IceHrm Looking for an HR software for Your Company?
Masha Masha is a content developer at IceHrm. You can contact her at masha[at]

Mastering Employee Experience: A Concise Handbook

  Reading Time:

More and more companies are realizing that analyzing the employee experience across the entire employee lifecycle is critical to their employee retention and engagement efforts.

This is one of the reasons for the widespread dissatisfaction among employees. A Gallup study shows that beyond dissatisfaction, an alarming number of people say they are dissatisfied and disengaged.

A staggering 60% of respondents say they are emotionally distant at work, and 19% even go so far as to say they are “unhappy.”

What is Employee Experience?

Employee experience describes every interaction someone has with an organization. It begins before the employee officially joins the company and never really ends, because even when someone leaves the company, they will still remember and talk about their experiences.

As with customer experience teams, those responsible for managing the employee experience break it down into different phases to make it easier to optimize.

What do employees want from their experience?

Employees' expectations and desires from their work experience focus on aspects that promote both personal and professional growth. The most important wishes include:

  • Work-life balance: This includes flexible working hours, teleworking options and measures to promote family and leisure time.
  • Meaningful work: Meaningful work that has a positive impact.
    Professional development: Employees want access to training programs, mentorship and advancement opportunities.
  • Recognition and appreciation: Employees value a culture in which their contributions are recognized and valued, whether through formal recognition programs, performance bonuses, or simply verbal appreciation.
  • Supportive and inclusive culture: Employees want a culture that celebrates diversity and where they feel respected, valued and included.
  • Healthy and safe work environment: Especially post-pandemic, employees value a healthy workplace with adequate safety measures, wellness programs and mental health support.
  • Effective communication: Transparent and open communication channels where they can express their opinions and receive honest feedback and information from management.
  • Independence and personal responsibility: Employees appreciate it when they have the opportunity to take the initiative and contribute ideas.

The Impact of Employee Experience

The overall experience your employees have has an obvious impact on your employer brand and the bottom line.

5 key metrics tell the story of employee experience

Effectively measuring employee experience requires a focus on metrics that reflect different aspects of an employee's journey within the company. If you're just starting out, here are five metrics that are essential for measuring employee satisfaction.

  1. Employee Engagement Scores: These scores, often determined through employee engagement surveys, reflect how emotionally and intellectually committed employees are to their work and the company. According to Gallup's recent State of the Global Workplace report, actively disengaged employees cost the global economy $8.8 trillion.
  2. Turnover Rate: The rate at which employees leave the company can be a strong indicator of the overall employee experience. The cost of replacing an employee is often half to twice the employee's annual salary.
  3. Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): This key figure measures how likely it is that employees will recommend the company as a good place to work. It is a quick and powerful indicator of employee satisfaction and loyalty and can save you a lot of money on recruiting costs.
  4. Absences: Frequent unplanned absences can be a sign of low employee engagement or job dissatisfaction. Some estimates put the cost of absenteeism at $3,600 per year for each employee and $2,660 per year for salaried workers.
  5. Performance and productivity metrics: Although an indirect relationship exists, consistent performance and high productivity can indicate a positive employee experience, as engaged employees are often more productive.

What is the life cycle of an employee?

Opinions vary, but the employee life cycle, or the employee journey as some call it, is usually divided into 6 stages.

The phases of the employee life cycle

  • Attraction - This phase involves developing compelling job descriptions, leveraging various recruiting channels, and showcasing company culture, benefits, and career opportunities for top talent.
  • Recruitment - identifying and attracting potential candidates to fill open positions, using various channels and strategies to find the most suitable candidates.
  • Onboarding - integrating new employees into the company, with a focus on training, acclimating them to the company culture and providing key resources.
  • Development - Continuous skills improvement and career opportunities for employees to promote long-term professional progress.
  • Retention - Retaining and motivating employees through strategies such as rewards, development opportunities and a positive work culture.
  • Offboarding - The process of smoothly leaving employees from the company to ensure a professional end to the employment relationship. Dismissal interviews, handover of work and handover of company property are examples of tasks that occur during offboarding.

Of course, there is a lot of overlap between each phase, but such separation allows those charged with employee experience management to focus on specific areas of improvement.

Some companies even hire a chief employee experience officer to lead and coordinate all of these efforts.

Tactics to Drive an Employee Experience Strategy

Like any experience, a good EX is a lived experience. You can't talk it up, you have to approach it tactically and change the way everyone, from managers to CEOs, thinks about EX.

Make EX your brand

Since everyone is a potential employee, every interaction someone has with your company will influence their experience with you as a potential or current employer.

This could be the way your customer satisfaction team handles a complaint or a conversation with a friend at a dinner party.

The fundamental aspect of designing the employee experience is your brand - or how you are perceived as a company and employer.

Do you keep your promises? Do you offer a good compensation package and invest in the development of your employees? Are you working on interesting and challenging projects? Are you committed to a greater cause beyond making a profit?

If the answer to these questions is a resounding “yes,” you will make significant progress in the areas of employee retention, employee engagement, and brand advocacy from within.

Your brand is the anchor for all other elements that go into designing the employee experience, from your compensation philosophy to your onboarding experience.

Treat EX like a product

Developing great employee experiences is a never-ending process of hypothesizing, experimenting, and iterating.

Product thinking in terms of EX has some key benefits to your approach.

Advantages of a product approach

  • Continuous improvement
  • User-centered design
  • Measurable impact
  • Cross-functional collaboration
  • Competitive advantage

The way you approach this can be done in a number of ways, whether by introducing new employee benefits or perks, switching to hybrid working or a 4-day week, or optimizing your performance management system.

To make this happen, you need to calibrate your HR and people ops team like a product team.

Ensure that all employee experience initiatives align with and contribute to the company's mission and goals.

HR teams are responsible for collaborating with others to develop tools, processes, and operations that require little to no HR/People Ops management once completed (for example, managers are responsible for conducting performance reviews).

This gives HR/People Ops the opportunity to continue experimenting and developing new products and initiatives that improve the employee experience and help achieve desired business outcomes.

Combine operational and experience data

Integrating operational data (O-data) and experiential data (X-data) is critical to fully understanding and improving the employee experience.

O-data includes tangible metrics like productivity levels, turnover rates, and absenteeism, while X data includes more subjective aspects like employee satisfaction, engagement, and general sentiment.

Why combining these data types is so important

  1. Holistic view of the employee experience: Combining O data and X data provides a more complete picture of the employee experience. While O data can show what is happening in a company, X data explains why these events occur. For example, high turnover rates (O data) coupled with low engagement scores (X data) can reveal underlying problems in workplace culture.
  2. Informed decision making: This integrated approach enables more informed decisions. By understanding both operational metrics and employee feelings behind them, leaders can make targeted changes that address both the practical and emotional aspects of the workplace that impact employee well-being.
  3. Predictive insights: The combination can reveal trends and patterns that lead to predictive insights. For example, changes in productivity (O-data) and changes in employee morale (X-data) can predict potential challenges and enable proactive actions.
  4. Improved employee engagement: Understanding employees' feelings and perceptions about their work environment and tasks enables more effective strategies to increase engagement and satisfaction.
  5. Tailored solutions: Bringing these types of data together helps develop solutions that address specific problems. For example, if operational data shows a decline in performance in a particular department and empirical data indicates low morale, targeted initiatives such as team-building activities or workload adjustments can be implemented.

Have the best onboarding experience

You only have one chance to make a first impression, and your onboarding process is that chance.

Good onboarding has some significant benefits, such as: a faster increase in productivity for new employees and a better chance of retaining employees in the long term.

Google's approach to onboarding is a good example. The company begins onboarding before the new employee's first day of work, providing the necessary information and setting clear goals for the first week. This proactive approach ensures new employees feel prepared and valued from day one.

Pro Tip: Start pre-boarding with welcome greetings and resources. Day 1: Focus on culture and relationships, not paperwork. Set clear goals early on and provide ongoing support.

Measure EX

Accurately measuring employee experience is critical to understanding and improving workplace satisfaction and productivity.

Often, the benefit of measuring employee experience comes from identifying specific areas for improvement, allowing your employees to take targeted action.

This also promotes employee engagement. By actively seeking feedback, employees feel heard and valued, which increases their engagement and loyalty.

A great example of this is the way Salesforce regularly conducts pulse surveys to gauge employee sentiment, providing quick, real-time insights into workforce sentiment and employee needs.

Actionable advice: Conduct regular surveys to get immediate feedback. Analyze the results for trends, implement changes based on the results, and inform employees of the actions taken.

Creating the best employee experience

As you continue to develop your EX and EX design considerations, you should delve deeper into aspects such as HR metrics and employee feedback collection methods.

What you shouldn't forget

To ensure employee experience is embedded in the organization, incorporate EX metrics into executive scorecards. This ensures that it remains a focus in decision-making and corporate strategy.

Prioritize employee experience for higher engagement and retention. Explore IceHrm for seamless HR solutions tailored to your organization.

How to Return to Work After Time Off (Without Feeling Overwhelmed)

If you’re returning to the same workplace, it might be a bit strange. People move on, routines change, and your role might feel different than it used to, given all the new skills and experiences you’ve had while being away....

Essential Employee Engagement Stats for 2023

Discover key employee engagement statistics for 2023 and strategies to boost engagement, from leadership development to recognizing burnout....

IceHrm   Create your IceHrm, installation today.