What is Employee Experience and Why it Should Be a Priority

According to Deloitte, research shows that enterprises with a top-quartile employee experience achieve twice the innovation, double the customer satisfaction, and 25 percent higher profits than organizations with a bottom-quartile employee experience.

Yet as crucial as it is, only 9 percent of Deloitte survey respondents (out of 10,000 surveyed) believed they were very ready to address this issue, meaning it should be a massive priority for organizations worldwide.

 

Key Takeaways

1. Employee experience is an idea that has sprung into existence in recent years and moved beyond the HR department to a company’s marketing and recruitment efforts

2. Employee experience encompasses the need to attract and retain talent when supply is limited, engaging that talent to maximize productivity, and being supportive in the workplace

3. For leaders, employee experience means thinking about workplace culture, technology and the physical workplace

4. A Global Employment Organization (‘GEO’), sometimes known as a ‘Global Professional Employment Organization (‘Global PEO’) can enhance employee experience for your international workforce through its understanding of local compliance requirements and market conditions 

5. Companies that exist as examples of great employee experience include Google, Hyatt and Best Buy. 

What Does the Employee Experience Mean for Leaders?

The employee experience, according to SHRM, means that leaders should treat their employees as customers, seeking employee satisfaction as equally as customer satisfaction. Also, managers should give employees ownership of their jobs, and enable them to be the best that they can be – often with the help of advanced technology tools.

According to SHRM expert Jacob Morgan, some other manifestations of the employee experience are:

Culture

It’s not only the feeling one gets in the environment, but the leadership style, the sense of purpose employees feel, the organizational structure, and the people who make up the organization that make up the ‘experience’.

Technology

The organization’s technological environment refers to the tools employees use to get work done, from the internal social network to the mobile devices the company gives employees.

Physical workspace

An organization’s workspace is vital to employees because an office environment is where they spend most of their time – pre-pandemic. Its comfort and security assure that your employees will be productive. 

Google even goes so far as to offer everything from laundry facilities to places for naps and creatively executed common areas. They also give free breakfast, lunch, and dinner; health and dental benefits; and hybrid car subsidies to keep their employees happy. Google highly prizes the employee experience, showing in its workers’ productivity and the company’s low turnover rate.

Importance

Happy employees are more productive and engaged. Temkin Group’s 2016 Employment Engagement Benchmark study shows that companies that excel at customer experience have 1.5 times as many engaged employees than companies with less-than-stellar customer service, proving that employee experience and customer experience are intrinsically linked.

An engaging employee experience has the power to connect to an organization’s purpose, increase employee engagement, and positively impact business outcomes.

Here are other reasons why a good employee experience is significant:

  • It reduces turnover
  • Gartner reports that highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies than their less engaged counterparts.
  • It attracts better talent 
  • The Harvard Business Review reports that the heaviest investors in employee experience are 5x more likely to appear in Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work. And they are also 4.4x more likely to be included in LinkedIn’s list of North America’s Most In-Demand Employers.
  • Companies with “great employee experience” have higher levels of customer satisfaction
  • MIT Sloan Center stated that employees were more innovative and proactive, which translated into better products and service.

Employee experience is a bottom-up concept—where processes, places, and workflow are designed around employees’ preexisting tendencies. Employee experience recognizes that the employee, not the employer, must be at the center, states Deloitte. On the other hand, employee engagement acknowledges the relationship between the employer and the worker.

How Can You Improve the Employee Experience?

You can improve the employee experience by tracking your workers’ experience across points such as physical wellness, financial health, and overall satisfaction. If you treat each of your employees as unique, and with respect, it will increase their happiness at the job, and in turn, their productivity. A failure to address employee health, satisfaction and well-being can lead to employee burnout and disaster for your organisation. 

According to the 2018 Talent Trends Report, 51% of employers planned to boost their spending on employee initiatives in 2019, and a significant percentage of this investment will go into technology.

Across the business landscape, corporate leaders are seeking to develop more flexible, adaptive, and valuable workers. Our global research study directly addresses this challenge. Based on a survey of nearly 3,900 respondents and 18 executive interviews, we find that the most effective approaches to achieving a higher-value workforce have a common core: opportunity.

Deloitte

Deloitte elaborated: “We see opportunity marketplaces as systems, digital platforms, and virtual places where organizations provide—and workers find—the opportunities most relevant to their mutual benefit and success.”

Companies find that when they invest in their employees, they attract and keep all the best candidates, and build a culture unafraid of innovation, improvements, risks, and success. 

For more information on attracting top-notch employees check out Five Powerful Strategies to Attract the Best Employees

Enhance your employee experience by surveying employees to find out what is most important to them: e.g., flexibility, a culture of camaraderie, growth opportunities, or transparency about policies and procedures.

How a Global Employment Organisation (GEO) Can Enhance Employee Experience

In this era of globalization, your firm may have expanded overseas, or be interested in expanding internationally. For many of the challenges of international expansion, support from a global expansion partner known as a Global Employment Organization (sometimes known as a Professional Employment Organisation or ‘PEO’) can help. 

Global Employment Organization (or ‘GEO’) becomes the ‘employer of record‘ for all your international staff: This means that they take over all the legal responsibilities and liabilities of the employer. 

A GEO can enhance the employee experience in overseas locations immensely: A GEO understands and applies local laws and rules around annual and sick leave entitlements, redundancy payments, and employee termination. Through a GEO, employees can rest assured that their local employment rights will be respected. 

In addition, GEOs have local employment market knowledge, which can add to the employee experience. Many international businesses don’t know how to benchmark their salaries and other benefits in countries where they have not previously operated. GEOs are local market experts and can ensure that employees receive a competitive compensation package.

Examples of Companies with Great Employee Experience

Firms with great employee experience can be found in all industries: from retail to tech to hospitality.

When the experts cite companies with outstanding employee experiences, firms like Best Buy, Google, and Hyatt come to mind. For these firms, an amazing employee experience becomes the Employee Value Proposition (‘EVP’) — that feature of a firm that attracts new employees and encourages existing employees to stay. 

These are also companies that score high in customer experience. As we stated, a satisfied employee experience links with a positive customer experience.

Best Buy 

This electronics retailer enables empowerment by communicating to employees that “The only thing you need to know is to be amazing. 

Whatever you think that requires for our customers – we trust you.”

This employee empowerment results in better employee morale, and happier employees will transfer this satisfaction to their shoppers, offering superior customer service. Best Buy has retooled employee training by addressing the customer and product interaction, and as a result, has reduced employee turnover.

 In 2019, Best Buy earned a spot for the first time on Indeed’s annual list of the 50 Top-Rated Workplaces. The company recently added several benefits based on employee feedback, including paid caregiver leave and adoption assistance.

Google

Fortune’s annual list of the “Best Companies to Work For” has featured Google every year since 2007. For the last six years, Google held the number-one position.

And for the 10th year in a row, Google has landed a top spot on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list.

With benefits such as free chef-prepared meals, an on-site beauty salon, and nap pods, it’s no wonder Google is consistently recognized for its top-notch employee experience. Its perks also include free health and dental coverage, free dry cleaning, and on-site physicians.

Experts state that Google’s experience factor isn’t due to a bottomless benefits budget. The company takes a highly analytical approach to determine precisely which benefits and perks will make a difference for employees while protecting the company’s bottom line and employer brand. 

According to people-doc.com, back in 2007, Google noticed many women leaving the company. A closer look at their HR analytics revealed it was mostly new mothers choosing to quit. This turnover prompted then- HR leader Laszlo Bock to increase the amount of paid maternity leave from the standard 12 weeks to five months. The result? The women’s attrition rate decreased by 50%, making it on-par with the attrition rate for men.

During his tenure as Senior Vice President of People Operations, Bock also instituted a long-term research study – named gDNA—focused on developing a scientific understanding of the work experience.  More than just Google’s employee engagement survey, gDNA measures how both the work environment and employees’ personalities shape the employee experience.

When employees make suggestions, Google’s management listens and implements those that fit the corporate culture.

Employees at Google are allowed to spend 20 percent of their time pursuing special projects they feel are worth their time. Many of their best products, such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Cardboard, Adsense, and Google Talk, are products of this policy. Google believes that employees’ ideas can make a difference.

Hyatt

Mark Hoplamazian, Hyatt’s CEO, was quoted in a Fortune interview saying that the key to Hyatt’s success is “making sure that we are connected to the emotional experience that our colleagues and guests are experiencing and then designing their experience so that it is fulfilling for them.”

Hyatt doesn’t require employees to speak off scripts.  Instead, they are free to be themselves, creating a more authentic customer experience and encouraging employees to establish an emotional connection with guests. According to the Great Place to Work® 2019 U.S. National Employee Engagement Study,  94% of employees at Hyatt Hotels Corporation say it is a great place to work compared to 59% of employees at a typical U.S.-based company.

Hyatt utilizes empathy to create a better customer experience and a better employee experience. Implementing the Housekeeping Flextime Program is a perfect example, where housekeepers have the option of leaving if they get their work done early or to clean additional rooms to make extra money.

Business Wire reported that Hyatt offers employees benefits and perks designed to allow employees to be their best, including:

  • Travel perks including complimentary and discounted stays at Hyatt hotels worldwide;
  • A family assistance policy that provides employees with paid time off following the birth or adoption of a child as well as financial assistance for adoption;
  • Free or subsidized meals to hotel employees during work hours.

Conclusion

To improve your employee experience, you can survey your staff to determine what changes would make a difference to their work.

During this pandemic era, flexibility is a number one concern. Still, other aspects of a work environment might be improved, such as providing a gym and adding new benefits, such as a cafeteria with free lunches. Companies that make these investments in improving the employee experience find that it pays off in employee satisfaction and low turnover rates.

Having an excellent employee experience will also help you attract and retain the best talent and fuel your growth and success in the years to come.

When dealing with international employment markets that you are unfamiliar with, consider the be benefits of engaging a GEO (also known as a ‘Global PEO’), such as New Horizons Global Partners. New Horizons can ensure that international employees have the same excellent employee experience as employees in your local market. 

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