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Creating a Great Employee Experience: March 2024 EN:Insights Forum

You’ve heard of employee engagement, but how about “employee experience?” According to SHRM Senior Researcher Kristina Meacham, employee experience is a more holistic way of quantifying how workers feel about their jobs, akin to the better-known “customer experience” metric. By including factors beyond engagement, such as work environment, culture, worker autonomy, and interactions with co-workers, employee engagement expands the scope of what HR can measure.

“Employee experience wants to look at the totality and of what it’s like to work at an organization at a very broad level,” Meacham said during the March 2024 EN:Insights Forum. “If you add employee experience to the mix, you’re going to be able to improve your ability to predict organizational success.”

Here are five key takeaways from her research presentation.

Research Insight 1: It’s important to measure employee experience, but there’s no standard for how employee experience should be operationalized in the workplace.

  • Out of 10 workplace considerations, both workers and HR professionals agreed that the most important factor was the work itself.
  • “Your manager” ranked in the top three considerations for both groups.
  • Although HR professionals valued “organizational culture” as third most important, workers ranked it eighth most important.
  • While workers ranked “your co-workers” as second most important, HR professionals ranked it fourth most important.

Research Insight 2: For another way to examine how employee experience influences an organization, researchers asked, “What is HR’s most important responsibility?”

Both workers and HR professionals listed the top priority as “creating a positive employee experience.” This brings us back to the question: How do we measure employee experience?

Research Insight 3: One measurement to consider is the employee experience index created by Jacob Morgan in 2017. His index evaluates 17 items divided into three categories: physical work environment, organizational culture, and quality of tools and technology provided to workers. Each area has a few key elements that enhance the employee experience when present.

Signs that Tools and Technology Support a Great Employee Experience

  • The right tools are available to everyone who needs them.
  • The employer uses consumer-grade technology, which is good enough that employees would consider using something similar in their personal lives.
  • The technology meets employee needs and reflects how employees perform tasks, as well as meeting the needs of the business.

Signs that a Physical Space Supports a Great Employee Experience:

  • Employees are proud of the space and want to show it off to friends or family.
  • The space offers flexibility.
  • The environment reflects the organization’s values.
  • Multiple workspace options, such as open and closed offices, modern cubicles, lounge areas, cafe environments, and quiet areas, are leveraged in tandem.

Signs that a Culture Supports a Great Employee Experience:

  • The company is viewed positively by employees and the public.
  • Everyone feels valued.
  • Employees feel a sense of purpose.
  • The culture supports inclusion, equity, and diversity.
  • Employees feel like they’re part of a team.
  • Talent referrals come from employees.
  • Employees have the resources they need to learn and advance.
  • The organization treats employees fairly.
  • Executives and managers are coaches and mentors.
  • Employee health and wellness are prioritized.

Research Insight 4: This gives us a way to look at how this index meshes with other measurements we already collect and analyze. When HR professionals and workers were asked which of the 17 items from Morgan’s index were most important, both groups highlighted four cultural considerations:

  • Feeling you are part of a team.
  • Feeling a sense of purpose.
  • Feeling you are fairly treated.
  • Feeling valued.

Research Insight 5: Many organizations already measure job satisfaction and turnover, two elements that predict organizational success. As engagement and satisfaction go up, organizational outcomes will improve. Add employee experience to those measurements and the ability to predict organizational success increases.

  • Employees who report high engagement and employee experience scores are about six times more likely to report high job satisfaction.
  • Better employee experience (especially culture) reduces turnover.
  • Within a negative culture, approximately 42% of workers will consider quitting.
  • A positive culture cuts likely turnover, with about 9% of workers thinking of quitting.

Key Takeaways

Measuring employee engagement and employee experience provides a more complete picture of job satisfaction and retention.

  • The first step is to define what employee experience means for your organization, how to measure it, and how to take action to shape it. Positive change is impossible without agreement on the end goal.
  • Creating a positive culture is crucial. The four criteria that HR professionals and workers agree are most important in creating the employee experience can help form the basis of an action plan for improvement. They are:

o   Being part of a team.

o   Having a sense of purpose.

o   Being treated fairly.

o   Being valued for your contributions. 


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