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Employee experience vs employee engagement

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by Charlotte Gurney

Employee experience and engagement are at the heart of business success today for any organization. These two metrics provide valuable insight into how the business is doing internally and also whether this is creating the output objectives that have been defined for your enterprise. Learning to work with employee experience and engagement can be transformative for any business.

Experience and engagement definitions

Employee experience is effectively looking at everything that happens during an employee lifecycle from the employee’s perspective. Given that candidates tend to make judgments about employers from the first point of contact, this includes every touchpoint in the life cycle, from recruitment onwards. This type of approach involves constant questioning of how employees will perceive actions that are being taken at management level and what impression is being conveyed by certain decisions.

Employee engagement is creating a workplace in which it’s possible for everyone to show up as their best selves every day and to continuously contribute to the goals and objectives of the organization while also experiencing an enhanced sense of their own wellbeing.

How do experience and engagement work together?

If you’re able to improve the way that employees experience your business then the result is likely to be a more engaged workforce. So, there is a direct link between these two values. To put it another way, many businesses make the improvement of employee engagement the goal and then focus on creating a better employee experience in order to achieve that goal. The traditional measures that come into play for assessing employee engagement can be limited to a specific moment in time and may also focus purely on factors such as productivity. However, if your organization is also integrating more work on employee experience, you’re likely to see constant improvements, not just to business outcomes but also how workers feel within the business as human beings.

Why focus on employee experience?

This has become a theme in order to improve engagement so as to increase retention, overcome talent shortages and increase the impact that a business can have as a brand, among many other goals. There are a number of different ways to do this, including:

* Qualify every internal decision with the question ‘how will this affect employees’ - an employee-centric strategy like this is naturally plugged into improving experience.

* Make sure you’re thinking about employee experience before people even join the company - recruitment is just as key a stage and should be as focused on experience as any other part of the journey.

* Include leaders and management. It’s vital that those in key positions within the business know how to lead, motivate, inspire and listen to employees or this could negatively affect experience.

Integrate more transparency and communication. An open-door policy and a culture where communication is valued are the foundations of positive employee experience - and also a crucial channel for identifying if there is a problem and what that might be.

Creating a better employee experience will improve employee engagement in your business and is an investment well worth making.
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