What is Employee Experience:
Employee experience encompasses all the interactions an employee takes within an organization, both positive and negative. These interactions impact how employees work, collaborate, and how committed they are to improving performance and efficiency.
This includes everything from when an employee looks at the job opening to when they leave the company. An employee’s role, workspace, manager, and wellbeing are also parts of the employee experience.
Today’s competitive marketplace has led to a consumerization of employment, with organizations managing the employee experience at every stage of the employee lifecycle. In order to create optimal employee experiences, leaders must identify what matters most to their staff and create personalized experiences for each employee.
Creating positive employee experiences is essential to business performance. Having a happy and productive workforce helps improve the customer experience and a brand’s overall reputation.
Key Elements of the Employee Experience
Companies that invest in their employee experience will experience higher rates of productivity amongst their staff. Employees who are engaged and aligned with the company’s values are going to put more time and effort into their role than someone who is not.
A better work-life balance is often rated the main benefit of a flexible work schedule, which is something that is becoming more and more important for employees. Giving employees more flexibility may improve levels of satisfaction, providing them with more time to handle personal and family obligations during the day.
A high quality employee experience has been shown to provide employees with a greater ability to manage stress and anxiety in the workplace. It has also been shown that employees who use digital tools to communicate throughout the day are better able to handle stress than those who do not.
Community and Belonging
Employees feel more engaged with their workplace when they feel like they belong or have a sense of community. Many of today’s companies are improving their diversity and inclusion strategies to foster a greater sense of belonging in their organizations.
The COVID-19 pandemic introduced a surge of remote workers demanding location and schedule flexibility. Companies looking to improve their employee experience may want to invest in digital infrastructure to help their staff get work done remotely.
The Business Impact of Employee Experience
Creating a powerful employee experience is more than just a nice-to-have gesture for HR teams to carry out. It can have a significant impact on multiple facets of an organization.
Company leaders know that good employees are their best investment, and good employees are often hard to find. Once an organization has spent significant time and resources hiring quality staff, they don’t want to lose them.
Employee churn affects an organization’s bottom line and takes up valuable time from HR teams. Designing a positive employee experience is essential to building an engaged and empowered workforce that wants to stay.
A study of over 250 organizations around the world found that companies with high employee experience benchmarks had four times higher profits and 40 percent less turnover than those that didn’t. This means that investing in a strong employee experience will end up paying off.
Employee engagement is a measurement of an employee’s relationship to an organization. It is made up of the feelings an employee experiences as a result of a company's employee experience.
Companies should work to improve their employee engagement as it has been proven to be connected to turnover and employee effort. Engaged employees are willing to spend their time, energy, and intellect on the organization and drive real results. This leads to increased organizational effectiveness.
The rise in popularity of job search websites such as Glassdoor show that employees are interested in what an organization’s employee experience is like. The majority of today’s job seekers are using websites like Glassdoor to compare the reputations of various employers.
This makes it even more critical to develop a strong employee experience. Organizations that neglect it risk negative reviews that steer potential talent away from their brand.
In today’s competitive job market, more and more people are deciding to leave companies early in their tenure. Currently, about 10% of new hires leave six months after starting a job.
Chances of turnover can be reduced by properly introducing staff to the organization through an effective onboarding process. This can make a significant impact on an employee’s chances of staying, their productivity, and their perception of the brand.
Stages of the Employee Lifecycle
Employee attraction is the first stage of the employee lifecycle. No matter how good a company’s product or service is, it will still fail if they cannot attract and maintain talented employees.
The best way to attract top talent is by building an employer brand. A positive employer brand presents the organization as a great place to work, both for current employees and external stakeholders such as job candidates, clients, and customers.
The employee recruitment stage involves finding and recruiting the best people for the organization, either when an existing role becomes vacant or a new position is created entirely. The best recruitment strategies are based around clear hiring criteria and processes, taking advantage of data along the way to improve practices over time.
One of the most effective recruitment strategies is referrals from current employees. However, it is important not to hire family or close friends of existing staff, as this can create a difficult dynamic.
Once the top talent has been recruited, a well-executed onboarding phase will help new hires adjust to the organizational environment and the performance expectations of their position. During onboarding, new staff will review aspects of their role in-depth so that they function as effectively as possible within the organization.
Making new employees feel welcome and part of the team will help them succeed in the nature of their role, driving long-term results and engagement. Having a clear job description, discussing the company’s vision and values, and following up regularly will ensure that onboarding is smooth for everyone involved.
Development / Training
In the employee development stage, professional development is consistently encouraged amongst all employees. This will not only develop their skills in their current role, but give them a potential career path with future roles within the company.
External learning opportunities such as industry conferences and seminars are excellent opportunities to send employees at company cost. Team members should be encouraged and rewarded for the effort they put into their professional development.
The employee retention stage involves focusing on your top talent and making sure they are satisfied and challenged enough in their roles. Companies with a poor organizational culture suffer from high turnover and replacement costs, making an effective retention strategy essential to promote employee longevity and satisfaction.
It is important to understand what motivates your employees in order to retain them. Not all employees are motivated by the same things, so understanding what drives each team member can help engage and retain them.
The final stage of the employee lifecycle is the employee offboarding stage. There eventually comes a time where an employment lifecycle reaches its conclusion, whether it's because of retirement, a new opportunity, or personal reasons.
Managers and HR professionals must ensure that employees exit the organization in a way that does not cause major disruption. When an employee leaves a company, a properly conducted exit interview is one of the best opportunities to receive honest feedback on the employee experience.
Designing a Strong Employee Experience Strategy
Whether you are looking to improve your existing employee experience strategy or are building one from scratch, here is how to get started:
Determine Your Top Priority
The first step in designing a strong employee experience is identifying which stages of the employee lifecycle to focus on. For example, a company looking to increase hiring volume should focus on the attraction and recruitment stages first, gathering actionable feedback through candidate surveys.
Organizations experiencing high turnover can focus on improving the exit experience as their first step. When it comes to designing an employee experience, there is no right or wrong place to start.
Start Capturing Data
After determining the top priority, the next step is to capture data by gathering feedback. This step takes time as enough data must be collected to form correlations and stories about the employee experience.
Focus on one aspect of the employee experience - such as onboarding or development - first depending on the organization’s priorities. This way, companies can slowly grow their data capture programs without overwhelming themselves.
Build in Linkages
Building linkages between content and data is important for understanding the entire employee lifecycle. For example, a company focusing on their exit survey may find data that is useful for their employee engagement survey.
Customizing surveys to specific stages of the employee lifecycle are much more effective than using standard, cookie-cutter questions. This is because questions must be specific enough to address the root of existing or potential problems.
While surveys provide valuable information, that information is useless unless it is acted upon. Both aggregated and detailed results should be analyzed to modify organizational programs.
Survey data can help identify where extra support is needed the most, whether it's certain hiring managers, departments, or teams. Once these groups understand how they’re performing compared to the company overall, they can start to make small changes to improve the employee experience. This is where strategy execution comes into play.
Measuring Employee Experience
eNPS, also known as employee Net Promoter Score or Employee NPS, is a measurement of how employees feel about a company. It is based on the measurement Net Promoter Score (NPS) which asks one simple question: “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend this company’s products and services to others?”
While eNPS can be used to measure a company’s employee experience, its meaning is limited to comparison with previous scores or another company’s results. Combining eNPS with other key metrics provides a more complete view of the employee experience.
Employee retention measures an organization’s ability to retain its current employees. It is closely linked to employee experience as companies that provide high quality experiences will have their top talent choose to stay over the long term.
Boosting employee retention through engagement and improved experiences will result in business impacts such as improved performance, lower turnover, increased revenue, and improved customer experiences. A company’s employee retention rate can be calculated using the following formula:
Employee retention rate = (Number of employees who have stayed / Average number of employees) x 100
Employee churn rate
Employee churn rate measures how many employees leave, either because they choose to or because they are asked to leave. Since hiring is expensive, losing employees to churn can significantly disrupt organizational performance.
While some churn is both normal and necessary, it is important to maintain healthy and sustainable levels of churn by reducing unwanted turnover. A company’s employee churn rate can be calculated using the following formula:
Employee churn rate = (Number of employees who left / Average number of employees) x 100
The Future of EX: Automated Employee Experience (AEX)
The future of employee experience (EX) involves boosting employee productivity by automating repetitive tasks, a process known as automated employee experience (AEX). Automating simple but time consuming tasks can help increase job satisfaction across all teams.
Differences Between Traditional EX and AEX
Automated EX (AEX)
Employees are slowed down by repetitive tasks
Repetitive tasks are automated, freeing up employees for more high-value work
Employee inquiries are responded to slowly or remain unaddressed
Employee inquiries are automated through self service, reducing handle time
Ticket is created for an issue, can take days to address
Employees can self serve through a conversational AI chatbot
Why Make the Switch from Traditional EX to AEX?
With the majority of knowledge workers working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to keep employees engaged. AEX allows employees to direct themselves to self-service options such as organizational policies, how-to guides, and product information that frees up teams to optimize their output.
Top 5 Automated Employee Experience Platforms
Ada - Ada is a no-code automation platform that integrates seamlessly with popular tools and platforms that companies already use. Employees can use a conversational, self-service approach to optimizing their employee experience.
Qualtrics - Qualtrics gathers feedback continuously from every employee experience, giving companies the data they need to improve engagement, recruitment, and innovation. Employee actions can be automated in real time so that no employee experience goes neglected.
Zoho Desk - Zoho’s end-to-end employee experience platform can help optimize each stage of the employee lifecycle, from building relationships to candidates to personalizing training opportunities. It engages, motivates, and supports employees at every touchpoint and builds strong employer brands.
15Five - 15Five is a performance management platform that empowers employees to achieve the extraordinary. It offers ongoing coaching and learning to motivate employees to reach their potential.
Accenture SynOps - Accenture SynOps combines human and machine innovation to fast track operations and help organizations perform their best every day. It is an evolving platform that can automate tasks and provide real-time insights into which aspects of the business need improving.