According to an HR executive survey, workers who rated their employee experience (EX) as high have 28% higher productivity and 37% lower turnover than the average employee. 

In addition, these high ‘EX’ employees report 46% stronger organizational commitment, 59% higher job satisfaction, and even a whopping 142% higher average Net Promoter Score for their organization.

What is employee experience?

Employee experience, often referred to as ‘EX’, is the journey from hiring to off-boarding that a person takes within a given organization. A newly emerging field, employee experience focuses on all of the different touch points an employee experiences during their tenure at a company – from their feelings about compensation to their relationship with their direct manager.

The importance of employee experience in the 21st century

Since 2004, searcher interest in the concept of ‘employee experience’ has steadily increased year after year – booming in the mid 2010s to the present day (as seen in the Google Trends screenshot depicting user search interest below)

Employee experience, however, is more than just a trendy term. It’s the difference between keeping an employee long-term and witnessing high turnover at your organization.

In this piece, we’ll explore the ins and outs of the field of ‘EX’ and hear from HR professionals from a variety of backgrounds on what exactly employee experience means to them.

A strong employee experience = a strong retention rate.

Employee experience is made great when you combine career advancement opportunities, excellent compensation and benefits, and a company culture that is engaging and inclusive. Each factor plays into the overall perception that will make or break your employees’ willingness to stay. A strong employee experience = a strong retention rate.

-Carly Mulroy, Talent and People Lead, Scott Capital Group

Tips and tricks for improving EX at your organization

HR professionals typically lead the charge on improving employee experience by tapping into industry research and directly surveying staff. To help the process along, we’ve compiled a few tried and tested ways to establish a robust EX system at an organization.

1. Commit to work-life balance

Demonstrating to your employees that enjoying life outside of work is a priority to your organization is a great way to gain buy-in at all levels. 

Allowing for flexible work schedules, encouraging and enforcing “offline hours”, and generous time off policies are just a few of the many ways to show a commitment to work-life balance.

2. Foster transparent and open communication

Open communication within an organization starts at the top. When higher-ups at a company demonstrate a commitment to transparency, it sets a standard for managers and other employees at all levels.

3. Establish clear professional development channels

Properly outlining each employee’s potential career growth path within an organization is crucial to generating loyalty and buy-in. When an employee feels as though they can envision their path forward, they are more likely to stick around long term. Moreover, engaged employees are more productive within their roles.

4. Encourage feedback at all levels

360 reviews, the process where employees receive feedback from various peers of different titles and job levels, have become commonplace in many organizations. This ensures that they understand how their actions are perceived across the company, and can be incredibly helpful in sharpening one’s skills.

5. Create an effective onboarding (and off-boarding) program

Onboarding is typically a new hire’s first touchpoint with the culture and overall ‘vibe’ of a company. As a result, it’s important to take time and thought in designing your unique and comprehensive onboarding program – but more on that later.

Another important aspect of EX (but one that is often overlooked) is an off-boarding process for employees if and when they choose to move on from your organization. How you treat employees in their departure can be the difference between creating an ally to your company’s brand and leaving former employees with a bitter taste in their mouth.

Employee experience is how you feel about getting out of bed in the morning for work.

To me, employee experience is how you feel about getting out of bed in the morning for work. Are you dreading it? Or are you excited to start the day?

There are countless factors that influence that experience, from how much you feel you can be your true self at work to how much of an impact you believe you can have on the business. Personally, I’ve been at HubSpot for eight years because those factors aren’t an afterthought. They’re a priority because culture is a priority.

That makes me want to get out of bed to start the day. (And that’s coming from someone who is not a morning person!)

-Hannah Fleishman, Director of Employer Brand & Internal Comms at Hubspot

The stages of employee experience

The employee experience process starts before a prospective new employee even steps foot in the door (or into their first remote interview). In creating top-notch culture and a comprehensive benefits program, a company is laying the groundwork to attract the best talent. As such, ‘attracting and hiring’ is the first stage of employee experience.

The EX journey then continues into onboarding, connecting with and investing in new employees and, finally, consistent ‘follow through’ in the form of surveys and check-ins. Below, we’ve created a helpful visual snapshot of the stages of employee experience to simplify the process:

stages of employee experience

Digital employee experience: how to provide EX in a remote world

It can seem significantly more difficult to provide employees with a comprehensive experience when operating remotely. However, given all the adjustments organizations have made during the last year, a quality employee experience for both in-person and remote workers is more attainable than ever.

From collaboration tools designed specifically to engage and delight distributed employees, to companies that specialize in creating remote team building activities, there is enough coverage to provide a seamless experience. Some of the most important factors to weigh in creating a digital employee experience include:

  1. Ensuring employees are comfortable in their workspace

    It has become commonplace for employers to provide their workers with a work from home (WFH) stipend to allow them to set up their remote workspace. From comfy chairs, to desk setups, to the perfect pair of headphones, it’s these sorts of items that can make all the difference in an employee’s WFH experience.

  2. Creating communicative and transparent relationships between staff and managers

    Undeniably, one of the best ways to provide a positive employee experience, regardless of location, is to ensure that managers have open communication with their subordinates. Regular 1 on 1’s and check ins, along with proper use of 360 reviews can be simple, effective ways to develop manager-employee relations.

  3. Providing anonymous surveys to allow for feedback and necessary adjustments

    It will likely be tough to establish the perfect remote working culture right out of the gate. This shouldn’t frustrate your efforts but, rather, motivate HR professionals and employee experience managers to tap into the workforce to hear directly what will make their remote workflow better.

By maximizing choice for employees and creating equitable experiences we can create a better employee experience for all

At Coinbase, we view employee experience as every interaction an employee has with the organization from the first chat with a recruiter, through their entire tenure with us, to becoming a Coinbase alum. As a “Remote-First” company, our team focuses on how these touchpoints are evolving and then provides employees what they need to be successful in the new world of work.

Ultimately, we believe that by maximizing choice for employees and creating equitable experiences regardless of where employees live and if they decide to come to an office or not, we can create a better employee experience for all and ultimately, be the best crypto company to work for.

-Dominique Baillet, Senior Director, Employee Experience and HR Enablement at Coinbase

How to use video to improve remote EX

As the onboarding experience is often a new employees first touchpoint with an organization, it is one of the most important components of a holistic employee experience.

Activating a seamless library of training resources, HR materials, and role expectations is crucial towards an effective onboarding process. According to research, videos are 12 times more likely to be watched than text is to be read.

As such, it might not be the best idea to overload your new hires with hours of mandatory reading. Opting to create a visually appealing, branded video library of onboarding and training content might be your fast track towards improving your onboarding process.

Another way to maintain a positive ‘office’ atmosphere from home is to encourage people to use video to show appreciation for the hard work of either a department or an individual. Luckily, Vimeo has an incredible ‘appreciation post’ video template for you to shout-out your company’s superheroes.

Employee journey: it’s a marathon not a sprint 

What journey do you want an employee at your company to take from start to finish? Thinking of the employee journey as a holistic experience from onboarding to off-boarding can be helpful in envisioning your company’s overall ethos.

Companies who invest in the longer-term development of staff are showing a commitment to their employees professional development and personal job satisfaction. This, in turn, will typically result in more employee buy-in into the company’s mission and vision.

According to one survey, 70% of respondents indicated that “job-related training and development opportunities influenced their decision to stay at their job.”

Employee experience challenges professionals to think creatively about the purpose of a workplace and work community. 

Over my time at Vimeo working in employee experience, I have learned that “going to work” is so much more than just opening up your laptop and opening Slack and email. For me, when talking about employee experience, it’s important to totally break open what you “think” it means to be an employee or employer. Employee experience challenges professionals to think creatively about the purpose of a workplace and work community. 

When thinking about employee experience, there are a few things that come to mind.

  • At a minimum, does the employee feel like they have the tools, resources and support they need to do their best work?
  • Does the employee feel heard and encouraged to provide feedback and suggestions about how we can further improve?
  • Have they been provided with opportunities to connect with others, both on and off their teams?
  • If they want to share their cat photos or vacation stories, can they do so comfortably and free of judgement?
  • When they are sick or a family emergency pops up, do they feel comfortable leaning on their team for support? 

We spend at least eight hours a day, five days a week at work. Employee experience means that during all those hours, and even beyond, you are contributing to the company, learning, growing, engaging with others, and hopefully, having a good time while doing it!

-Jessie During, HR Project Manager at Vimeo

Final thoughts

It is more common than ever for people to weigh things like company culture, benefits, and work-life balance in deciding where to work. After all, Americans spend over 1,800 hours per year working – so it’s important that we put that time in at a company that is going to invest in our wellbeing.

As I previously mentioned, creating an onboarding and training program using video is just one of the many ways to gain buy-in from employees at the early stages of their career. Vimeo makes this easy with our branded, cinematic video library.

Create your video library today