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September 17, 2023

Employee Experience: What it is and how to apply it

The Employee Experience is the set of feelings and perceptions that each person has, as an employee, at their job in response to the interactions they have with the organisation where they work.

Employee Experience and interacting with the organisation

It covers cultural experiences and interactions with co-workers, managers and human resources, their user experiences with technology in the workplace, and even their experiences with their work space or environment.

For the Gartner consultancy, the Employee Experience (EX) is the way employees internalise and interpret the interactions they have with their organisation, as well as the context behind these interactions. According to its own data, only 13% of employees state that they are fully satisfied with their experience.

In order for an employee to have good experience, companies, led by their Human Resources department, have to insert employees into the conversation to get a feel for the work itself, to find out what they need to do their work so they can do it successfully, which will eventually have a positive impact on the corporation.

The key factors of the Employee Experience

Although several factors are involved in the employee experience, some of the most important ones to keep in mind are:

Interactions with management

The relationship with the boss is probably the most important. As the old saying goes, people don't quit their jobs, they quit their bosses. In fact, some surveys suggest that managers are responsible for 70% of the change in employee commitment.

Team interactions

Another important aspect is the relationship with the rest of the people at the company, especially with the work teams closest to each employee. If the dynamics are positive, an environment of trust is created that allows employees to work better together and be more productive. Such a setting provides psychological security and can also increase creativity and facilitate innovation.

Interactions with the company

Aspects such as the communication that the company, managers or the Human Resources department maintains with employees and the receptivity of the former to engage in formal and informal conversations with their employees also influence the feeling of belonging to and pride in an organisation.

The employee journey

Just like we speak of the Customer Journey to refer to the trip that a customer takes in their relationship with a Company through its products and services, the Employee Experience also carves out its own path, which begins when either the employee applies for an open position in a company, or when Human Resources contacts them.

The journey will continue throughout the hiring process, their arrival at the company (onboarding), their performance and retention until they leave.

The employee journey is a framework used to understand the sum of every employee's experiences during their stay in an organisation, and is used by HR to understand and improve the employee experience. It is therefore a very useful tool for improving the Employee Experience, both now and in the future.

Why it is important to consider the Employee Experience

At a time when attracting and retaining talent, especially in the technology sector, is one of the major challenges facing most companies, keeping the Employee Experience in mind is key to the competitiveness of companies.

When employees have a positive experience in the workplace, they exhibit a greater sense of:

  • Belonging, i.e., of feeling part of a team, group or organisation.
  • Purpose, or understanding why their work matters.
  • Achievement, or the feeling of accomplishing something through their work.
  • Happiness, or the pleasant feeling that comes with and from work.
  • Vigor, or the presence of energy, enthusiasm and excitement at work.

When these aspects thrive in an organisation, the benefits are many, both for the employee and the company, which can expect better job performance and thus more productivity, a significantly higher level of discretionary effort and much higher employee retention rates. All of which will also improve its ability to recruit new talent.

In other words, the employee experience is obviously crucial for people, but given that its effects extend to creating tangible impacts on the organisational culture and business performance, companies have to take the Employee Experience more and more into account.

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