Employee Experience (EX): Beyond The Foosball Table

Posted in Employee Experience

What is Employee Experience?

To understand the scope of what Employee Experience entails, it’s useful to think about some of the earlier “Xs” that pre-date EX.

  • User Experience (UX): covers all aspects of a person’s experience with a system, beyond simply the user interface
  • Customer Experience (CX): covers all interactions between a customer and an organisation over the entirety of their relationship, from well before a purchase, to the purchase process, to the post-purchase period, and any support or re-purchase decisions.

By extension, Employee Experience (EX) covers every interaction an employee has with the organisation, from reading about the company culture on Glassdoor, to seeing the job ad, to the hire and onboarding process, and finally, the offboarding and any post-employment interactions.

What is the difference between Employee Experience and employee engagement?

Employee engagement is about how committed employees are to their job and to the organisation. Engaged employees feel a vested interest in the company’s success, and are characterised by high levels of energy, emotional commitment and satisfaction derived from their work.

It’s still a major area of focus, not least because:

  • 68.5% of employees indicate that they are not engaged or are actively disengaged with their work (source: Aberdeen Group)
  • Overall employee engagement, according to Glassdoor, is flat year on year (source: Deloitte)
  • 55% of Best-in-Class companies are realizing that they are experiencing elevated employee disengagement with time (source: Aberdeen Group)

In relation to Employee Experience, though, some (like this Forbes article) say that employee engagement is the overall goal. Employee Experience is a holistic and long-term approach that aims to foster employee engagement. Others see employee engagement drives as injections that deliver short-term gains, whereas Employee Experience provides improved, sustainable gains.

Employee Experience – The Trump Card in the Talent War

According to Aberdeen, 48% of Best-in-Class companies say their cumulative employee turnover is increasing, and this means they will only be able to deliver 67% of the leaders they need in the coming years.

EX makes a measurable difference in talent acquisition and retention, but few have changed their minds about a career change based on the presence of a foosball table in the dining room.

Clearly, attracting and retaining talent is becoming tougher and tougher, and in an era of talent shortage, it’s the talented recruits who have their pick of organisations to work for. Just as CX provides companies with an edge to attract and retain customers, superior EX is the competitive edge for talent-hungry organisations.

Succeed in Employee Experience to Win Talent, Innovation and Profit

Here’s a collection of statistics from Harvard Business Review. According to this article, companies that invested most heavily in employee experience:

  • Were included 28 times as often among Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies
  • Featured 11.5 times as often in Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work
  • Appeared 2.1 times as often in Forbe’s list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies
  • Had a presence 4.4 times as often in LinkedIn’s list of North America’s Most In-Demand Employers
  • Were 25% smaller, but had four times the average profit and more than two times the average revenue, which indicated they were more productive and innovative

The role of HR in Employee Experience?

It’s important to think about Employee Experience as being an organisational-wide project, not an HR-only project. Having said that, HR still has an important part to play, because often the most visible and impactful parts of EX are handled by HR. Think of those key milestones like recruitment, onboarding, performance reviews and transitions. These are highly influential in the overall Employee Experience. But it’s good to have a more holistic approach to how these HR-driven things fit within a wider Employee Experience.

The good news is, with technological advancements, HR can now be empowered to coach managers, educate leaders, scale and measure employee experiences.

OK, but what about that wine bar we installed last year?

Perks are awesome, but they are the tactics that contribute to EX, rather than the be-all-and-end-all. EX makes a measurable difference in talent acquisition and retention, but few have changed their minds about a career change based on the presence of a foosball table in the dining room.

What is your organization’s new employee experience?

First impressions matter.

According to Aberdeen’s research,76% of Best-in-Class organizations recognize that they are failing to bridge hiring and onboarding.

“The failure to segue from talent acquisition to onboarding and employment means that organizations are at risk of losing the strong connection they built with candidates during the hiring process, and of losing the candidates altogether after a short period of employment.”

– Zachary Chertok, Research Analyst, Human Capital Management, Aberdeen

Ever read stories about new hire onboarding that absolutely blew you away? Odds are, those onboarding experiences were built with Enboarder. We invite you to try it for yourself.


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