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What Is Employee Experience and Why Is It Important?

What is employee experience? This article covers everything you need to know about a positive employee experience.

By Kate Dagher  •   February 14, 2023  •   8 min read

Ensuring that employees are having a good experience and are engaged at work is more important than ever with today’s workforce. Importantly, employee experience involves looking at the actual work for which employees are responsible and ensuring that they enjoy it and that they have everything that they need to be successful in their careers. 

Business leaders and human resources need to put an emphasis on putting employees first so they can provide positive hiring and onboarding processes and make sure that, from the beginning, the employee journey is overall positive. Employees should look forward to coming to work every day, which is why it’s important to understand what exactly is employee experience? This article will cover everything you need to know and give you some best practices so you can boost employee satisfaction and retain your top talent. 

What does employee experience mean? 

Employee experience is the amalgamation of several important factors at work, including the physical workspace, the employee’s relationship with the manager, the employee’s relationship with peers, the company culture, and the actual work that each person is responsible for completing. These factors come together to give employees an overall experience in the workplace. To establish a positive company culture, it’s essential to leverage elements that lead to a positive company culture and to strong employee satisfaction. It’s important that organizations move away from being transactional and become more relational, consider how employees feel, and establish a formal employee experience framework. 

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What is the value of employee experience? 

Employee experience is closely related to how engaged employees are in the workplace. When organizations see higher levels of engagement, this tends to improve productivity, employee satisfaction, and the company culture as a whole. As such, employee experience is valuable because it helps you achieve your goals with more ease, helps you retain your top-performing employees, and brings people together so they feel like they are a part of a cohesive, supportive group. A better employee experience means that you will see the company’s revenue and profits rise as a result of employees being happier and feeling more motivated to contribute their skills and expertise to the tasks they complete for the organization. 

What are the pillars of employee experience? 

1Space

The physical space in which employees work is important. In the office, make sure that there is a pleasant work environment with everything that employees need to be successful and comfortable. That means a nice work set-up, desk, and equipment as well as facilities like a kitchen, outdoor space, and maybe even a gym. If employees work remotely, ensure the organization is going out of its way to ensure they have everything they need at home to feel supported in their roles. 

2Technology

Technology can hugely improve employee experience by helping individuals save a significant amount of time and effort. Ensure that you’re selecting the most effective, appropriate technology for your team and that whichever platforms or software you integrate helps improve the way that team members complete their tasks and communicate with their peers. 

3Culture

When people feel supported, welcomed, empowered, and motivated, they typically show up to work ready to give their best efforts and tend to enjoy their work more. This creates a positive energy amongst the team, extends to the interactions individuals have with their colleagues, and contributes to a good company culture. The more that people believe they can be themselves, trust others, and be honest at work, the more purpose they will feel within the organization. 

What makes a good employee experience? 

1A sense of purpose 

Employees who understand why their work matters and can see the impact of their efforts will have a more positive employee experience. Additionally, employees who understand the “why” of their positions and the tasks they’re responsible for completing will feel important and reassured that their work really matters. For employees to truly see their purpose at work, ensure that you’re having regular one-on-one meetings with them, that their career development is being supported, and that performances are being measured. 

2A sense of accomplishment

Having a sense of accomplishment in the work that is being completed also helps contribute to employee experience and to employee satisfaction. Being proud of the work that is completed means that employees take pleasure in approaching challenges and overcoming them to find success. Ensure that you’re regularly discussing what employees would like to be working on or developing skill-wise so you can provide them with healthy challenges so they can continue evolving in their employee journeys. 

3A positive environment 

A positive environment is a definite pillar to providing a great employee experience. The presence of positive energy, enthusiasm, and excitement at work are all things that drive employees to look forward to coming to work. A work environment thrives when you create a culture centered around teamwork; this is because people often feel a stronger connection to their work when it’s all pointing toward a common goal. This sense of being part of something larger than yourself, coupled with support from team members, can increase employee productivity and boost morale.

4Feelings of belonging 

Feeling a sense of belonging in a team, group, or organization makes people feel supported and welcome. When people feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves, this can really inspire them to give their best at work, knowing that their contributions are part of a greater whole and recognizing that when people come together, great things can happen. 

5Good manager-employee relationships

A good manager-employee relationship will also support employees in having a better experience at work, since they’ll know that someone has their back and truly cares about their well-being. When managers invest in creating an employee experience strategy or employee experience framework, they invest in the long-term success of their employees and really improve retention.

5 reasons employee experience matters 

1Fosters collaboration

Employee experience matters because it fosters collaboration. When people are having a more positive experience at work, they’re more likely to be open to working with others, sharing knowledge, problem-solving, and brainstorming with their colleagues to be as effective as possible in their positions. 

2Prioritizes employee well-being

Fostering a strong and positive employee experience means that you’re prioritizing the well-being of your employees within the organization. When there are significant efforts made to ensure people are having a good experience at work, this will reduce stress and anxiety and make employees feel important. This can include creating a wellness benefits package, for example. Nonetheless, these efforts to support your employees’ well-being will not go unnoticed. 

3Attracts and retains talent

Inevitably, you attract and retain talent when you choose to put efforts into ensuring there is a good employee experience. In addition to providing great employee training and development, a company’s employee experience is directly linked to its reputation. Word travels quickly, and when employees are enjoying their experience, they’ll tell their friends, family, and wider network. They may even publicly praise the organization, helping to attract new talent. You’ll also retain your top talent when employees are enjoying their time at work, feel appreciated, and have opportunities to continue to learn, grow, and take advantage of exciting opportunities. 

4Increases employee engagement 

Employee engagement will rise as employees feel happier at work. People who genuinely enjoy the work they do, the people they work with, the relationships they have with management, the tools and technologies they use, and their work environment will be more focused and committed to completing their tasks and achieving organizational goals. 

5Boosts creativity

As a positive employee experience reduces stress and anxiety, there is more space for employees to approach their work in more creative ways. As such, a good employee experience fosters innovation and creativity that can be applied to all kinds of challenges and interesting opportunities to think outside of the box. 

5 ways to improve your employee experience strategy 

1Offer opportunities for career development

Ensure you’re offering your employees attractive opportunities to advance in their careers. Having career conversations with each one of your direct reports will help ensure that you and each of your employees are aligned on their vision for their employee journeys and careers so you can work to create opportunities to help them acquire or further develop certain skills and experiences. 

2Foster an environment of continuous feedback 

Provide your employees with an environment and culture of continuous feedback, where this feedback is viewed positively and as a resource to continue learning and growing, both for the employee and for the manager. With a meeting management tool like Fellow, you can share real-time feedback on meetings, projects, and performance. Another great idea is to run a company-wide pulse survey so you can tune in to how employees feel at a particular time point. 

3Promote diversity and inclusion 

Ensure that you’re promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace so everyone feels seen and heard. All of your employees need to have the same level of access to opportunities as anyone else within the organization. Emphasis needs to be placed on justice and fairness so that no matter someone’s background, they have the same level of opportunity as their peers to continue to build their careers and to lead if that is something that interests them. 

4Encourage effective communication

Encourage and engage in effective communication so expectations are always clear, you’re having regular one-on-one and team meetings, and you’re fostering strong relationships with your team members. Open and honest communication is essential for a positive employee experience. 

5Create a psychologically safe environment

Employees need to feel as if they are working in a psychologically safe environment to have a positive employee experience and really thrive in their roles. Creating psychological safety is a process that requires commitment, problem-solving skills, and alignment on beliefs. Feeling comfortable and secure at work is an absolute necessity for employees to be effective in their positions and to contribute to the productivity of the organization.

Parting advice

Employee experience will affect a company’s business performance, profits, and overall success. From the beginning of the employee life cycle, ensure that as soon as the hiring process begins you’re doing everything you can to make people feel comfortable, valued, and safe. Fostering a strong employee experience goes beyond your own organization; you should be boosting customer satisfaction and the customer experience as well. Invest significant time and energy into the employee experience. Your business outcomes will be more successful and even more importantly, your employees will be much happier and much more satisfied.

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