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What is employee experience (and how can it help your organization)?
Illustration by Kevin Yu

6 min read

What is employee experience (and how can it help your organization)?

A great employee experience can unlock the potential of your team and boost your business. But what is employee experience, and why does it matter?

For many employees, working for an organization that values and supports their experience can be the difference between a good job and a great one.

Often overlooked and undervalued, employee experience can make or break a company’s success. It goes beyond offering competitive salaries and benefits as it encompasses everything from corporate culture to learning and development opportunities.

In fact, only 13% of employees are fully satisfied and engaged with their work. It’s no wonder why 77% of individuals consider employee experience when deciding whether to apply for a job.

Having an employee experience strategy catered to the needs of employees and the organization is crucial not just to ensure job satisfaction and loyalty, but also to increase overall productivity, morale, and even profits.

Let’s dive into employee experience and how it can help your organization succeed in this increasingly competitive market.

Employee experience definition

Employee experience (EX) is a term used to describe how a company interacts with, manages, and motivates its employees. It is the sum of all interactions that employees have with their employer, from onboarding and recognition to career development and job satisfaction — all of which can have a huge impact on the success of a company.

Why does employee experience matter?

As the competition for top talent continues to heat up, companies are recognizing the importance of creating a positive and engaged employee experience. When employees are highly engaged, they’re more likely to go above and beyond in their work, which can have a direct impact on your bottom line.

1. Changing employee expectations

Loyalty and tenure are no longer the norm as employees today are more likely to move between organizations in search of better compensation, opportunities, and experience.

Some companies are offering additional benefits, such as paid parental leave, sabbaticals, and career pathing programs to meet the changing needs of their employees.

But more than benefits and perks, employees want to feel valued and appreciated for their work. Employers can help with that by recognizing their contributions, celebrating both small and big wins, and providing a supportive work environment.

2. Evolving organizations

Organizations are becoming more agile and collaborative in how they operate, and employee experience is a key factor in facilitating this transformation.

Employees need to feel that they are part of a team and understand what is expected of them. By providing employees with the tools, resources, and support they need, organizations can create an environment that encourages collaboration and engagement.

3. Highly competitive job market

The labour market is more competitive than ever before, making it important for organizations to differentiate themselves from the competition. An engaging employee experience can be a powerful tool in recruiting and retaining top talent, giving organizations an edge in the job market.

For example, organizations that offer flexible work options, such as remote working and part-time schedules, can attract more candidates who are looking for more control over their work-life balance.

Additionally, highlighting the unique aspects of your organization, such as mentorship programs and having a centralized platform for learning and development, can help set you apart and make a lasting impression on potential candidates.

4. Keeps employees engaged and satisfied

When employees are engaged and satisfied with their work environment, they are more productive, committed, and willing to go above and beyond to achieve the organization's goals. Investing in employee experience by creating a positive work culture, offering career development opportunities, providing fair compensation and benefits, and valuing employee feedback helps employees feel motivated to show up and do their best work each and every day.

The business benefits of employee experience

Dedicating time and resources to establish a positive employee experience can have far-reaching benefits beyond simply keeping your staff content and loyal.

It takes a holistic approach to employee satisfaction and engagement, including investing in professional development, implementing systems that allow for flexibility, and creating an environment where employees can thrive and add value to your organization.

1. Higher retention

More often than not, employees will leave an organization because of poor employee experience, be it a lack of recognition, inadequate resources, or low salary.

Investing in employee experience can counter high turnover rates by ensuring that employees are equipped with tools and resources to do their job well, valued for their contributions, and recognized for their achievements.

Individuals with employee positive experiences are eight times more likely to stay at a company than those with negative experiences. It can boost morale among existing members and save the company some money on recruitment costs that can go as high as twice the person’s salary.

2. Increased productivity

Creating a positive workplace environment can go a long way in increasing productivity, as it keeps employees motivated, engaged, and focused on the task at hand.

Employees who feel appreciated, valued, and recognized for their efforts will be more likely to want to come to work each day and go the extra mile, as they feel supported and empowered in their roles.

Employee experience initiatives such as flexible working hours, employee recognition programs, generous holiday policies, and a healthy work-life balance can all help build an environment that encourages employees to be productive and efficient.

3. Improved bottom line

Employee experience isn't just about keeping employees happy and engaged; it can translate to better customer service, higher sales, and, ultimately, a larger bottom line. 

When employees are motivated and inspired by their work, they tend to be more productive and focused, which leads to a higher quality of work, improved customer satisfaction, and increased sales and profits.

Research shows that an excellent employee experience can drive customer ratings up to 10%, sales up to 18%, and profits up to 21%.

4. Positive company culture

The workplace should be a place where employees feel they belong, not just a place to come in and do their job. Any organization that values its workforce will naturally cultivate a positive company culture.

A great employee experience allows for open dialogue, collaboration, and trust between employees and management, where employees feel respected and appreciated for the work they do, regardless of rank or position.

When employees are treated with respect and trust, they become more invested in their work and more likely to stay with the organization for longer periods of time. It also encourages collaboration and innovation, as employees feel more comfortable working towards shared goals.

3 strategies to create an employee experience everyone will love

Help employees get work done

Start by making it easier for your employees to access the tools they need, even when they're working remotely. This will boost employee experience, as users feel they can effectively complete their tasks, no matter where they are. Plus, if you make it easy for them to access tools, they won't have to spend their entire day trying to track down the right software. Nobody wants to feel like a digital detective!

Embrace bottom-up communication

Allowing for bottom-up communication is an essential aspect of creating a positive and effective digital employee experience. This approach ensures that employees at all levels of the organization have a voice and can contribute to the company's success. By enabling employees to provide feedback, suggestions, and ideas, you can tap into their unique insights and knowledge. This not only helps to create a more engaged and motivated workforce, but it also ensures that you're aware of any issues or concerns before they become major problems. Ultimately, a culture of bottom-up communication helps to create a sense of community and collaboration, where everyone feels valued and part of a shared vision for success.

Get feedback through surveys

For you to know how your employees are interacting with technology in the digital workplace, you have to ask them. And what's the best way to do that? Surveys, of course! Regular surveys will help you gather real-time feedback that is honest, relevant, and contextual. This way, you stand a better chance of understanding what areas need improvement. 

To learn more, check out our guides on creating an employee experience and learn about which strategies will actually work for your organization. 

Final thoughts

The modern workplace is changing, and prioritizing employee experience in the organizational strategy can help businesses stay competitive in a rapidly evolving world. 

Companies that invest in cultivating a work environment where employees feel valued, respected, and supported, especially in a digital workplace, can reap the rewards of improved retention, increased productivity, a higher bottom line, and positive company culture.

But at the heart of employee experience is the desire for employees to be successful. Knowing what success looks like for each employee, and finding ways to foster it within the workplace, is essential in any organization’s pursuit of excellence.

Rethinking employee experience through the lens of employee success, engagement, recognition, development, and satisfaction can help organizations create a culture of collaboration, innovation, and growth that will help employees and businesses reach their full potential.

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