Why is Employee Experience important?
By Dee Wauchope, Fredrik Delin & Heiti Hoffschmidt
In our earlier post on Employee Experience (EX) we described EX as the collection of all experiences an employee can gain with an organization.
The importance of a good EX and what that means is a growing challenge for organizations. Business leaders wonder how to meet employee expectations while maintaining performance in this new post-pandemic world. For example, one very topical question is how much time employees should physically work in offices versus remotely and the implications this has on ways of working, trust and employee quality of life.
There is an emerging competition for talent, not only in the tech industry but many others such as travel and the public sector. Therefore, it’s essential for companies to consider the full scope of their employees’ working experiences to attract and retain top talent.
This post makes a clear case for EX and covers key reasons why EX matters for employees, their employers and external parties such as customers and suppliers.
EX for the employee
More people than ever are looking for new jobs, with “businesses facing a staggeringly high quit rate”, according to a recent Gallup analysis. Gallup points to a growing segment of employees that feel unengaged and unable to connect with their employer’s mission and ambition.
Employees are looking for more than a stable job and regular income. They have a greater focus on development and growth, purpose and wellbeing at work. They will choose to join or remain at organizations where they can bring their authentic selves to work, giving them a sense of belonging and meaning.
An employee’s journey includes all of their experience from recruitment, hiring process, onboarding, work experience, being measured and even exiting. It is therefore imperative that businesses implement practices that cover all of the moments that matter to employees.
EX for the employer
EX underpins a solid business case that drives value. It helps establish a competitive edge through the ability to hire and retain the best people. It enables those people to reach their full potential because they feel happy at work and motivated to do a good job. This, in turn, impacts the organization’s ability to provide good services/products. With the right environment and the right support, people are not only more loyal, but also more invested in the success of their workplace.
Companies that offer safe, diverse and inclusive work environments and ensure workforces are representative of the communities they serve are better able to understand and meet expectations. An inclusive culture also ensures a safe and creative space for employees to experiment, learn from their mistakes and innovate to meet the changing needs of their customers. Diversity produces better results than homogeneity by combining unique individual traits. Research shows that diverse teams drive 6% greater revenue, 15% more customer wins and create significantly higher market share.
EX beyond your organization
There is fierce competition for people with specialized skills. This is especially true since the pandemic where more flexible working has opened up the number of potential places to work. Companies with a strong branding around EX attract top talent where many applicants use tools like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to decide where they would like to work based on the experience of current employees and workplace certifications such as Great Places to Work.
EX also impacts customer purchasing decisions and a brand’s ‘halo’. Factors outside the products/services on offer also impact how an organization is seen by its customers and have a direct impact on their buying decisions. In a recent survey, 81% of those asked said they needed to be able “to trust the brand to do what is right” with nearly a third of the respondents saying the way employees are treated is a key factor in deciding whether to become a loyal customer. This also has an impact on suppliers and partners.
The case for EX
EX is key to business performance and sustainability, and an important factor influencing everyone interacting with the organization from suppliers and partners to customers. With this in mind, you need to consider employee experience as a holistic challenge spanning well beyond the boundaries of HR.
We leave you with the following important points:
- EX is a critical component of engagement, but they are not the same
- EX requires you to know your people; human-centricity is essential
- EX is a broad subject covering: emotions, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions and behaviours
- EX needs to be fit for purpose; not one size fits all
- The bottom line: What’s good for your employees is good for your business and its wider ecosystem
In our next edition, we will help you take your next step on your EX journey by answering the question “What does good EX look like?”
Originally published at https://www.thoughtworks.com on September 27th.