic relationship means each one's strength relies on the other.
Benefits of Prioritizing Employee and Team Experiences
Positive employee and team experiences have many tangible impacts on a business:
- Improved employee engagement: When teams feel valued and supported by their managers, they are more likely to feel comfortable at work and stay engaged with their tasks. They perform at a higher level and can be more transparent with problems they're experiencing. Within a solid company culture, employees feel comfortable bringing problems to the table before they fester into avoidable disasters.
- Increased employee satisfaction: When companies provide learning opportunities, career roadmaps, competitive wages and benefits, and great managerial experiences, employee satisfaction increases. This means absenteeism is kept to a minimum, employees are able to feel passionate about their jobs, and profitability increases.
- Positive impact on workplace culture: Workplace culture tends to snowball. When the foundations of a positive and inclusive culture are laid, employees are more likely to be satisfied. This satisfaction trickles through everything they do — including the way they speak, the way they carry themselves, and the way they interact with customers. This, in turn, is more likely to improve team morale even further.
PepTalk’s Team Experience Platform Drives Positive Employee and Team Experience
The key to providing positive employee and team experience is hiring great managers. They are your company culture ambassadors, embodying your company's core values and passing them down in a healthy way to their teams. They instill these values within their teams so that everyone feels heard, appreciated, respected, and empowered to bring their best selves to work every single day.
For a deeper dive into the realm of improving team experience, download our eBook Team Experience: 5 Challenges Leaders Face in 2023 and How to Minimize Their Impact on Your Team!
Frequently Asked Questions
Emotional proximity, cultural connection, transparent communication, and a collaborative and supportive environment all positively impact team experience.
Work-life balance significantly influences an individual's ability to performance at their best. It impacts their job satisfaction, morale, productivity, and overall wellbeing and happiness.
Learning opportunities promote personal and professional growth, keeping employees engaged and contributing to a positive team atmosphere.
Feeling connected with coworkers builds connections, truth, authenticity, creativity, and a sense of shared purpose among team members.
A positive employee and team experience lead to higher engagement, increased satisfaction, and a snowball effect of positive interactions, ultimately enhancing overall workplace culture.