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Every business knows the customer experience is important, but you should never, ever forget about your most important customers—your employees. By building out a focused employee experience, you’ll attract and retain top-level talent, which, in turn, helps you serve your customers that much better.
One vital aspect of every employee experience is touchpoints. A touchpoint is a point of contact between an organization and its employees. When done right, these touchpoints will guide and enhance each employee’s experience at the company, increasing their engagement, boosting their motivation, and enhancing their performance.
These touchpoints are the perfect building blocks to strengthen your employee experience foundation.
Why Are Touchpoints Important for the Employee Experience?
When an employee’s experience is lacking in touchpoints, they may feel unappreciated or forgotten, which naturally leads to disengagement, frustration, and turnover.
For an example, imagine for a moment that you’re back in high school math class (what a nightmare, right?). You want to succeed and do your best, but the teacher won’t acknowledge you, answer your questions, or help you learn. You’d feel terrible and frustrated, right?
When an employee experience doesn’t include touchpoints, that’s how they feel: unwanted, unimportant, and uncared for. And those feelings make it really hard to stay motivated and succeed.
Touchpoints are regular reminders that the business cares about its employees, supports them through the good and the bad times, and celebrates both professional and personal milestones with them.
Which Touchpoints Should You Focus On?
There are plenty of effective touchpoints you can implement, but there are a few that really stand out. Below are three crucial touchpoints to include in your employee experience.
First impressions are vital to the survival of your business, especially for employees. As soon as a new employee first sees your company online, talks with interviewers, or sits down at their desk to work, they need to start off on the right foot. They need to:
- Know your business’ core values and mission
- Understand how their individual work contributes to those values and that mission
- Meet leaders, especially their manager
- Have all of the equipment and information they need to start working
- Feel that the company cares about their success
How do you accomplish all of that? Well, here are some touchpoints you can use to make the onboarding process better:
- Create a pre-onboarding process. The first impression starts before an employee is even hired. Create a process that gets in touch with applicants to make them feel appreciated. Message those who are hired multiple times to ensure they feel needed and wanted.
- Create a stellar first week. It’s impossible to fit everything into the first day—so spread training, introductions, and new-person lunches throughout the first week. As new employees are welcomed and shown support multiple times in their first week, they’ll really feel invested in the company.
- Clarify responsibilities. Nothing kills engagement more than unclear expectations. Ensure you have a system that trains new employees on exactly what they need to do to succeed. Only after that will they be able to excel.
2. Rewards and Recognition
Employees need to know they’re valued and appreciated. Employee rewards and recognition are the best way to frequently reach out and spread gratitude, ensuring people have persistent touchpoints that reinforce their value. Here are the best ways to create recognition and rewards touchpoints:
- Always remember holidays and birthdays. At the very least, companies need to reach out and recognize each employee on their birthdays. Celebrate who they are and offer them a reward for this special day. Holidays are a great time to recognize everyone’s efforts and offer gifts to show how much you care.
- Implement recognition programs. Manager-to-employee and peer-to-peer recognition programs are perfect for letting everyone recognize each other. This creates a culture of appreciation that spreads touchpoints throughout the company.
- Create rewarding incentives. Incentives work as a touchpoint because it shows that you care about how hard employees work. You want them to succeed, and you’ll reward them when they push their boundaries. Incentives don’t have to only be performance based, either: you can try wellness incentives, referral programs, team goals, and more!
3. Learning and Development
A crucial touchpoint in any employee’s experience is professional development. These developmental touchpoints should spread throughout an employee’s tenure, showing that you care about their progress as a professional and as a person. Here are some ideas to implement your own touchpoints:
- Regular performance reviews. Performance reviews, when done right, are vital for helping employees grow. Employees want to know where they stand, how they’re doing, and how they can improve. Communicate all of this frequently, and focus on the positives of what employees are accomplishing.
- Learning and development opportunities. 80% of people aren’t happy with the development opportunities offered at work. It’s time to change that. Support employee career and personal growth with continuing education, professional organization participation, new job responsibilities, and training courses.
Learning and development helps employees be 15% more engaged and allows companies to enjoy 34% higher retention. Plus, development touchpoints help you upskill employees, bridge skill gaps, and stay competitive. What’s not to love?
Touch the Stars With Touchpoints
Onboarding, recognition & rewards, and learning & development aren’t the only touchpoints the employee experience should include, but they are a great place to start. And once each employee experience is full of frequent checkpoints that reinforce their value, everyone will be able to succeed together.