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A 2017 Deloitte study focused on organizational culture, engagement and employee brand proposition revealed that approximately 80 percent of executives believe employee experience is a priority rating it as either “very important” or “important.” However, only 59 percent say they are either “ready” or “somewhat ready” to address the employee experience challenges.

Considering that disengaged employees cost US companies between $450 billion to $550 billion a year, isn’t it time that brands begin to make employee experience a priority?  

Defining the Employee Experience

Employee experience refers to how an employee perceives both their job and employer through a combination of interactions with fellow colleagues, systems, processes and rewards as well as the physical space they work in. “We believe the employee experience results from the relationships an employee has with coworkers, their connection to company goals and purpose, feeling appreciated and recognized for the work they do and having flexibility with their work,” said Dania Gutterson, VP of people & strategy at YouEarnedIt.

According to research conducted by YouEarnedIt, employee experience consists of four key pillars:

  • Connection - Feeling engaged with your manager, colleagues, company and community.
  • Meaning - Knowing that your job and your company has relevance and purpose.
  • Impact - Understanding how the work you do affects your colleagues and your company for the better.
  • Appreciation - Being recognized and acknowledged for your contributions.

Related Article: Understanding The Difference Between Employee Experience And Engagement

How Employee Experience Impacts Growth, Revenue and Efficiency

According to a 2016 report published by IBM Smarter Workforce Institute, a positive employee experience makes staff 52 percent less likely to contemplate leaving the organization. Considering how difficult it is for employers to attract and retain the best employees, a positive employee experience can end up becoming the determining factor in whether an employee fully commits to an organization or not.

Additionally, a study by Hay Group revealed that companies with highly engaged employees, as a result of a positive employee experience, pull in 2.5 times more revenue in comparison to companies with lower employee engagement levels.

Keith Kitani, CEO of GuideSpark, explained how a good employee experience directly correlates to the bottom line. “Employee experience impacts business outcomes in many ways. If the employee experience is positive, employees are more likely to give their best effort, be productive and collaborate effectively with co-workers. These behaviors all lead to better business results,” said Kitani.

On the flip side, “A bad employee experience disrupts the flow of a business, creating chaos and hindering all productivity,” said Samar Birwadker, CEO of Good&Co.

Rob Seay, director of employee experience at Bonfyre, said, “When an employer provides a functional and valued employee experience, it means that employees have the resources, social support and work environment they need to perform their job with confidence. Once these conditions are met, employee engagement rises.”

When we asked Seay whether employee experience should be prioritized ahead of customer experience, he believes that it should. Seay then went on to provide his explanation. “The reasoning is because you are relying on your employees to deliver a defined customer experience. This, coupled with the continued talent shortage, increases the priority of the employee experience. If you take care of your employees, they will, in turn, take care of your customers.”

Related Article: Tips for Improving Employee Engagement

3 Ways to Improve the Employee Experience

1. Leverage an Employee Experience Portal

An employee experience platform is a digital platform where employees can collaborate with other colleagues and perform their daily tasks to help keep the organization running. According to Sapho, these employee experience platforms allow for a personalized work experience, ease of integration with current and upcoming business systems, and are highly secure.

However, Seay stated that the “critical” success of an employee experience portal is based on the fact that it is “valued” by the employees who use it on a daily basis. “The system should be a tool that employees want to use and not something that they feel like they have to use,” said Seay. “Take the time to understand the aspects that employees seek and value, then use this information as requirements for your portal.”

Seay added that his firm’s employee experience platform focuses on delivering the “delightfulness” of the user experience.

2. Obtain Regular Feedback From Employees

“We believe the best way to impact your company culture and improve your overall employee experience is by listening to your employees. While you can offer different perks and benefits, if that’s not what motivates your employees your employee experience efforts are still going to fall short,” said Gutterson.

Gutterson’s firm adopted a culture of continuous feedback and they are constantly measuring their employee experience through eNPS and other surveys. “eNPS is a great way to see where we stand as a company. If the survey responses are not what we want them to be, we look at what's happened since the last eNPS survey to determine what may have affected [the] change,” she said.

3. Offer Both Professional and Personal Development

While the employee experience amounts to more than just perks and benefits, when it comes to delivering a program that is designed to improve your employee’s quality of life it is crucial that your employees see the “intrinsic value” to what you are offering, Seay said.

Seay’s firm, Bonfyre, created a wellness benefit that empowered employees to achieve their personal and professional objectives. “Bonfyre’s Fuel the Fyre program provides each employee with funds to use toward personal and professional development and any charitable causes they wish to support. By empowering employees to determine and accomplish their own goals, Bonfyre underlines the importance of creating an employee experience that meets the unique needs and wants of each individual,” he said.