What is employee experience?

Employee experience (EX) encompasses the entire employee lifecycle from the hiring period to termination and everything in between. The employee experience is multi-dimensional, involving the everyday interactions, duties, assignments, achievements, and setbacks of a job.

Josh Bersin identifies the six elements of a well-rounded employee experience:

  • Meaningful work
  • Strong management
  • Positive workplace
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Growth opportunities
  • Trust in the organization

Why should HR leaders care about employee experience?

People need some sort form of motivation to show up and work hard. A solid paycheck and job security were enough to motivate earlier generations, but Millennials and Gen Z expect more: meaningful jobs that seamlessly mesh with their lifestyle and values. To retain talent, reduce turnover, boost productivity, engagement, and performance, the employee experience needs to be an HR priority.

What can HR leaders do to elevate the employee experience?

HR leaders can incorporate these practices to shape a holistic employee experience that appeals to everyone:  

  • Establish strategic goals. To determine where to start, map out the primary goals. Josh Bersin advises HR leaders to begin with problem areas that impact fundamental, daily business functioning, such as how people request time off, schedule meetings, or use the company’s HCM system.
  • Identify employee personas. Not all professionals share similar needs; people at different life stages and roles will have distinct career challenges and aspirations. HR can identify employee personas using people analytics and performance review feedback to step into employees’ shoes and determine their needs and drives.  
  • Map out the employee lifecycle. HR leaders can better understand how to address people’s needs by outlining the stages of employment and breaking them down into subcategories. For example, to strengthen the retention stage, companies could focus on building a supportive workplace community or regularly recognizing people’s major achievements. 
  • Check in regularly. HR leaders can keep a finger on the pulse of the employee experience through routine evaluations. Performance reviews, benchmarking with competing companies, and pulse surveys can provide valuable insights into which direction to navigate the employee experience. 

Why should improving the employee experience be a part of modern HR strategy?

When a company aims to satisfy its people just as it strives to delight its customers, employees will often want to “come back for more.” 

From designing a comfortable environment to meaningful work, addressing people’s needs enables employee satisfaction and engagement–essential ingredients for a gratifying employee experience. A positive employee experience can increase employee happiness and lead to more innovation, increased revenue, a better brand reputation, and improved business performance.