Why employee experience matters
Employees are a company's greatest asset, but getting the most out of your workforce means creating the best environments for them to work in. Why does employee experience really matter and what are the bottom line benefits to a business when EX is done right?
Why does employee experience matter?
"People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." According to Simon Sinek, when we understand why we do something we do it better and with more passion.
When it comes to employee experience, we do it because we care about our colleagues and we want them to have the best experience of work. But as strategic business leaders, we're also focused on business outcomes. How will delivering world-class employee experiences help our businesses to thrive as well as our employees?
The business benefits of great employee experience span beyond just creating the best places for our colleagues to work. When employees are happy, customers are happier, investors are happier. But why is that?
Returning to the words of Sinek, “Passion alone can’t cut it. For passion to survive it needs structure. A why without how has little probability of success.”
The EX funnel: An employee journey
To understand why employee experience matters, and how to make the changes that bring about great employee experience, we need look no further than the work of Jacob Morgan.
Jacob Morgan, author of ‘The Employee Experience Advantage’ and an expert in the field of EX, offers a model that effectively captures the various influences and products of positive employee experience. The model he calls “reasons for being” boils down the employee experience into a framework of three distinct stages: Employee experience, employee engagement, and business benefits.
This framework offers enterprises a new way of visualizing the employee journey as a kind of funnel, where the goal is to ensure the employee journey moves through each stage for enterprises to reap the advantages from the funnel’s end.
Stage #1. Employee experience
The top of the funnel is where enterprises looking to improve the employee experience should start. Improvements at this stage have the greatest potential for positive impact.
As a measure of the beneficial impact of every single interaction an employee has with an organization, the employee experience contains many moving parts. To better understand it, we can split it out into three core components:
While the physical environment itself – what you see, touch, taste, smell, and interact with in a workplace – is a key part of this, with the rise of remote work it is important to realize that the physical space of work encompasses much more. It’s also the colleagues you work with, the makeup of teams and departments, even the diversity of people and perspectives.
An enterprise’s cultural environment, put simply, is how the workplace feels. It’s the tone you set and the feeling employees get as they work within an organization. Culture is set by the purpose of an enterprise, and is influenced by leadership style, organizational structure, the values you encourage, the people you hire, the behavior you reward, and more.
In recent years technology has taken on a greater role in the day-to-day functions of work. Giving employees the right tools to do their jobs, from laptops and phones to apps like Teams or Slack, is more important now than it ever has been. The wrong tools can damage employee productivity and engagement, leaving them frustrated with the simple act of completing tasks.
"Culture + Technology + Physical Space = Employee Experience"
Stage #2. Employee engagement
Sat in the middle in the funnel, engagement is the result of stellar employee experience and the driver of its business benefits. It may seem like a midpoint through which all employees pass, but for those offering underwhelming experiences, it can represent the end of the employee journey.
Employee engagement is by no means a guarantee. For businesses to reap the rewards of employee experience they must ensure that what they’re offering genuinely engages their people. For this to work, employers must respect their people, listen to what they want, and enact meaningful change based on this feedback.
"Customers will never love a company until its employees love it first."
Enterprises must make use of pulse surveys, feedback forms, social channels, and engagement analytics to measure and track employee engagement. Engagement automation features and reward and recognition tools can then be used to target and reach employees and boost engagement where it’s lacking.
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Stage #3. Business benefits
With the employee journey successfully moving through the funnel, provided a positive employee experience that in turn generates engaged people, enterprises can begin to reap the rewards of the EX funnel’s final stage.
Return on experience: how much is employee experience worth?
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This stage represents the bottom line of employee experience, with employees that move through to this point generating benefits that increase the health and success of global enterprises.
Employees that benefit from positive experiences drive cultures of innovation. Gallup found that 59% of engaged employees say their job brings out their most creative ideas, compared to just 3% of disengaged employees. Employee experience is a direct driver of engagement, and engagement is a prerequisite of innovation.
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Employee experience and productivity are directly related, particularly in relation to technology. A poor digital employee experience costs employees’ time and reduces the quality of work produced, as tasks can’t be executed as quickly or accurately. An empowering employee experience – one that engages employees, optimizes the path to tools and gives people everything they need to excel – can save enterprises up to $41.6m annually in productivity gains and increase employee productivity by 21%, per Gallup.
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Greater profitability and growth
Employee experience excellence drives productivity, and with higher productivity comes greater profitability. A Korn Ferry study found that companies with engaged employees report 5x higher revenue compared to direct competitors with low engagement levels. This revenue, as reported in Harvard Business Review, equates to double the average profit for enterprises that invest in employee experience.
A better employee experience means a happier employee. Happy employees have been shown to stay with their current employers four times longer than their unsatisfied counterparts. They also commit twice as much time to tasks, and show greater resilience to burnout, Fast Company reports.
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Enhanced employer brand
Highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies than those less engaged. When it comes to attracting top talent, companies with engaged employee advocates are 58% more likely to attract, and 20% more likely to retain, top talent, per Gartner.
The employee experience is directly tied to your employer brand. In the US alone, businesses lose more than $1trillion annually to voluntary resignations – a number set to rise further during the post-pandemic ‘great resignation’. Not only do the costs of hiring, onboarding, and training eat into your bottom line, they also detract from your culture.
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Unlock world-class employee experience
When we understand why experience matters, and couple that with how to create world-class employee experience, real transformation begins. If you want to understand how ace technology can transform employee experience at your enterprise speak to an expert today.
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