What is Employee Experience?
Employee Experience (EX) can be defined as what people encounter, observe or feel over the course of their employment journey at an organisation. Their experience is often influenced by the company’s physical workspace, the work-life balance the company provides and the technology that enables productivity.
In today’s digital world and the increasing transparency brought by the digital workplace, employees expect a productive, engaging and enjoyable work experience.
Organisations are now focusing on an integrated full employee experience rather than just employee engagement and culture. The full employee experience brings together the entire workplace, HR and management practices that impact people on the job.
Organisational culture, employee engagement and employee brand proposition are top priorities among executives, with employee experience being a major trend. Nearly 80% of these executives rated employee experience very important, but only 22% reported that they were excellent at building a differentiated employee experience.
So Why Is Employee Experience important?
Many organisations operate in sectors where there is a high demand for talent and it’s getting harder for employers to attract and retain this talent. Offering a superior employee experience can give employers a competitive advantage in attracting recruits and them in ways that encourage them to stay with their organisations.
The rising popularity of websites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor make it easier for employees to review their employee experience.
Studies show that the employee – employer relationship is being disrupted by employee’s tendencies to change job more frequently. However, employees within organisations with the most compelling workplace experiences were four times more likely to stay in their jobs than those with less compelling experiences.
Organisations can no longer hide behind employer branding campaigns to position themselves in the market. The rising popularity of websites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor make it easier for employees to review their employee experience and for new prospective employees to assess the employee experience at the companies they are considering.
It is not only recruitment and retention that are impacted by employee experience. A better employee experience directly results in more engaged employees which in turn equals increased productivity.
Employee experience also has an impact on revenue and profits, positive employee experience has a positive effect on profits.
A study by IBM shows the link between employee experience to a higher return on both assets and sales. It can also be seen that a negative employee experience affects revenue and profits negatively, companies that have designed and implemented strong employee experience see higher revenue and profits than those who have not done so.
What Can Organisations Do To Help Build Their Employee Experience?
Firstly, there are several factors that make employee experience a challenge today:
- Many organisations have not made employee experience a priority for HR leaders, it is often delegated to an annual employee engagement survey
- Most organisations have not assigned the responsibility of employee experience to a senior executive or have no allocated a team to design & delivery the employee experience.
- Companies need to update their tools to engage employees on an ongoing basis with pulse surveys at least, to help HR team and leadership understand what the talent they employ expect.
- Many organisations have not yet pulled together goal setting, coaching reviews, learning, idea generation and employee recognition into an integrated framework.
Understanding and improving the employee experience is critical for companies operating in today’s competitive environment. Providing an engaging employee experience can help companies in attracting and retaining the most skilled employees. Companies need a new approach that builds on the foundation of culture and engagement to focus on employee experience.
Employees are now expecting an integrated experience.
Traditionally HR has addressed issues such as employee engagement, culture, recognition, learning and coaching & development as separate individual programs. Each program has a different set of tools and solutions for measurement.
The average number of systems workers must access is 11, and many employees are losing up to an entire day every week on irrelevant emails and messages. This is backed up by research conducted in which 77% of respondents believe that email is no longer a viable tool for effective communication.
Employees are now expecting an integrated experience with 66% of employees stating they would rather one singular platform for their workplace functions, believing that it will bring greater productivity and better workflow.
Many organisations are implementing a kind of unified engagement platform to create a single brand aligned digital experience for their employees and managers.
These aspects of the digital workplace are of great importance to employee experience. There is a necessity to implement tools that can effectively keep all employees fully informed, in real time, no matter how large or widely distributed the workforce is.
This requirement combined with the focus on work/life balance, flexible and remote working means that companies must also provide all their employees including deskless and contingent workers with an easily accessible mobile employee experience.
According to research conducted by Microsoft 67% of people use their personal devices at work and they in turn feel more engaged and motivated when they can use their own devices for business purposes.
Today’s employees want to use the kinds of devices they are comfortable with in their non work lives. Which includes application-based solutions rather than browser-based ones.
Employee experience is being transformed using advancements such as push notifications, pulse surveys, and certain HR functions such as learning, coaching and on-boarding.
Research suggests that using an employee engagement/experience app can be the best way to achieve these goals.
When it comes to adopting a company mobile app as part of the employee experience journey there are a few things that should be kept in mind:
- The app should be native – widely distributed and easily installed, provide a fast performance and a high degree of reliability.
- The app should be branded – this creates more trust, better on boarding numbers and higher user engagement.
- The app should feature push notifications – this is a necessity for enabling real time communication and cutting through the noise.
The ultimate point of a sound digital workplace strategy is to build a more effective and efficient business. This requires an entirely new approach that takes the employee experience into account and is therefore mobile and highly target-able.
Today’s digital workplace is the overall sum of employee experience. Employee experience is both the face and heart of the digital workplace, increasing employee satisfaction, productivity and retention, as well as brand equity, competitive advantage and sustainable growth.