The Future of Work

Financial well-being November 7, 2022 By First United Bank

Business Insights

We can all agree that the way we work has been reshaped over the past few years. A lot. But whether we are working in an office or remotely, one thing that has remained the same is the importance of the employee experience.

Best described as a reflection of an employee's journey through their interactions within an organization, the employee experience is an excellent representation of how we feel about our day-to-day lives at work. And as you can imagine, maintaining a positive employee experience has many benefits for an organization. When employees feel positive about their experiences, it drives motivation, productivity, and loyalty.

Providing employees an excellent employee experience can be simple. Let's explore ways First United supports a positive employee experience through culture, the workplace environment, and technology.

A great employee experience begins with a great culture.

Culture is a reflection of how companies get things done. Strong cultures are built on a solid foundation of shared values and goals. An organization's culture is evident in its language, employees' interactions, and the decisions they make.

First United's culture is purpose-driven. We exist to Inspire and empower others to Spend Life Wisely. We are dedicated to the success of our stakeholders, starting with our employees, and we strive to empower them to balance their personal and professional lives with faith, financial well-being, health and wellness, and personal growth.

This culture both supports a great employee experience and is the fuel for the industry-leading growth First United has experienced over the past decade.

No two cultures are alike, but many great ones share some standard practices that every organization should adopt:

  • Encourage inclusion and diversity. Everyone brings more than a skill set to their role. Recruiting, developing, promoting, retaining employees, and celebrating their unique experiences and perspectives is essential.
  • Welcome new teammates. Enable new teammates to settle in and do their best work by providing them with the tools, training, guidance, and relationship-building opportunities.
  • Engage employees. Employee retention lasts after the welcome and orientation. Provide feedback and appreciation, and promote performance and growth through meaningful learning opportunities and career paths.

FUB Tip: A key ingredient to great culture is great people. People who fit in with an organization's culture are happier, more productive, and likely to stay longer. Along with a traditional interview process, a great way to learn if potential candidates are a fit for your organization is to conduct behavioral interviewing. Behavioral interviewing will help you gain insight into an individual's character and temperament during the interview process. This will give you a leg up in finding the right people for your organization.

Create a supportive workplace environment.

The work environment has a significant impact on employee well-being and productivity. Whether your team is working in a traditional or remote office setting, an environment that is responsive to their needs is essential to the overall employee experience.

Each of us experiences the workplace environment through our five senses. Every detail is essential, from the office floorplan, pictures on the walls, and people we sit with to the free perks such as coffee bars, on-site workout facilities, and employee lounges. These aspects (and others) can affect an employee's ability to focus, perform and thrive, impacting the day-to-day employee experience.

The ways to create a happy workplace environment in your organization are limitless. Some things First United did to help its workplace game include:

  • Spend Life Wisely programs. Designed to encourage learning, engagement, and involvement. Employees have a variety of ways to earn points through workshops, online education, wellness screenings, volunteering, participating in study groups or Bible studies, and much more.
  • Introduction of ergonomic office furniture. Wellness benefits of ergonomic office furniture include higher energy levels, reduced stiffness, improved circulation, and greater cognitive focus.
  • Redesigned workspaces. First United workspaces include open floorplans with naturally lit workspaces and moss walls to help filter the air. As well, there are on-site workout facilities or gym membership reimbursement, cafes serving healthy homemade meals, wellness rooms and employee lounges with coffee, teas, and other healthy drink options.

FUB Tip: Sustainable building practices can serve whole communities and help retain top talent. Check out First United's award-winning First United Bank - Sherman Taylor Street.

Enable them with technology.

Quality technology is essential at the core of the employee experience and it is often the most frequent significant tool employees use daily, especially given the increase in remote work opportunities. Efficient technology affects employee motivation, long-term retention, and willingness to engage fully in their work.

First United understands that employees work differently today than they did even a few years ago and that our technology solutions must reflect that new dynamic. Over the last few years, we have worked to enhance the employee experience and foster collaboration across our organization by implementing technology that offers flexible solutions to keep employees connected, engaged, and productive wherever they are plugged in. Simple internal solutions that have a big impact include:

  • Reliable hardware like a PC, laptop, or mobile device
  • A strong wireless internet connection throughout the workplace
  • Quality video conferencing software that makes virtual meetings feel more like in-person ones
  • Webcams and conference room speakers designed to highlight the speaker and reduce background noise
  • Workplace software that promotes communication and collaboration – think Microsoft teams and chat apps

To get started, simply start.

Creating the right work environment does not take a major investment of dollars or hours. Many companies begin by taking a few small steps that elevate the employee experience. Here are a few examples:

  • Start a weekly lunch club that meets to read inspirational books.
  • Bring a few more live plants into the office to clean the air and add natural beauty.
  • Begin using free instant messaging software like Google Chat.

We hope these tips provide some easy ways your company can affect performance and profitability by supporting the employee experience.

By First United Bank