Measuring employee experience and culture: a path to achieving success
- 5 Min Read
Assessing employee experience and workplace culture is pivotal for organizational growth, fostering engagement, retention, and driving overall business performance
Effectively managing dynamic and diverse workforces is at the top of the agenda for human resources leaders across the globe. Going beyond simply meeting the basic needs of employees, market-leading companies are looking to help staff on their journey toward becoming truly engaged and motivated.
Fostering an employee experience and culture where staff can access career development opportunities, have a clear work-life balance, and enjoy the work environment, can result in improved productivity, higher retention rates and enhanced organizational performance.
Yet, measuring and improving the employee experience and culture can prove to be a challenge, unless there is a well-defined framework in place.
The significance of employee experience
In the constantly shifting workplace of today, the employee experience has a major impact on employee satisfaction. Creating a positive employee experience, where staff are fully engaged, can be felt across an organization.
From boosting collaboration to increasing customer satisfaction and improving communication, investing time in building a strong employee experience can pay significant dividends.
For Hannah Wilken, Regional Director of People Science at Culture Amp, a leading employee experience platform, the importance of the employee experience is clear.
“We found that companies that have highly engaged employees experience an average of 6.7 higher stock price growth relative to other companies,” says Wilken.
Understanding organizational culture
Organizational culture, which is typically defined as the set of behavioral patterns that exist in companies, has an expansive role in shaping workplace dynamics. If a culture of collaboration, transparency, and support is fostered, organizations can perform well. Yet, if low cultural expectations are set, employees may exhibit poor behavior and attitudes.
Benefits of a positive employee experience and culture
For companies that make the decision to invest in cultural improvement and focus on the employee experience, the benefits can be substantial. For example, positive cultures keep employees engaged, as an environment is created that encourages people to do their best at work. This impact on productivity and revenue positions an organization for long-term financial success.
“Researchers have been able to show that the employee experience directly impacts an organization’s performance, engagement, well-being and has been found to have an influence on customer satisfaction and even profits,” adds Wilken.
The challenges of measuring EX and culture
The journey that companies embark on to become leaders in employee experience and culture is extremely worthwhile but comes with a fair share of challenges to overcome. Simply collecting data doesn’t necessarily lead to meaningful change, without data-driven insights being extracted and implemented.
“A major challenge can be fostering trusted relationships with senior leaders to convince them that the data will enhance, not diminish, the influence and accomplishments they can have in the organization,” explains Wilken.
A lack of leadership buy-in can result in issues around resistance to change and subjectivity in data collection becoming increasingly problematic.
Key metrics for measuring employee experience
Depending on the stage each organization is at on the employee experience journey, different metrics will be relevant. However, certain metrics will be valuable to many businesses.
For Wilken, the key metrics are employee well-being, inclusion, and belonging, viewed by factors such as protected demographics. “For measuring culture, we would typically recommend utilizing a survey to get there. But interviews can sometimes also work,” she adds.
Several additional KPIs, including Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), retention rates and absenteeism, can provide useful insights.
Tools and technologies for measurement
Technological solutions can make measuring the employee experience and culture a seamless task. By embracing software tools, companies can gain better insights into everything from retention levels to productivity and engagement.
Technologies that incorporate AI and analytics can provide unrivalled data-driven insights to HR leaders and help highlight problems. For example, innovative pulse survey technology empowers firms to understand staff experiences over time and through multiple touchpoints.
Employee feedback and communication
Open communication and feedback loops are core elements of any effective employee engagement strategy. Without staff being comfortable in sharing their true feelings and feedback, any improvement plans will fall flat.
Collecting employee feedback through pulse surveys, long-form surveys and exit interviews helps contribute to a culture of transparency, where staff feel listened to and understood.
Actionable steps for organizations
It’s essential for companies to clearly define exactly what culture the organization is striving towards, and most critically to articulate the behaviors that support this goal, at the start of any measurement process.
Likewise, organizations would benefit from mapping out the employee journey and any factors that are impacting the employee experience. In practice, this will mean considering every step from candidate onboarding and engagement to development opportunities and the exit.
Prioritizing measuring and enhancing the employee experience and culture can unlock long-term benefits to organizations in areas as diverse as lower staff turnover rates to increased bottom-line profits.
As the result of cultural improvement is to better align the priorities and values of a company, focusing on this can help the organization move closer to its goals.