Employee Experience Best Practice & Strategy

In today’s working world, where employee experience is everything, having an employee experience strategy gives you a distinct competitive advantage over other employers. Post-pandemic, and now several years into our ‘new normal’ of remote working, expectations of jobs and companies have grown.

Today’s top talent isn’t satisfied with simply going to work, doing something at a desk for eight hours, then heading home again. Workers want their jobs to be a bigger component of their world, purpose, and personal value system. Their expectations are sky high.

Employee experience was already evolving pre-COVID-19, with a focus on utility shifting to productivity, then engagement, and today, experience. Here’s how things have moved toward a sharper employee experience focus:

    • Utility: An emphasis on getting the job done with basic tools and resources
    • Productivity: Getting more out of workers by putting the focus on results
    • Engagement: A shift toward employee motivation and satisfaction
    • Experience: Creating an environment where people genuinely want to work
    • Reputation: Great work environments that attract the best talent

Day-to-day interactions in the workplace now carry more weight. People want to be heard and they need to know their opinions count. They need to feel supported by their employer, so wellness has to be everyone’s priority. Technology must be tip-top—if it doesn’t streamline employee workflow and facilitate cross-functional collaboration, it’s not enough. Then there’s growth. Without opportunities to train, improve, develop, and move forward, employees will be left dissatisfied. And employee dissatisfaction hits profits directly.

The benefits of creating a positive employee experience: the stats

According to an in-depth 2021 employee experience study by Josh Bersin, companies leveraging the right employee experience strategies are:

2 times as likely to exceed financial targets
4 times as likely to delight customers
7 times as likely to adapt well to change
3 times as likely to innovate effectively
1 times as likely to create a sense of belonging
1 times as likely to engage and retain employees
2 times as likely to be a great place to work

Read on to discover more about employee experience best practice and how you can ensure yours is an experiential enterprise that attracts and retains employees.

What is an employee experience strategy?

Employee experience strategy is taking decisive steps towards ensuring you’re complying with employee experience best practices. Companies that provide the gold standard of employee experience are those who:

Create personalized workplace experiences:

Deliver a consistently healthy company culture:

Leverage tech to boost employee engagement and performance:

How do enterprises ensure employee experience best practice?

Start creating a framework for your employee experience by asking yourself some base questions about how you can utilize your employee experience strategy to achieve your business objectives. Here are a few offered by IBM as a starting point:

  • How does your current employee experience affect the attraction and retention of critical job roles within your organization?
  • How could improving your employee experience increase productivity within your organization?
  • To what extent does your employee experience influence your customer experience?
  • Who has primary responsibility for designing employee experience within your organization?
  • How does a person or team bring others together to address employee experience issues?
  • What types of analytics are you using to evaluate the effectiveness of your employee experience?

For a more in-depth look at your employee experience strategy, To start constructing your employee experience strategy, here are some key elements to consider:

1. Provide an excellent candidate experience:

The candidate experience is the first key interaction with your business. It is a large part of how the candidate initially perceives your company, and its people. The tone set in this first chain of interactions will go a long way to defining their view of your company, and the opinion they share with others.

Run through your recruitment process and speak to recent hires about their thoughts on the candidate process, including how they discovered the role, the application process, communications with HR, their interview, and subsequent communications.

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2. Onboard as you mean to go on:

First impressions count. With onboarding comes the opportunity to harness newbie enthusiasm to your advantage. A well-implemented welcome empowers fresh employees to hit the ground running. But currently, only 12% of employees say their organization is nailing onboarding, with the remainder missing out on a chance to form a long-standing emotional bond from the get-go. 

An employee experience challenge presents itself here: in our current work-from-home climate, when new starters are often not physically in the same building as existing staff, how do enterprises ensure things run smoothly from afar? Pre-boarding is an excellent way to get a bureaucratic head-start, and onboarding needs to be completed using high-performing digital tools for a smooth and seamless operation.

Employee Onboarding Software

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3. Listen to employees:

Ensuring a rich employee experience should be the opposite of guesswork: feedback gathering and employee-led systems ensure communication channels are permanently open. Today’s employees need their views to be not only aired but included in the organization’s wider goals and strategy.

There are a number of ways to survey employees to answer questions about the current employee experience and what they would like to see. Think about anonymity and honesty when looking to collect data from your staff. You may find you get more in-depth and honest answers when the person communicating with you cannot be identified. Options for data collection include, but are not limited to:

  • In-person or online interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Pulse surveys
  • Long-form surveys
  • Telephone interviews

Consider all facets of the organization when thinking about your employee experience strategy. No single department is responsible for employee experience and no single aspect of your plan will make or break the employee experience. Your plan should be holistic and carefully considered, building on the strengths of the company and taking steps to improve areas which require attention.

Even in today’s digital workplace, through front-end content creation, you can amplify employee voices to construct an inclusive culture, share expertise, and keep that human thread running through all of your operations.

Employee Feedback Software

Encourage everyone to contribute to the conversation with two-way internal communication software. Understand your employee's perspectives and gain the insights needed to create effective change, with transparent feedback. Pinpoint where improvements can be made and proactively show your employees that you recognize their concerns.

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4. Use technology to your advantage:

With just 38% of employees currently satisfied with work-related tools and tech, there’s an an opportunity arises to vastly improve employee experience. Effective workplace technology is a huge contributor to day-to-day job satisfaction and crucial to having happy workers.

Effective cloud-based technology serves to boost productivity, improve communication, build better relationships, create a shared sense of purpose, and recognize high-performing staff; therefore is key to meeting employee experience expectations.


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5. Create a culture of fulfillment:

A good paycheck is no longer enough: purpose has been moving up in the ranks of employee expectations since the 1970s. Highly meaningful work is expected to generate an additional $9,078 per worker annually, according to Harvard Business Review.

Enterprises can create a sense of fulfillment by mentoring, soliciting employee feedback, engaging in conversations about what employees find meaningful, boosting workplace social support, and creating close links between team project goals and the business’s wider purpose.

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6. Excel at internal communications

Internal communications should be regular, well thought out, and delivered through the most appropriate channel. Ensure your messages are tailored to their audience and reach the right people at the right time. Blanket communications and hastily produced messages fail to engage and can contribute to overwhelming and alienating your employees.

Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  • Ensure employees get to hear from leaders and managers, as well as each other
  • Communicate any changes to the business, your products/services range, and internal changes well in advance
  • Make sure you have a plan for crisis announcements
  • Use employee recognition in your announcements
  • Highlight good news and happy occasions and share positive news

Internal Communications Software

Effective communication is the cornerstone of an informed and engaged workforce. Unily is the complete internal communications solution that empowers you have meaningful conversations with employees on their own turf.

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7. Help employees learn and develop:

Humans never stop learning. The most valuable staff members are those who keep adding to their skillsets and capabilities. Training and support are therefore vital in ensuring employee experience best practice. According to a 2022 survey by Crucial Learning, 90% of employees found that L&D opportunities were important when choosing a new job, but only 46% found value in the available training opportunities of their current organization.

An organized, robust, and comprehensive training program encompassing in-person or virtual learning helps build a culture of professional development that makes employees feel personally supported and valued.

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8. Prioritize workplace wellness:

With an overall increased focus on mental health, wellness initiatives are a mainstay of every modern working environment. It’s now common for employers to help support their workers through resources and tools, to create a culture of wellbeing which in turn drives productivity and staff retention. According to a 2023 survey by Business Group on Health, increasing access to mental healthcare services was the most common initiative that employers expected to implement in 2024.

Configurable intranets are a valuable element of any digital employee experience strategy, helping enterprises form their own program for promoting staff wellbeing. For example, Unily has mental health first-aider badges across its EXP, helping staff identify and get in touch with someone in their timezone or department. 

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9. The offboarding experience

It is an inevitable fact of business that employees will leave. Whatever their reason for leaving, providing a respectful and comfortable offboarding experience will have a marked impact on how they view your organization and how they speak of it to others.

They may have moved to a new role at a new company, or left the organization for a range of other reasons including retiring, moving away from the area, or leaving due to ill health.

Ask for honest feedback and utilize their thoughts to improve or modify existing processes which could be improved. Frame your questions to meet your end goal of creating a great employee experience.

Examples of offboarding questions you can ask are:

  • What did you like best about your role?
  • What did you like least about your role?
  • Do you feel you were well managed in your role?
  • Why did you choose to leave?
  • What could we have done for you to stay?
  • What did X offer you that we could not?
  • How would you describe your experience working for us?
  • Would you recommend us as an employer to friends and family?

Use responses to help improve your existing employee experience strategy and improve staff happiness.


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Why implement an employee experience strategy?

An effective employee experience strategy creates a thriving company culture which brings with it a vast number of advantages:

  • Better CX: Happy, engaged employees will pull out all the stops to deliver better customer service. Knowledgeable, plugged-in employees answer customers’ questions easily, leading to higher customer satisfaction.
  • Higher profits: A motivated workforce leads to boosted performance levels. Author and futurist Jacob Morgan found that companies investing in EX have a 2x higher average profit than those that don’t.
  • Better retention: US businesses lose $1 trillion yearly due to voluntary turnover. Happy staff stay longer, with engaged employees 87% less likely to resign than workers in non-experiential organizations.
  • Increased innovation: Satisfy staff with the right tools and an empowering culture, and they will perform at their best. Untapped potential is waiting to be coaxed out through a targeted employee experience strategy.
  • Top-tier talent: When you’re vying with other companies in your sector for the crème de la crème of staff, invest in employee experience to give you the competitive edge and win the battle.

Building your employee experience strategy

In the evolving employee experience landscape, today's workforce values purpose and fulfillment over the basic job perks of yesteryear. It’s no longer enough to place a ping pong table in the coffee hub and offer free fruit on Fridays (though these may well be popular as part of a wider employee experience strategy).

As organizations adapt and embrace this new paradigm, they unlock the potential for not only higher productivity and employee satisfaction but also a positive impact on society through purpose-driven workforces. A clear employee experience strategy, delivered through best-in-class tools, is now a powerful driver of both individual and collective success, shaping the future of work.

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