Employee experience, often abbreviated as EX, is defined as an employee’s perceptions of their journey throughout the touchpoints of the company they work at. It starts with job candidacy and goes all the way until the exit from the company.
A company’s culture, technologies, workspace are critical components of EX. Let’s delve deeper into EX and the employee experience advantage below.
What is Employee Experience?
Do you know what employee experience is NOT?
Employee experience isn’t employee engagement, fancy perks, or an open floor plan office. Nor is it a benefits package filled with attractive options for workers.
So, what is it?
Employee experience refers to the way companies trace how employees think and feel, along with what they observe and experience throughout the course of their job in the company. It’s the direct response to customer experience, which is something most, if not all, of us are aware of.
These are the three basic environments that make up your company’s employee experience:
There’s no one work culture definition, but it might be what C-suites tell you it is, how you understand the company’s mission, practices, values, and practices, or even shop-floor camaraderie when senior managers aren’t in.
It refers to the mixture of organizational structure and leadership style, the sense of purpose, and all the personalities you work with. Corporate culture is that vibe you experience when coming into work, which can either stifle or motivate, drain or energize, discourage or empower employees.
Imagine you opened your computer only to find out its Windows XP operating system. Modern and forward-thinking companies invest in updated and necessary tools for their employees to work comfortably and more efficiently, keeping future developments in mind.
With the vastness of the technological landscape, it’s better to provide employees with the tools required to maximize their efficiency. As a result, they will feel more confident in their work.
Those who work the regular 9-to-5 jobs in a windowless and air-conditioned basement will have significantly different experiences compared to those working flexible hours in a glass building with its own lounges, gym, and subsidized canteen.
Employees happy in their physical work environment have better concentration, well-being, and productivity levels. The physical workspace doesn’t just pertain to the office. It can also mean the ability to work from home or in other workspaces.
Employee Experience vs. Engagement
Employee experience and employee engagement may sound interchangeable, but they are actually two different terms.
Employee experience is holistic, encapsulating everything employees think, see, and feel.
On the other hand, employee engagement refers to how the employee is committed and occupied with his job. It’s one of the results from the overall employee experience and is more associated with productivity levels.
Employee engagement is associated with a narrower focus on technology tools, measurements, or benefits (like free food). These factors may be part of employee experience strategies, but they aren’t holistic, long-term approaches to creating happy, productive, and loyal employees.
With all this in mind, there are varied definitions of employee experience and engagement, along with associated differences. It’s just like the work culture definition – it varies from company to company!
The Importance of Employee Experience
Did you know that the shift towards prioritizing employee experience has become so prevalent that we see roles and departments dedicated to it now? There’s now such a thing as an employee experience manager!
Employee experience and the relationship with performance and engagement are essential to understand and prioritize.
When companies get the employee experience successfully, they can benefit from it in the long run. They can achieve twice the innovation and customer satisfaction, generating higher profits than companies who ignore employee experience.
Here are the areas employee experience affects and the benefits offered:
Employment engagement is one of the feelings that result from the overall employee experience. Companies measure and aim to improve engagement, and it’s linked with turnover and how much effort employees put into their jobs.
Most job seekers research for information about companies on job search websites, which also have web pages wherein former and current employees review their companies. Since more company review websites are up and running successfully, it goes to show how important job seekers think understanding employee experience is.
With better employee experience, the more you can attract potential talent to your company.
Many people are thinking of leaving their company way too early in their tenure. A significant number of employees leave within six months of beginning a new job!
Improving the employee experience with processes like onboarding makes a significant difference in regards to how employees want to stay, their productivity levels, and how they see the company culture.
Besides that, a better employee experience will create happy employees, lowering absenteeism rates.
Employee experience doesn’t only affect productivity levels but customer experience. Industry experts believe that customer experience is the direct result of employee experience.
After all, happy employees are likely to convey happier moods and emotions as they interact with their customers. The better support they give customers with a more positive attitude, which increases satisfaction rates in both ends.
How to Improve Employee Experience
Whatever definition your company has on employee experience, it’s important to identify it and create effective strategies to improve employee experience around it.
Remember, employee experience isn’t a one-and-done plan. It must be a long-term approach a company stays consistent in and improves as needed.
Here are tips for designing a solid employee experience:
What’s the top priority?
Before anything else, you need to know the aspects of employee experience that your company needs to focus on.
For instance, the company plans to increase hiring volumes, so it may be best to focus on the recruitment stage first, even using a candidate survey to receive feedback. Or, if you notice high turnover rates, concentrate on learning and improving the exit experience.
There’s no correct way to begin for all companies as it all depends on your company’s priorities.
When you determine the top priority, it’s time to receive feedback. It will take time to collect an adequate amount of data to draw connections and tell stories about employee experience.
Because of that, it’s recommended to avoid overwhelming yourself and tackling everything in one go. Start with one area of employee experience, iterate, then grow the employee experience from there.
It’s recommended to combine your operational data with experience data. Operational data will tell you why it’s needed to spend on employee perks, while experience data tells you what employees want from the benefits and if they prefer anything else for a better experience.
To better understand the employee life cycle, you need to create linkages to and from data and content.
For instance, you ran an engagement survey, the data received will help you learn what to focus on in your exit survey, too. Make sure your surveys are customized to specific programs instead of general questions that only address the surface level.
Employee experience surveys will give you tons of valuable information. But if you don’t take action, then what’s the point?
The next step is to begin taking action and look at the aggregate results so you can modify and improve programs. From here, you can identify if teams or departments require extra support, helping them understand how they are compared to the organization overall.
Doing this gives everyone the chance to create small changes and improve employee experiences.
Prepare to Invest
You will need to make a budget for employee experience and start investing, which is proven worthy in the long run. Invest in things that will have employees want to work based on employee feedback and data.
It can be the ability to work from home, new furniture, redecorated premises, better coffee, or even an office dog!
Wrapping It Up
While all companies invest in customer experiences, it’s high time to also focus on employee experience. People are a company’s greatest assets, and amid all the unprecedented changes to business, economy, and society, the way employees experience their work has become even more crucial than ever.
Make sure you keep the employee experience advantage in mind and how to improve it. You’ll begin to see your company and its employees rise when you do.