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Have you missed the boat on employee experience?

Posted by Sammie Parkinson - 23 October, 2019

Employee experience (EX) has become something of a ‘magic bullet’ for a lot of businesses. It feels like there are few positive outcomes that it hasn’t been linked to: better revenue, better engagement, better customer experience; better everything really.

But for some companies, that magic bullet ends up being a dud. Not because EX is all hype, but because they’re investing in methods that only chase the short-term: the quick, flashy wins that are certainly valuable, but don’t tell the whole story.

If you want great EX and all the benefits that come with it, you need to take a longer-term view. And chances are, you may have already missed the boat.


The war for talent

When I talk to business leaders about EX, they get excited about the impact on the bottom line. Fair enough, businesses are here to make money. But that interest in EX needs to continue once you start looking at the long-term benefits—the impacts that EX has on your staffing levels and talent. In an increasingly competitive market, where people are willing and able to travel further (or work remotely) for the job they want, there is a growing war for talent.


There is a growing war for talent.


Take Millennials, for example. They will make up 75 per cent of the workforce by 2025, and yet they are also far more likely to job hop than older workers. Of all the generations in your workplace right now, they are going to be the ones who are most open to working for somebody else given the right incentives.

And before assuming ‘incentive’ is just code for more money, the reality is quite different: studies have shown that people don’t leave because of money. They leave because of a bad experience. One of my favorite quotes on EX is “people don't leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses”.

Businesses with poor EX are going to bleed themselves dry of the valuable talent they need to succeed, constantly trying to play catchup with their rivals. The war for talent is won or lost with EX, and people are often ignoring the most valuable weapon they have.


Related content: The 10 Pillars of Employee Experience


Focusing on the long term

The solution? Not just ‘better’ EX but a different view of EX.

Short-term measures of experience (such as a quarterly eNPS survey) are useful in giving you the opportunity to rapidly adjust your strategy, but the true value is only realised once you combine them with a long-term measure as well—otherwise it’s often just a vanity metric.

The solution? Not just ‘better’ EX but a different view of EX.

Here’s a practical example: A business invests in eNPS on a quarterly basis to gather some regular data about how their employees are feeling and what they can do to improve their experience right now. On an annual basis, however, they send out a more thorough Gallup Q12 survey that digs deeper into the insights; asking agree/disagree questions such as “there is someone at work who encourages my development”.

This combination method allows the business to construct both a short-term strategy to achieve those revenue and engagement increases, but also create a useful long-term strategy that encourages staff retention and growth: the true key to success in modern business.


Just keep swimming

The best time to focus on long-term experience was last year. The second best time is now. Invest in annual measures, get the insights you need for stronger employee experience, and you’ll ensure that you build the team you need to be successful. It’s never too late to start work on improving your EX.

Catch the next boat. Otherwise you may end up dog-paddling after the competition.


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Topics: Employee experience

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