Spotlight on Employee Experience

This article puts the spotlight on Employee Experience looking at ‘the what’, ‘the why’ and importantly ‘the how’ of it…

How does Employee Experience Affect the Bottom Line?

A robust employee experience will feed into Customer Experience, a recognised driver of business success. A 2016 Employee Engagement Benchmark Study (Temkin Group) showed a correlation between employee engagement and success in customer experience. Companies that excel at customer experience have one-and-a-half times as many engaged employees as customer experience laggards do.

Also, Gallup has found that 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged, but companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share.

What is Employee Experience?

According to Wikipedia, it is defined as what an employee receives during their interaction with careers’ elements (e.g. firms, supervisors, co-workers, customer, environment, etc.) that affect their cognition and attitudes and leads to their particular behaviours.

From a leading HR practitioner’s viewpoint Susan Peters, Senior Vice President, Human Resources at General Electric defines it as seeing the world through the eyes of their employees, staying connected with and being aware of their milestones.

Why is Employee Experience Important?

It drives profitability. A compelling employee experience ensures that employees are engaged and more satisfied. Also, employee retention is higher, and customer service is improved. This enhanced service translates into an enhanced Customer Experience which in turn drives profitability.

A study found that 83% of HR leaders said “employee experience” is either ‘important’ or ‘very important’ to their organisation’s success, and they are investing more in training (56%), improving their workspaces (51%), and giving more rewards (47%). (The Active Job Seeker Dilemma study by the Future Workplace and Beyond.com)

How to Create an Engaging Employee Experience?

Being employee-centred is about having a right mindset that also recognises the benefits of leveraging the latest technologies in HR. To succeed it has to start at the top with the Executive Team and Board embracing the concept. It is useful to look at the principles of Customer Experience that marketing and operations teams probably already use.

For example, a useful starting point is employee journey mapping. This outlines the steps employees go through in their employment lifecycle with the company.  For each stage and employee segment the desired outcomes for both the employee and company are identified before assessing the gaps between the current experience and the desired one which would address employees’ needs while cultivating the desired culture that aligns with the business requirements.

Example of a 9 step SME Employee Journey Map

1.    Sourcing and selection

2.    Onboarding (orientation and training)

3.    Salary and benefits

4.    Ongoing development and training

5.    Ongoing engagement, communication, and company involvement

6.    Rewards and recognition

7.    Performance planning, feedback, and review

8.    Progression

9.    Retirement, termination, or resignation

Another key element of employee experience is work environment and the choices provided on where employees can work based on the activity they are doing. Research across 17 countries documents that workers who have control over where and how they work, and are free to choose a work space to fit their task at hand – either collaborative or focused work – are 88% more engaged at work. (Steelcase study using global sample of 12,480 employees).

In conclusion….

The spotlight is firmly on employee experience. Organisations need to develop strategies that create an employee experience which takes into account the physical environment their employees work in, as well as the tools / technologies that enable their productivity and learning to achieve their best at work. If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in this article please call Thomas Schilling on +44 (0)1327 317701.