AB Thinks  →  15th March 2023

It’s time to invest in employee experience

Employees are a business’s most valuable asset. They are also one of the only assets that appreciate over time – as they grow in experience, they continually add value to the organisation.

So, why are so many organisations unwilling to make real investment in their employee experience? Nicholas Wardle, Head of Employee Experience at Brand Experiences, sat down with Katie Macaulay on a recent episode of The Internal Comms Podcast to unpack the issue.

According to a 2020 study conducted by Nicholas and Brand Experiences, almost 60% of people expect to leave their job within three years. Perhaps that’s because only 28% feel their organisation manages change well, and only 41% felt they had their say about that change.

Your organisation is made up of people, and those people will go elsewhere if they don’t feel motivated to perform.

Nicholas sees employee experience as equally as important as customer experience. “They are two sides of the same coin,” he told Katie. And employee experience has a tangible effect on business performance, as motivation and productivity are intrinsically linked.

Here are just a few of the gems Nicholas shared during the conversation…

Employee experience is more than just how colleagues feel at work
At Brand Experiences, employee experience is defined as “the entire relationship between employee and employer”. It’s not just how your colleagues are feeling in the here and now, it’s a holistic term that encompasses each ‘moment that matters’, from a prospective employee’s first interaction with the company to how you see them on their way out of the business and connect with them as alumni.

Employees are potential customers and ambassadors. “Employee experience is a big and powerful thing,” says Nicholas, and you should treat it as equally important – if not more important – than customer experience.

An effective EX strategy drives ROI
In his book Monetising the Employee Experience, Nicholas says that employee experience is “undervalued and underfunded”. That can be traced to the top of the organisation. “Senior leaders only really have the time, and for some of them only really have the interest, in KPIs and pounds and pence,” he told Katie.

But colleagues can prove their worth to a business in productivity terms. Higher employee output does equal pounds and pence, and is well worth investing in.

If you invest in your people in the right way and develop them, you could be extracting more and more value from their ideas and conversations, the way they collaborate, and share best practice. All of this can make a difference to your bottom line.

It doesn’t have to cost the earth
Employee experience doesn’t have to mean huge costs on the balance sheet. “The employee experience starts with you,” Nicholas said. Perhaps when you’re interviewing a potential colleague, they mention they like Ferraris. A great way to make an impression in a moment that matters would be to have a little Ferrari keyring waiting for them as a joining gift, and maybe a welcome card for them.

“There’s loads of those kinds of things that can just give people’s hearts a bit of a lift,” Nicholas said. “They don’t take much time, there’s just one human being a good to another.”

Listen to the full conversation.