Your introduction to employee experience | Main Region | UB

Article: 1 - Employee experience (EX): Your introduction to employee experience

employee experience

How to improve yours

Many organisations have had a laser focus on improving customer experience (CX) to drive revenue growth, but few realise there’s another key to growth – employee experience. It’s a simple formula, the quality of your customer experience is highly dependent on the quality of your customer service, and that is dependent on employees who are engaged and energised by their work.
Good EX not only makes for happier employees, but it also leads to increased productivity. According to the latest Five-Year Productivity Inquiry: Advancing Prosperity, annual labour productivity growth was the slowest in 60 years in Australia, falling to just 1.1 per cent when compared to the 60-year average of 1.8 per cent. This subdued productivity growth is one of the causes for inflation and rate rises across the broader economy. Drops in productivity not only affects business, it has impacts on the future prosperity of all Australians, as the working population will have to work more hours to afford fewer goods and services than normal.1
Developing an excellent EX is not only helps productivity, it helps win the battle for highly skilled talent. The ability to work from anywhere, and for anyone, means that organisations are competing with some of the largest businesses in the world for the best talent. If your employee experience isn’t world-class, you won’t attract world-class talent.
You only have to look as far as companies such as Netflix, Google, Amazon and Microsoft to see how the concept of a good employee experience has advanced. Consider how former Netflix Chief Talent Officer Patty McCord and co-founder, now Executive Chairman, Reed Hastings developed and shaped an employee experience that motivated excellent performance. Approaches include a non-formal annual leave system, allowing employees to take time off as they see fit, ditching the standard performance reviews in favour of more open and frequent conversations in order to build trust between leaders and employees, and not tolerating average performance by offering generous severance packages to employees who don’t work at a high level2. This EX has helped make Netflix one of the most effective and productive organisations – generating more than US$2 million in revenue per employee3.

What is employee experience?

Employee experience embodies everything your employees encounter at your organisation, from their perception of your brand before applying for a role to their exit and beyond. A positive employee experience means that people are 60 per cent more likely to stay with your organisation, with 69 per cent more likely to be high performers and 52 per cent more likely to go ‘above and beyond’ in their daily efforts4. Employee experiences vary between companies and industries, but there are key moments that can have outsized impacts on an employee’s perception of an organisation. 
  • Attraction – the initial stage of when a potential employee discovers a role that interests them and makes the decision whether they’d like to apply.
  • Onboarding – when employees receive the tech, training and orientation required to start their new roles. 
  • Engagement – how businesses work with their employees, the behaviours and skills demonstrated, and interpersonal relationships are built.  
  • Development – the learning and development pathways, both formal and informal, that are offered for employees to grow professionally.  
  • Performance – how and when conversations around an individual’s performance are offered and their achievements are recognised.  
  • Exiting – why an employee decides to leave an organisation and the processes around them leaving such as exit interviews.  
  • Alumni – a program to keep ongoing relationships with former employees.  

the employee experience

11 actions to improve employee experience

There are a range of levers an organisation can influence at these moments to begin designing a better employee experience. For example, at the attraction stage, efforts that can be taken to help attract a prospective employee might include leadership training to upskill your managers in how they communicate with interviewees and relaying the company’s vision, values and purpose in a way that resonates with different individuals.

Create a culture of recognition

Appreciation goes further than just the money an employee earns, a recent Gartner survey found that 82 per cent of employees say it’s important for their organisation to see them as a person, but only 45 per cent believe they actually see them this way5. Put employees in positions to succeed and grow, give them more responsibility to empower them and ensure that good work never goes unnoticed or unappreciated.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

Many organisations have a diversity, equity and inclusion strategy in place, but are these strategies actually being enacted upon? Well executed DE&I strategies can influence the sense of belonging employees from diverse backgrounds have.

Employee autonomy

Having an organisation full of micromanagers with little individual employee autonomy is a threat to retaining your employees. Empowering and trusting employees to make their own choices in how they go about executing their responsibilities is critical for fostering innovation and improving performance and motivation.

Employee development

Implement learning programs into work to demonstrate that you value them enough to invest in their professional and personal development. Formal development pathways can help keep high-performing employees engaged and motivated.

Wellbeing benefits

Employee assistance programs (EAP) should be considered a standard feature of today’s workplace, so to further improve your employee experience, organisations should look beyond this. Consider training managers on empathetic leadership, offering wellness and volunteer days and flexibility not only on where they work, but times that they work as well.

Mission, vision, values and purpose

Employees want to see the bigger picture and how they directly contribute to that. Mission, vision and values while great, need to actually be lived, demonstrated through everyday behaviours and integrated into business strategies.

Office space

How can office space be developed to offer a more effective space for how your employees are using it? You need to implement a strong Workplace Value Proposition (WVP). A WVP is the collection of values, incentives and wellbeing initiatives that will make your physical workspace appealing to employees. A workspace that offers a delightful experience will mean that employees will want to be there more often.

Organisational transparency

Sharing information directly to your employees and actively seeking their input can help them to feel more valued, trusted and create more clarity on where the business is heading. This can include hosting a company wide meeting every month, where employee submitted questions are encouraged and answered and employees are offered insights into where the business is heading.

Performance, growth and learning

Learning and development should go beyond offering free online courses. Consider implementing learning into the flow of work, social learning programs as well as performance goals that employees need to meet and the pathways they can to take in order to grow within the company.

Workplace policies

Encouraging employees to co-design workplace policies helps accountability and ensuring they are fit for purpose. It can also uncover any unintended consequences. For example, designing an email policy in consultation with employees across the business could alleviate blockers for parts of the business that need to use email in ways that others don’t.

Alumni programs

A dedicated alumni program can help you to stay connected with those that have left the business, providing support on their continued career journey, and keeping the door open for past employees to come back. Employees that are already familiar with your organisation’s processes means they can hit the ground running more quickly than someone who is completely new to the organisation.

Finding success

People are thinking hard about where and why they work, and with the competitive landscape now expanding to a global stage, organisations that offer a good employee experience will survive, while those that offer a great one will thrive. Recognising and intentionally designing great moments that matter in an employee’s lifecycle will help create an experience that they will want to remain in and tell others about it as well.  


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