Enhancing Culture and Engagement: Insights on the power of Employee Experience

In the aftermath of the continuing uncertainty caused by the post-pandemic era, businesses face difficulties that few could have predicted only a few years ago. The global economy, the nature of work, and the fundamentals of life have all experienced substantial changes, requiring firms to adapt, expand, and remain competitive. One of the most important topics under review is employee experience (EX) and its direct influence on company performance.

A recent survey conducted by Workleap Officevibe sheds light on the correlation between investment in EX and business outcomes.

The study involved responses from 1,160 business leaders across eleven industries, providing valuable insights into the dynamics of High EX Investment Organizations and their low-experience investment counterparts. 

The Current State: Challenges and Frictions

As firms try to weather the storm, stories of cost-cutting, decreasing payrolls, and greater employee workloads have become typical. Workplace stress levels have risen, resulting in increased staff dissatisfaction and turnover. According to research, an employee's resignation can cost a firm double its income, considering variables such as lost productivity and the costs of finding, onboarding, and training someone to replace them.

In response to these problems, the attention has shifted to Human Resources (HR) and managers, who are under tremendous pressure to drive performance, retain top people, and negotiate the intricacies of the changing workplace.

The Answer: Investing in Employee Experience

Amidst this backdrop, organizations are discovering that focusing on improving employee experience (EX) emerges as a pivotal strategy. While the concept of EX has been part of workplace discussions for some time, its importance took center stage during the pandemic, forcing a reevaluation of traditional work norms. The post-pandemic era has only intensified this focus, with business leaders recognizing that a positive EX is crucial for attracting, retaining, and engaging top performers.

“Some researchers agree with the early studies of EX work by Jacob Morgan. In his 2017 book, “The Employee Experience Advantage,” he said EX is determined by how employees feel about three broad aspects of work: space (the workplace), technology (the tools any employee works with), and work culture (the organization’s attitudes, opinions, and beliefs).” 

Investing in Employee Experience (EX) yields positive company perceptions through impactful measures.

By training leaders to provide meaningful feedback, organizations foster a work culture where 48% of employees feel empowered and acknowledged for their contributions.

Additionally, investments in EX contribute to a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment among employees, with 43% expressing satisfaction with their work.

Alignment on vision, mission, and values is another outcome, as 41% of employees resonate with the organization's core principles.

Moreover, emphasizing open communication with managers leads to solid team dynamics, with 29% highlighting the effectiveness of transparent communication channels.

These examples underscore how strategic investments in EX translate into enhanced employee engagement and cohesive organizational work culture.

Defining High EX Investment Organizations

For the intent of this study, High EX Investment Organizations were classified as those in which survey respondents thought that their organization invests appropriately in enhancing EX. Furthermore, they rated their employee experience much higher than low-investment responders in four critical areas of EX: stability, reciprocity, purpose, and hope. 

When applied to the hybrid workspace, these four pillars capture the employee's feelings of confidence in job sustainability (Stability), the reliability of professional relationships and mutual respect (Reciprocity), the validation of meaningful contribution to business goals (Purpose), and a positive outlook on the future of their career (Hope).

“Respondents among High EX Investment Organizations report significantly better results across all four employee experiences.” 

In workplace attitudes and beliefs about one's employer, the four pillars are stability, reciprocity, purpose, and hope—essential roles.

Stability reflects employees' confidence in the immediate sustainability of their work, with 66% expressing assurance in the absence of imminent layoffs. Reciprocity emphasizes professional solid relationships based on mutual care and respect, as indicated by 62% affirming a relationship of trust and respect between employees and managers.

Purpose signifies employees' validation that their work holds meaning, with 67% feeling they contribute meaningfully to business goals. Lastly, Hope portrays a positive outlook on careers and prospects within the organization, as 67% express optimism about their career's future.

These pillars collectively shape employees' perceptions and experiences in the hybrid workplace.

Key Findings: High EX Investment Yields Positive Outcomes

According to the poll, executives at High EX Investment Organizations had much more positive perceptions of their organizations than their counterparts at low-experience investment firms. This reasonable view encompasses a variety of factors, including open communication between employees and management, agreement on vision and values, and general employee engagement.

Furthermore, when questioned about ten favorable outcomes connected with a good EX, leaders from High EX Investment Organizations were 1.5 times more likely to express a positive emotion than leaders from Low EX Investment Organizations. These outcomes include people feeling productive, satisfied with their jobs, adequately rewarded, and endorsing their organization as a hybrid workplace.

The Impact on Business Metrics

The study delved into specific business metrics to assess the impact of EX investments. “High EX Investment Organizations were 45% more likely to have seen improvement in all KPIs this past year.” High EX Investment Organizations demonstrated a remarkable 45% higher likelihood of improvement across all key performance indicators (KPIs) in the past year than their low-experience investment counterparts.

The differences in performance were particularly pronounced in six critical areas that directly influence employee and business performance:

  • Employee engagement
  • Setting employee development goals
  • Employee feedback
  • Recognition
  • Productivity
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Confidence in Data and its Interpretation

One feature of the study was the difference in confidence between High EX Investment and Low EX Investment Organizations regarding data collection and interpretation. Despite both groups emphasizing the necessity of tracking KPIs, High EX Investment Organizations were much more confident in the efficacy of their data collection strategies.

This confidence gap was especially noticeable in six critical areas: company turnover, employee engagement, and customer happiness. High EX Investment Organizations regularly demonstrated more vital trust in these KPIs as indicated in company performance.

Data Quantity vs. Data Quality

While both groups employed a similar number of data collection methods, Low EX Investment Organizations reported slightly higher data quantity. However, this did not translate into increased confidence in the accuracy and clarity of the collected data. High EX Investment Organizations, despite collecting less data overall, demonstrated greater confidence in the effectiveness of their data-capturing methods. “​​Not surprisingly, Low EX Investment Organizations also have far less confidence about the impact EX can have on business performance indicators.” 

Low EX Investment Organizations need to express more confidence in the transformative impact of Employee Experience (EX) on business performance indicators.

The disparity is most pronounced in employee engagement and feedback, where high EX investment organizations exhibit significantly higher positive sentiments (76% and 74%, respectively), while.

In comparison, low EX investment counterparts lag for both indicators.

This emphasizes the pivotal role of EX investment in shaping organizational perceptions and outcomes.

The Path Forward: Leveraging Data for EX Impact

The study emphasizes two critical strategies that can significantly contribute to the positive impact of EX on business metrics:

  • Collecting Quality EX Data with the Right Tools: Organizations must invest in practical tools for capturing accurate and precise data on employee engagement. Quality data collection is the foundation for informed decision-making and targeted interventions.

  • Supporting People Leaders to Use Data Insights: More than simply collecting data is required; organizations must empower their leaders to translate data insights into actionable strategies. This requires providing the necessary training and resources for people leaders to design HR strategies that create value for the organization.

The ROI of Employee Engagement and Experience

The study provides clear evidence that investing in employee experience pays significant rewards. High EX investment firms have superior overall business results and a more favorable impression of their organizations across all dimensions.

As firms negotiate the difficulties of the post-pandemic hybrid workplace, the significance of employee engagement cannot be emphasized. It is a critical difference in recruiting and keeping top personnel, increasing employee engagement, and, eventually, improving the bottom line.

The study's conclusions are a helpful resource for firms trying to improve their employee engagement strategy. Organizations may position themselves for success in an ever-changing hybrid work world by prioritizing investments in employee experience.

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Ligiya Mamikonyan

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