The Business Impact Of Positive Employee Experience V1

The Business Impact of Positive Employee Experience

Within two years, 78% of HR leaders believe that EX will be one of the most important factors impacting firms’ ability to deliver on business objectives.”

According to Gallup, employee experience is the journey an employee takes with your organization. It includes all interactions an employee has with your organization before, during, and after their tenure. In short,  employee experience includes everything from recruitment and onboarding to career development and exiting the organization.

Forrester’s Employee Experience (EX) Index shows that an engaged workforce is an important driver of business success. These engaged employees work harder to overcome barriers, better serve their customers, and stay with the company longer. But organizations that fail to properly listen to, understand, and act on behalf of their employees risk potential negative impacts such as increased employee churn, poor customer experience (CX), reputational brand damage, and alienating investors at great cost.

In short, a positive employee experience drives revenue, increases returns on EX investments, and builds a competitive brand. Yet, only 9% of HR leaders claim employee needs as their number one priority while setting an EX strategy.

Over the past year, due to the COVID-pandemic, organizations globally have witnessed how changing workforce dynamics have made employee well-being critical to the organization’s success.

This blog discusses the business impact of a positive employee experience and how EX platforms can help deliver exceptional employee experiences.

The Business Impact of Positive Employee Experience

A positive employee experience translates to better quality work, enhanced workforce engagement, higher employee productivity, and acquisition and retention of great talent. Consequently, such employee benefits lead to critical business benefits, such as the following –

  • In a July 2020 study by Forrester Consulting of 900 global HR decision-makers, 77% experienced increased revenue, and 61% reported improved profitability.
  • Moreover, 38% of the respondents reported improvements on cost savings KPIs, and another 50% said that employee experience initiatives helped them hit their growth targets.
  • In the same survey, 75% report improved customer satisfaction, leading to improved customer acquisition and retention.
  • 62% of HR leaders saw a positive impact on brand reputation, while 53% reported improvement in competitive differentiation.
  • Additionally, research has found that highly engaged workforces surpass their peers by 147% in earnings per share.
  • Organizations with more advanced technology and organizational practices see a return of 3.73% on their EX investments as compared to a return of just 2.24% from counterparts with less mature EX practices.
  • Satisfied employees work harder (91% vs. 73%), stay longer (87% vs. 66%), and recommend their company to job seekers (84% vs. 59%) than their less satisfied peers – everything that leads to better bottom-line results for the organization.

The Three Essential Elements of a Positive Employee Experience

Having understood the business impact of a positive employee experience, let’s first understand the factors that create effective staff engagement and lead to a conducive experience.

During the pandemic, the need for work-life balance has come to the forefront as employees juggle between professional commitments and the responsibilities of caring for children/ailing parents at home. Moreover, working in silos and concerns around the virus have left employees struggling with anxiety and depression.

A recently held radio show titled, “Boosting Employee Engagement: Human Experience Management with EY, has outlined the three essential elements of a positive employee experience (EX), based on different employee needs, as follows –

  • The task experience – Includes having access to the right tools and resources to get work done efficiently. When employees aren’t able to retrieve relevant information at the right time, or have to switch constantly between apps to get tasks done, it creates real frustration among them. Often, they may feel that the employer doesn’t value their time or skills.
  • The social experience – If employees like their peers and teams have an excellent working dynamic towards shared goals, it inculcates a sense of belonging to the organization, and they feel effective, supported, and included.
  • A sense of fulfillment – What employees expect from their work differs from person to person. “Everybody has a different sense of fulfillment. Some people might work because it allows them to do things outside of work with their families. Others, fortunately, get to do work that they truly enjoy that helps them feel fulfilled.”

Despite the financial benefits and improved business outcomes of a positive employee experience, the largely immature employee experience (EX) initiatives at many organizations leave room for significant improvement and an urgent need to close the gap between the organization’s EX strategy and employee expectations.

Organizations struggle in several areas of their EX practice, including the following

1. Overestimating employee satisfaction with the current technology

In today’s times, the ease of use of technology and availability of needed features is a critical factor in determining employee experience. Despite this, organizations often overestimate how satisfied their employees are with current digital processes and tools.

The above research by Forrester found that 40% of employees feel current technology is challenging to use, and over half say the technology provided lacks vital features. Approximately three-quarters said that the apps and data they need are not always accessible on desktop and mobile.

Moreover, employees switch between 35 applications that are critical to their work more than 1100 times a day. When employees have to use siloed apps or navigate multiple tabs a day, it often leads to what is commonly called login fatigue.

The primary cause of decreased productivity at work, login fatigue can seriously hamper employee experience and affect the bottom-line of an organization.

2. Lack of buy-in from the C-suite executives

Without executive support or a designated C-suite executive for the EX practice, EX investment will be insufficient to bring about direction or a tangible change in the employee experience practice.

3. Inconsistency in the collection of employee data and feedback

Many organizations lack consistent programs and the right tools to collect employee feedback. The Forrester survey mentioned above found that just 36% of the respondents have a voice-of-the-employee feedback program, and only 30% of organizations conduct an ongoing employee engagement survey.

13% of organizations don’t track EX KPIs, and 37% of HR respondents lack mechanisms to measure overall EX.

71% of HR leaders have stated that gathering real-time information about EX is challenging. In today’s digital era, organizations must leverage advanced technologies such as AI, advanced analytics, and behavioral science to study employee information and understand what drives a positive EX.

4. HR priorities don’t align with what employees want.

The above survey also found that HR leaders focused on corporate branding, crisis planning, and aligning employees with company culture. However, employees want organizations to prioritize remote work, employee experience, and company growth, leading to a significant mismatch in HR and employee perceptions.

EX platforms that Enhance the Business Impact of Positive Employee Experience

Employee Experience platforms can help tide over some of the challenges mentioned above, especially with respect to collection of employee data and access to the right tools and technology under a unified interface.

But what is an employee experience platform? Simply put, it is a unified platform that brings together powerful tools for communication, collaboration, knowledge discovery, learning, and employee well-being.

Let’s have a look at some of the EX platforms that help enhance the business impact of a positive employee experience.

1. Microsoft VIVA

Announced in February 2021, VIVA is Microsoft’s latest offering in the EX space. This platform brings together knowledge, communication, learning, and insights and fosters a culture that empowers organizations to build a positive employee experience, irrespective of where the staff works from.

This platform hosts several capabilities that enable people and teams to perform their best from anywhere. Let’s have a look.

  • Viva Topics – VIVA Topics automatically organizes the company’s knowledge and expertise across its internal network and uses AI to deliver personalized and relevant content to employees, leading to higher engagement.
  • Viva Connections – VIVA Connections is a one-stop shop for the latest news, events, and social networking tools, allowing employees to connect with colleagues and access top management communication.
  • Viva Learning – A cohesive hub for learning, VIVA Learning allows employees to discover, assign, and share learning content from organization-wide libraries and learning systems, making learning an everyday habit.
  • Viva Insights – Viva Insights improves individual and team efficiency with data-driven insights and recommendations that enhance productivity, allow employees to maintain a work-life balance, and help managers study employee data to implement better EX initiatives.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we, at Acuvate Software help clients from different industries deploy Microsoft VIVA to ensure maximum business benefits from positive EX outcomes.

2. Mesh 3.0

At Acuvate, we help clients deploy a modern employee experience platform with our autonomous SharePoint intranet solution called Mesh 3.0.

Built with the most advanced Microsoft technologies, including Azure Search Services, LUIS, Office Graph, and MS Natural Language Stack, Mesh helps organizations deliver excellent employee experiences that improve key employee metrics and maximize the return from investment in EX.

Mesh 3.0 brings digital workplace features like internal communication, collaboration, analytics, content management, and AI-driven knowledge mining under a unified platform to provide personalized employee engagement.

The powerful functionalities of Mesh 3.0 are as follows –

To know more about Mesh 3.0 and VIVA implementation, please feel free to schedule a personalized consultation with our experts.