In recent years, the concept of employee experience has gained popularity among human resources and management professionals. And for good reason, providing a positive experience to employees is a remarkable lever for developing their engagement at work, boosting their productivity, strengthening their sense of belonging, improving employer branding, attracting talents, and ultimately increasing the overall performance of the organization.
So, what lies behind this promising tool? What are the key elements of a good employee experience? And how can you optimize the experience for your employees? In this article, Mozzaik365 explores these questions. Enjoy reading!
Employee Experience: Definition and Challenges
According to the Employee Experience Barometer conducted by the media Parlons Rh, in 2023, 66% of companies report having implemented a policy to improve employee experience. Many managers and HR professionals are therefore familiar with this concept and understand its importance.
How to Define Employee Experience?
Employee experience (referred to as "EX" in English) is a concept inspired by customer experience. It refers to the set of emotions and feelings that an employee experiences throughout their journey within a company, from onboarding to offboarding. In other words, employee experience relates to how an employee experiences their work on a daily basis and during major milestones in their career.
Improving employee experience, therefore, involves strengthening the overall satisfaction of employees with their job and employer by influencing factors such as work organization, management, technological environment, social climate, and physical environment. It's an ambitious yet necessary program.
Why is it Necessary to Improve Employee Experience?
Improving employee experience is important for several reasons. Indeed, providing a better employee experience to your staff allows you to:
- Retain and foster employee loyalty since, logically, employees who are fulfilled in their work and love their company are less likely to leave.
- Attract the best talents. Employees who are satisfied with their jobs are more likely to recommend their company to potential candidates and become ambassadors of the employer brand, especially on social networks and platforms like Glassdoor.
- Attract more clients. Happy and proud employees are more likely to convey a positive image of the company and its products or services. This is known as employee advocacy.
- Increase individual and collective productivity as employees who feel good at work are less absent, more engaged, more creative, and find it easier to collaborate.
- Boost customer satisfaction since employees who have a positive experience at work are more available for their clients and provide them with better products and services.
Ultimately, the implementation of a policy to improve employee experience has a positive impact on the overall performance of the organization. A study published in 2022 in the Harvard Business Review concludes that there is a significant correlation between the quality of employee experience and company revenues:
"The results were striking. Not only were we able to establish a clear link between employees and revenues, but the impact was substantial. In fact, if an average store could move from the bottom quartile to the top quartile in each of the employee experience indicators we studied, it would increase its revenue by more than 50% and its profits by almost as much."
Key Elements of Employee Experience
Employee experience is a concept as important as it is complex. The factors influencing the quality of employee experience are numerous. Here are the most prominent:
Work-life balance is a key component of employee experience. According to a survey conducted in 2023 by the recruitment firm Robert Half, it is even the primary reason employees choose to stay in their current jobs. In the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, many employees have reevaluated the role of work in their lives. For it to be satisfying, work must allow for rest and leave enough room for other aspects of life, including family and leisure.
To enhance the experience of their employees, companies must take measures to protect work-life balance. In this regard, they can offer their employees social benefits such as:
- Paid sabbatical leave, following the example of Orange, Accenture, or Mazars;
- Extended second-parent leave, as seen at Shine;
- Or simply access to sports or well-being courses.
Employee expectations also revolve around a more flexible work organization. According to a study published in 2023 by the audit and consulting firm KPMG, 33% of employees expect their company to prioritize the reorganization of work methods. In detail, workers express a particular interest in:
- The 4-day workweek without a reduction in workload or salary, a measure desired by 43% of respondents;
- Remote work, which, for 68% of respondents, has a positive impact on their work-life balance.
👉 To delve deeper, discover the 15 advantages of hybrid work
Salary and Social Benefits
In a context marked by inflation, salary remains the primary concern for employees and significantly influences the quality of the employee experience. According to the survey conducted by KPMG in 2023, 64% of employees believe that their quality of life at work would improve if their salary increased. As a logical consequence, the study published by Robert Half demonstrates that a salary increase is the primary reason employees consider changing companies, cited by 55% of respondents. Faced with the general rise in prices, salary and social benefits (employee savings and retirement plans, meal vouchers, gift certificates, sustainable mobility packages, etc.) are powerful levers to improve the employee experience.
Management is one of the factors that has the strongest impact on the quality of the employee experience. According to the survey conducted by Robert Half, 40% of employees remain loyal to their company because they appreciate their supervisor and team. Conversely, 17% want to leave their job because they are in disagreement or conflict with their direct manager or team. To improve the employee experience, it is important to encourage compassionate management practices.
Concretely, to enable their teams to feel good in their roles and within the company, managers should:
- Set clear and challenging goals;
- Assign a reasonable workload to each team member;
- Allow a margin of autonomy to employees, especially in defining their work methods and organizing their tasks;
- Grant the right to make mistakes to encourage innovation and facilitate communication in case of difficulties;
- Listen to employees and provide regular feedback;
- Express recognition to employees when they achieve outstanding performance, but also when they make daily efforts or simply by greeting them in the morning.
Values and Company Culture
Feeling in harmony with the values, mission, and vision of one's company is necessary for a positive employee experience. The survey conducted by Robert Half in 2023 reveals that 24% of employees want to leave their company because they are searching for meaning at work and aspire to find a job more in line with their values and desires. In a similar vein, 17% of respondents want to change positions because the company culture does not align with their aspirations, 10% because their employer does not take enough actions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and another 10% because their organization is too passive in the face of the "energy crisis."
Creating a strong company culture with unifying values by involving employees in the process can be a good way to improve the employee experience by avoiding ethical conflicts. But that's not all. To increase employee satisfaction and retain talent, the implementation of ambitious Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and DEI policies co-constructed with employees is also essential. In 2023, according to the KPMG study on employee experience, only 52% of employees claim to be in agreement with their company's CSR policy. There is, therefore, significant room for improvement.
🤩 To delve deeper, discover what a digital company culture is: Establishing a Digital Culture
Career Development Opportunities
The ability to acquire new skills and advance within one's company is crucial for a positive employee experience. Most employees aspire to learn new skills, take on more responsibilities, and receive promotions. According to the study conducted by Robert Half, the desire to advance in one's career and take on more responsibilities, the lack of internal advancement prospects, and the feeling of boredom in one's position are among the top 5 reasons employees want to change companies (just after salary and work-life balance).
To improve the employee experience and retain employees, it is essential to provide employees with the means to train, develop their skills, and progress within the company. Tools such as Microsoft Viva Learning can help you create customized training paths and support your employees in their skill development. Additionally, your Digital Workplace can be a valuable ally in promoting internal job opportunities and facilitating internal mobility.
📢 To delve deeper, discover everything about Viva Learning: Viva Learning - The Future of Corporate Learning with Microsoft
Physical and Technological Work Environment
Finally, the material working conditions naturally have a significant impact on the employee experience. To provide a positive experience to employees, the employer must ensure a safe and comfortable working environment. They must also provide efficient production tools that allow employees to carry out their tasks without wasting time while preserving their physical and mental well-being.
Digital tools are not exempt from these imperatives, especially in the context of the digital transformation of companies and the rise of hybrid work. Technology should facilitate internal collaboration and individual productivity, whether on-site, in remote work, or in offices. In the age of information overload and the increasing prevalence of burnout, it is essential to offer a good digital experience to employees. The Mozzaik365 Digital Workplace addresses this challenge. This SharePoint extension allows you to create comprehensive, design-friendly, and functional intranets accessible from a computer or mobile device.
🤔 To delve deeper, discover the unprecedented features of Mozzaik365