Increasing Employee Retention Through Experience

Increasing Employee Retention Through Experience

This article was updated on July 24, 2018.

As millennials become the largest group in the American workforce, organizations are emphasizing the creation of a memorable employee experience. Airbnb's CHRO became Chief Employee Experience Officer (CEEO), aligning with this growing trend, and has expanded responsibilities from a traditional HR leader, reports Forbes.

Could it be that mirroring their brand through recruiting and work life is increasing employee retention?

Let's take a closer look.

A New Role Emerges: Chief Employee Experience Officer

Airbnb, the business disrupting the hospitality industry by enabling individuals to rent out space in their homes, has decided to create better employee experiences through the creation of a new role, that of CEEO. The CEEO role covers all aspects of how Airbnb relates to employees, including development, the work environment and culture, the type of volunteer experiences offered and more.

Airbnb's new CEEO began by changing Airbnb's workspace to create multiple areas to serve various employee functions and work styles, from socializing space to quiet reflection spots to collaborative, open spaces. The new CEEO role cuts across traditional functions, beyond just HR to whatever the organization does that impacts employee engagement, whether it's physical space, emotional and physical well-being, reward and recognition, development or training.

"The essence of the 'workplace as an experience' is where all the elements of work — the physical, the emotional, the intellectual, the virtual, and the aspirational — are carefully orchestrated to inspire employees," reports Forbes.

Engaging Talent Through Experiences

According to the ADP Research Institute® report, The Evolution of Work: The Changing Nature of the Global Workforce, 81 percent of employees feel positively about work that aligns with personal interests and things that impact society and 78 percent feel good about creating their own work schedule. Millennials are looking for more than money and benefits. They want to perform meaningful work, enjoy collaboration and seek a sense of workplace community. You need to give them what they want or they will look elsewhere to find it.

According to PwC, millennial employees who participated in more than one corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative remained an average of 1.1 years longer at an organization than employees who didn't participate. "Millennials say that creating a strong, cohesive, team-oriented culture at work is important to their workplace happiness," reports PwC.

It's clear that creating employee experiences is a multidisciplinary task that may involve event planning, rewards and recognition, CSR initiatives, workspace design, food services and much more. Coordinating activities that make for an engaging employee experience can involve different departments and functions acting in tandem toward a single goal — which is driving employee engagement.

While taking an experiential approach to engagement may challenge HR leaders to break departmental silos, it could hold the promise of increasing employee retention, driving stronger engagement, boosting productivity and, most importantly, retaining your millennial employees.