A few years ago, companies were mainly customer-centric. Times and business objectives have changed, and organizations are now becoming also employee-centric because they’ve recognized that the employee experience directly affects their business outcomes. How productive, effective, and engaged people are at work directly affects everything from workplace culture to profit to growth.
Studies show that the organizations that invest the most in the employee experience are then more likely to be rated the best places to work, lead on innovation and achieve great customer satisfaction.
Great employee experience translates into great business results and that is why organizations need to keep their employees happy, connected, engaged, and safe, both physically and virtually.
What is employee experience?
From the moment someone looks at your job ad, to the moment they leave your company, everything that worker learns, does, sees, and feels contributes to their employee experience.
The company’s physical workspace, culture, and technology are all important components of the employee experience, aka EX.
With unprecedented changes to our society, economy, and business, the way employees experience work has become more important than ever before. Yet as critical as it is to an organization’s ability to navigate disruption, transformation, and economic uncertainty, research from Deloitte shows that only 9% of business leaders believe they are very ready to address the issue.
How to improve the employee experience?
As a new fire travels along their employee journey to their eventual exit from the organization, there are a few things that will shape their employee experience.
Culture – it is the vibe that you feel when you come into work – it can motivate or stifle, energize or drain, empower or discourage their employees. It is a mixture of leadership style and organizational structure, sense of purpose, and the mixture of personalities who work with you.
Technology – invest in suitable tools for the employee to get their work done efficiently, with future developments in mind. The technology landscape is so vast, that it’s easier than ever to give employees what they need to maximize their efficiency and make them more confident in their roles.
Workspace – Employees who are happy in their work environment will concentrate better, have improved well-being, and will be more productive. And the physical workplace is not necessarily always in the office: autonomy to work from home or in multiple workspaces can also contribute to a positive employee experience.
Anytime you make a strategic decision inside of your company run it through these three things: how it is going to impact how your employees feel, how it is going to impact the resources they have access to do their jobs, and how it is going to impact the space in which they work.
Feedback – Organisations should invite regular input from employees to measure satisfaction and ensure healthy employee engagement. Learn about what your employees are doing every day and try new ways to simplify work and improve productivity and performance.
5 critical areas impacted by the employee experience
Employee engagement and employee satisfaction
The employee experience directly affects how engaged and satisfied employees are. When employees have work experience that works well for them, their workflows are more streamlined and they can do their jobs more easily and effectively. Those with a positive employee experience are also more motivated to engage with their work, their team, and their organization as a whole. That can take the form of putting in extra effort on the job, staying up to date with company news, and/or seeking out better processes or ways of working.
This is why many employers and HR departments keep an eye on their employee engagement metrics.
Today’s candidates aren’t just looking for lucrative jobs, but for meaningful work. As potential employers vet them, they too are vetting companies. Beyond company review sites like Glassdoor and anonymous workplace discussion apps, it’s common for prospective employees to scrutinize benefits, sustainability practices, and diversity, equity, and inclusion policies during the hiring process.
A positive employee experience and strong shared culture can create employee advocates across all these categories and platforms, attracting more candidates and giving companies more access to top talent.
Just as employee performance is judged from day one, employees are also evaluating their new company from the start of the onboarding process. Companies that are slow to grant access to the necessary systems, servers, tools, and information their people need for work is reducing productivity and creating a negative impression from the start. Some studies have shown that as many as 40% of newly recruited employees leave their jobs within 6 months—something that makes the HR employee experience more challenging.
The Harvard Business Review has identified common reasons why people leave, including better opportunities for career development, culture challenges, salaries, job shifts, and supervisor relationships. All of these are facets of the employee experience.
The correlation between employee experience and customer experience (CX) is undeniable. According to Gallup, companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their competitors by 147% in earnings per share. Research from Glassdoor also supports this correlation, with the company stating that “on average, a 1-point increase in Glassdoor company rating is associated with a 1.3-point increase in customer satisfaction. Even marketing industry experts recommend that if brands want to improve their customer experience, they start by making improvements to their employee experience.
When it comes to linking employee experience with business impact, the numbers don’t lie. Studies from an array of industry-leading consultancies, institutions, and companies show clear links between EX, profitability, and business success:
Statistics on employee experience (EX) and profitability
• Companies that score in the top 25% on employee experience report a 2x return on sales and nearly a 3x return on assets – IBM’s Smarter Workforce Institute
• EX leaders have 25% higher profits than competitors with poor EX – MIT
• EX leaders have 4x higher average profits, 2x higher average revenues, 40% lower turnover, and 24% smaller headcount – Jacob Morgan for SHRM
• EX leaders beat out the average S&P by 122% – Accenture
• Disengaged employees can cost companies between $450 and $550 billion a year – Gall
If you want a thriving workforce, successful business, and happy customers, you need to start with your employees. How you treat them will have a knock-on effect that ripples throughout your company. It’s time to examine your employee experience and, where necessary, get started on making positive changes. Today.
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