Thursday, June 20, 2024

What Is Employee Experience and Why Does It Matter?

Think about the last time you felt truly engaged and valued at work – that’s the essence of employee experience. It includes all aspects of an employee’s life at work, from the initial interview to their last day. 

Businesses are increasingly recognizing the link between happy employees and better performance. No wonder Employee experience (EX) has become a priority for 9 in 10 employers. It allows them to nurture a loyal and motivated workforce, which is key to long-term success. Read on to learn more about what employee experience is and why it matters. 

  1. What is Employee Experience?
  2. 7 Stages of Employee Experience 
  3. Why Does Employee Experience Matter?
  4. How to Evaluate the Employee Experience?
  5. How to Build and Improve Your Employee Experience Strategy?
  6. Wrapping Up

What is Employee Experience?

Employee experience is the overall journey an employee has with a company. It begins from the moment they apply for the job until they leave and beyond. 

Here’s an overview of what employee experience encompasses:

  1. The process of getting hired and onboarded.
  2. How connected and committed an employee feels and whether they choose to stay or quit.
  3. The quality and accessibility of health, wellness, and financial benefits.
  4. Opportunities for professional growth and skill development.
  5. The effectiveness of technology in managing HR tasks.
  6. The quality of relationships and support from teammates and managers. 
  7. Experiences related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) within the company.

When a company creates a supportive and empowering work environment, it leads to a positive employee experience. This makes the employees happier, which means more business for the organization. So, it’s a win-win situation. 

7 Stages of Employee Experience 

Employee experience is shaped by various factors that influence employees’ journey within a company. Put simply, when they reflect on their experience – good or bad – within a company, they often consider a blend of these stages:

1. Recruitment and Onboarding

This stage is where the candidate applies for a job, goes through interviews, and gets hired. Afterward comes the onboarding process, where they’re welcomed into a companys family. So, a smooth recruitment and onboarding experience is what new employees expect today.

2. Engagement

Once they have become a part of the team, they seek to feel valued and connected. This stage is about building meaningful relationships with coworkers and experiencing a sense of belonging to something greater than themselves. A company that fails to engage employees experiences negative consequences. For instance, a lack of employee engagement leads to a $8.8 trillion loss in productivity for the global economy, equivalent to 9% of global GDP (Gross Domestic Product). 

3. Growth and Development

Who doesn’t want to grow and learn new things? This stage is all about opportunities. Employees want to feel like they’re progressing in their careers, maybe learning new skills or taking on more responsibilities. This is where they seek to climb the ladder of professional success. 

4. Wellness and Benefits

Employee well-being matters! Companies that care offer numerous benefits, from health insurance to flexible work hours. Feeling healthy and supported makes a world of difference. No wonder 84% of employee experience professionals highlight well-being as crucial for a good employee experience.  

5. Technology

Employees want to have the right tools to do their job well. Whether it’s high-tech software or a trusty laptop, having the right tech makes their job easier and more enjoyable. 

6. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Everyone deserves to feel valued and respected. Companies that embrace diversity and inclusion create a better environment for everyone, where differences are celebrated, and everyone has a voice. There’s a reason why 80% of survey participants said they prefer working with employers promoting diversity and inclusion. 

7. Exit

Every journey has an end, and an employee’s time at a company is no different. This stage may include exit interviews and separation paperwork. A smooth exit process shows respect for employee’s contributions and leaves a positive final impression. 

Why Does Employee Experience Matter?

McKinsey & Company mentions that individuals with positive employee experiences are 16 times more engaged than those with negative experiences. 

Besides boosting engagement, a positive employee experience encourages people to work for a company in the long run. Below, we discuss why else employee experience matters:

1. Productivity and Performance

When employees feel supported at work, they’re naturally encouraged to go the extra mile. A survey shows that 97% of people who are valued at work feel motivated to perform better. So, when a company prioritizes positive employee experience, it builds an A-team that always brings its best game to the table. 

2. Retention

When employees experience a well-structured onboarding process, 69% of them develop a more favorable perception of their workplace and are likely to remain with their company for a minimum of three years. Simply put, positive employee experience is directly linked to retention, which leads to more commitment and reduces costly turnover.

3. Customer Satisfaction

Happy employees translate to happy customers. When employees are passionate about their work, it shows in their interactions with customers. They are more likely to go above and beyond to provide exceptional services. This leads to satisfied customers who keep coming back for more. 

4. Organizational Well-Being

A company is only as healthy as its employees. When employees have a good work-life balance, it creates a positive and thriving organizational culture. This leads to a happier, less stressful work environment for everyone, which in turn benefits the company as a whole. 

5. Talent Attraction

A positive employee experience is your chance to attract top talent. After all, word of mouth is a thing. When employees rave about their company culture on social media and job boards, it creates a buzz that captures the attention of the best and the brightest minds. 

How to Evaluate the Employee Experience?

Evaluating the employee experience is crucial for maintaining a happy, productive workforce. Although there’s no rule of thumb for assessing it, a few basic strategies can help, as follows:

1. Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

The Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a straightforward yet powerful tool to gauge employee satisfaction. It’s based on a simple question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company as a place to work?” Employees who score 9-10 are considered promoters, 7-8 are passives, and 0-6 are detractors. You need to subtract the %age of detractors from the %age of promoters to get your eNPS.  

2. Regular Surveys and One-on-one Meetings

You can arrange annual comprehensive surveys or short, more frequent pulse surveys to assess employee experience. Besides, one-on-one meetings between managers and employees are invaluable for gaining deeper insights into the employee experience. However, the key is to ask the right questions and make employees feel comfortable while providing honest feedback. 

How to Build and Improve Your Employee Experience Strategy?

Creating a stellar employee experience is all about building an environment where your team feels appreciated and motivated. Here’s how to build and continuously improve your approach. 

1. Create an Exceptional Onboarding Experience

First impressions matter, and onboarding experience is your chance to make a great one. An exceptional experience helps new hires feel welcomed, informed, and ready to contribute. 

Make sure they have everything they need from day one, including:

  1. A clear understanding of their role
  2. Access to necessary resources
  3. Introductions to their teammates

Personal touches, like a welcome package or a buddy system, can go a long way in making new employees feel at home. 

2. Consider Employee Well-being

Employee well-being should be a top priority. This means taking a specialized approach to address their physical, mental, and emotional health. Data reveals that 96% of employees prefer working with organizations that prioritize employee well-being. 

You can consider offering wellness programs and mental health resources. Besides that, simple initiatives like encouraging regular breaks, providing healthy snacks, or offering fitness classes can make a big difference. 

When employees feel cared for, they’re more likely to stay engaged. 

3. Provide Flexible Work Environment 

A flexible work environment is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. Offering flexible work options like remote work and flexible hours can significantly boost employee satisfaction. 

A survey shows that 98% of workers prefer working remotely for some time. So, if you offer remote work options, your employees will likely stay. If going remote isn’t an option, you can always create a hybrid workspace to cater to employees who feel happy working from home. 

This flexibility will help your employees balance their personal and professional lives better. As a result, it’ll reduce their stress and increase loyalty. 

In short, trust your employees to manage their time effectively, and you will likely see a positive impact on both their morale and productivity. 

4. Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion means creating an environment where everyone feels respected, regardless of background. 

McKinsey & Company highlights that organizations with a more gender-diverse executive team showed a 25% higher chance of achieving above-average profitability. So, make sure you eliminate biases in hiring, promotion, and day-to-day interactions. This will attract top talent and retain your existing employees. 

Remember, a happy and motivated workforce is the backbone of any successful organization. 

Wrapping Up

How employees perceive their journey within your organization and how that perception influences their productivity (and loyalty) is at the core of employee experience. When you invest in their experience, you build a community of engaged individuals who feel eager to contribute to your company. 

To wrap up, employees today seek more than just a paycheck at work. They prefer environments that align with their values and aspirations. And if your organization offers that, it will inspire them to stay and grow with you. Could anything surpass that?