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When a business has a highly engaged workforce, it sees a 20% increase in sales and a 10% increase in customer ratings compared with an unengaged workforce. A business is only as good as its employees and ensuring that your current and prospective employees view your business positively is vital for recruitment, retention and overall productivity. Putting your employees first is not just the right thing to do. It makes business sense. Businesses have traditionally focused on customer experience as the key driver for success.

But now, an increasing number of organisations recognise the importance of employee experience, as it encompasses all key employer-employee touchpoints — from recruitment to retirement and all the processes, places and tools employees need to do their best work. When these touchpoints are aligned well, employees can produce meaningful work. This creates a sense of engagement and wellbeing, increasing employee satisfaction and morale. As a result, employees get more work done, are likely to stay longer, and tend to serve customers with a high level of care.

What is employee experience?

Employee experience relates to how your employees find the experience of working for your business. It encompasses strategies and practices that ensure staff feel positive about their work culture and environment. Employee experience is not just about what perks and benefits are available such as teach lunches, free drinks or employee discounts. It’s about how the entire organisational structure impacts employees on a daily basis and shapes their view of the company.

While you may think you know what employee experience your workforce has, the only way to measure how you are doing is to ask the people that matter, your staff.  Conducting employee engagement surveys and even asking staff one-to-one or in groups will likely tell you a lot about your organisation that you didn’t know. You can also look at your workplace data and other companies and compare how your organisation matches up. But remember, once you’ve asked for staff feedback, you must act on it as there’s nothing more demotivating for employees than feeling ignored by their employer.

Why is employee experience important?

Businesses are all too aware of why a customer’s perception of a company is important. If they aren’t satisfied with a service or product, they will probably not come back. If this was to happen on a large enough scale, it could be enough to end the business. But when it comes to employee experiences and their impact on the business, the relationship can often be less obvious. So why does an employee matter?

Positive employee experiences reduce employee turnover

More than ever before, businesses are competing to attract the best talent, which often comes down to employee experience. Today, organisations are judged on their culture, staff benefits and experience just as much as pay and career progression opportunities. Given the growing number of employer review websites, a good employee review could make all the difference between someone choosing your company over your competitors. But it’s not just enough to hire talented employees. You need to keep them. Research shows that a highly engaged employee is 87% less likely to leave their job than their less engaged counterparts. The costs of hiring, onboarding and training can be considerable. Therefore, if that employee quits after only a short time, it can devastate the finances and morale of an organisation.

Engaged, happy employees are more innovative and productive

It should come as no surprise that a happy employee is a productive employee. Employees who feel positive in their work are at least 12% more productive. While those staff who are unhappy risk undermining the good work of those that are happy. Employee experience closely links to employee engagement. To fuel employee engagement, staff must have the right technology and a working environment that fosters a positive work culture, suits staff working style and allows employees to work at their best. When you get these elements right, the results will speak for themselves.

Good employee experience means a better customer experience

When employees are engaged and happy in their work, customers will notice. Rather than receiving half-hearted service, employees engaged and taking pride in their work will go the extra mile for customers. Companies that offer a great employee experience have higher customer satisfaction. Employees are more proactive and innovative, which equates to better services and products, which is undoubtedly good for your bottom line.

Great employee experience means bigger profits

A good employee experience equates to more money for the business. It’s simple as that. When you put together all the benefits of a good employee experience, such as improved productivity, customer service, better talent, less turnover and disruption, it’s easy to see how investing in employee experience offers strong returns. The more effort you put into your employees, the more value you will get in return.

Most businesses can do much more to improve their employee experience. As an employer, you should listen to your staff to find out what they like and dislike about the working environment and culture. Do they want more flexible working? Do they have the appropriate technology and tools they need to be able to work effectively? From talent retention to productivity, keeping your employees motivated and happy is crucial to running a successful and profitable business.