What is employee experience? 7 HR pros give their definition
by Jolene Nicotina July 13 2018
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What is employee experience (EX), exactly? According to Bersin, it’s “the sum total of all the touchpoints an employee has with his or her employer, from the time of being a candidate (active or passive) to becoming an alumnus or alumna.” Another widely accepted definition is by Jacob Morgan, who describes EX as the combination of the cultural environment, the physical environment and the technological environment of the workplace. While these definitions adequately describe what EX is, in practice, EX means something a little different at each organization. That’s why we asked HR practitioners, from small and large companies alike, to give their personal definition of employee experience. Here is what they had to say:
“For us, the focus around employee experience is on creating a seamless experience around the things somebody needs to do as an employee while allowing them to focus on the business we hired them for—development, sales, leading new products [and so on]. We’ve actually created a VP level role to strictly focus on the employee experience.”
“Employee experience, to me, includes everything our workforce encounters, observes, or feels during the course of their employee journey at our organization. We really want it to be a positive experience and this begins even before someone applies for a job with us.”
—Amanda Flanagan, Human Resources Specialist, Vanderheyden Inc.
“For us, employee experience starts from the beginning by providing an exceptional onboarding experience for new employees—that is also the key to retention. HR is the first point of contact for many candidates, from the application process to the interview experience to the first day in the office. As HR, we must pride ourselves on an employee-centered model.”
—Dottie Ann Stevenson, AVP of Human Resources, The Mental Health Association of Westchester Inc.
“Employee experience is really what the culture feels like to employees. It’s not what you say it is or isn’t. It’s how they experience it through interactions with other employees, interactions with technologies and with the work itself. Employee Experience First is a guiding principle at GoDaddy. It’s woven into the fabric of how we make decisions. Before we think about the effort it will take our team to do this thing or that thing, we think about what’s best for employees.”
“Employee experience, to me, is the sum of all experiences an employee has during their lifecycle with our organization. Being in HR, and specifically recruiting, I take great pride in ensuring every candidate has the best possible experience and contact with us. I believe in treating every candidate like they’re the only candidate—it’s the same mentality we take with our customers.”
“You can have a product in your hand and not require any training and know how to use it. The employee experience is about that from a technology perspective. [Employees] want to be able to get their information, they want things to be transparent, they want to have it at their fingertips, and they don’t want you to have to train them on how to get it.”
“Employee experience is, for me, the ABCs of HR nowadays. We want them to feel well and welcomed when they arrive. We want them to feel that what they’re doing on a daily basis is valued by their manager and senior management. I'm really convinced that everybody wants to go to work and feel valued. Employee experience is about people feeling like they’re a valuable contribution to the organization. I think if HR gets that right, it would be a huge improvement.”
Regardless of how your organization defines employee experience, one thing is certain—providing a superior EX is critical to employee engagement and to attracting and retaining talent.
Get more insight into employee experience from HR practitioners. Learn how to design an employee experience for today's digital workforce during Digital Employee Experience Week, an online crash-course packed with quick videos, live webinars and more!
Jolene Nicotina is the Content Marketing Manager for North America at PeopleDoc, Inc. She works on making sure HR professionals have all the latest information they need related to HR service delivery, HR technology, and PeopleDoc, Inc. Prior to PeopleDoc, Jolene worked in marketing communications for the healthcare technology industry.