What is Employee Experience?

Published on: February 23, 2022


We all have a feeling for the organisation we work for. You might be proud of your organisation, but you could also not like it completely. A good work experience makes us want to go to work. It makes us feel more engaged and encourages us to share what we do and where we work with our friends and family. Having employees with an ideal experience has several benefits. Although one thing should be clear: what is exactly employee experience?

The definition of employee experience

Employee experience is everything an employee experiences in relation to the organisation. This includes every experience of a potential or current employee. Starting from the recruitment phase until when leaving the company. The experiences can range from the company’s culture,  strategy, learning opportunities, and so on. Employee experience is thus more holistic than employee engagement. So, in simple terms, employee experience is like customer experience. Except that it takes the perspective of an employee towards its organisation.

Employee experience journey

Similar to a customer journey, employees also have their own work-life journey. You start being a naïve and motivated new recruit who will grow over time. Eventually, becoming an experienced old-timer team member. Across the Employee Life cycle, you can identify five stages of employee experience. Starting with recruitment, to onboarding, development, retention, and exiting. At each stage, employees need to be handled differently to accommodate their employee experience. For example, during onboarding, new employees need to become attuned to the strategy and vision. While in the retention phase, it is more important to emphasize growth opportunities. 

Factors contributing to employee experience

Nevertheless, it is still quite unclear what the factors are that contribute strongly to employee experience. A Microsoft study performed in 2021 tried to develop a framework that would make an “irresistible organisation” with the goal: high employee experience. They surveyed and interviewed business and HR professionals across 981 companies and built the framework you can find in the picture below.

The Irresistible Organization: A Framework for EX

In the same study, they identified factors that are working well and factors that were missing. From the 1200 comments, they found that benefits and perks, flexibility, and communication were key factors for a good employee experience. Factors that were missing were intuitive systems and tools, personal time for development, and people analytics to measure and understand employee experience.

Every organisation is different

To understand and improve the experience of your employees, you need people analytics. This is also because every organisation is different. And every employee is different. A general advice might not cut it for your organisation since your organisation has a unique group of people, branche, building, and location. These contextual factors are accompanied by specific needs for improving employee experience. There are many paths to improve the employee experience. Using people analytics, in other words, asking people how they are feeling and what they need, as we do with our app Habital, can help you identify where and how to improve.   

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