The Ultimate Guide to the Employee Experience

Learn how to create an amazing employee experience at every stage of the employee lifecycle. From attraction and onboarding to development, create a foundation for your employees to achieve their full potential and feel their best.

The Ultimate Guide to the Employee Experience
the employee experience: what is it?

Defining employee experience ✍️

The employee experience is subjective, making an exact definition hard to pin down. In some areas of HR, the “employee experience” is only associated with systems and tools that improve daily workflows. And while those things may help your team, is human resources software what your employees think of when thinking of their work experience? No. The employee experience isn’t just software  — that’s the digital employee experience, which is a single component of the entire thing! Employee experience is, literally, the lived experience of your employee's journey within your company — how they feel, how they grow, and what your company does to help them be their best selves. 

The Definitive Guide for Improving Digital Employee ExperienceUnderstanding the Basics: What Is Employee Experience?How to Optimize the 7 Stages of the Employee Lifecycle

What makes up the employee experience? 🤔

There are many components that make up the employee experience, including…

  • Onboarding and training: The way employees are onboarded and trained can have a big impact on their overall experience at a company. 📚
  • Communication and feedback: Clear and effective communication is important for creating a positive employee experience. Employees should also be encouraged to give feedback on their experience. 🗣
  • Company culture: Company culture plays a big role in shaping the employee experience. This includes the values and mission of the company, as well as how employees are treated. 🙌
  • Digital employee experience: The digital employee experience refers to the various tools and technologies that employees use to do their jobs, including software, hardware, and communication platforms. 💻
  • Benefits and perks: The benefits and perks that a company offers can impact the employee experience, as they can help employees feel valued and supported. ✨
  • Leadership and management: The leadership and management style of a company can have a big impact on the employee experience. Employees want to feel supported and empowered by their managers. 💪

While these are just a few of the components that make up the employee experience, this core list helps paint the bigger picture. It's important for companies to consider each of them in order to create a positive and engaging experience for their employees!

The shift from in-person to remote work: how employee experience has changed 🔀

In a remote or hybrid workforce, the employee experience looks a little different, with some employees enjoying the flexibility and autonomy it provides, while others struggle with isolation and work-life balance. It has also forced companies to adapt their communication and collaboration methods to ensure employees stay connected and engaged, which isn’t always the easiest task. Plus, there are different needs, like ensuring your team has an adequate at-home set-up or optimizing asynchronous project collaboration. 

But, at the end of the day, creating the best employee experience possible is still about listening to and meeting the needs of your team members — whether you’re in-person, or remote. 

According to Harvard Business Review, employees across the board want: 

  • Inclusive leadership with a diverse workforce: When leaders actively work to create a culture of inclusivity, it promotes a sense of belonging and psychological safety for everyone. Diversity in the workplace brings in fresh ideas, and it allows employees to learn from one another's experiences, ultimately leading to better problem-solving and more creative solutions. 🤝
  • A work environment that champions learning and growth: When employers provide opportunities for growth, such as training, mentorship, or tuition reimbursement, it shows that they value their employees' potential and are willing to invest in their future. Plus, 68% of employees said they’d remain with one company for their entire career if their company made an effort to upskill them! 👆
  • To feel a sense of belonging and purpose: When employees feel a sense of belonging, it fosters a positive work environment and a stronger commitment to the organization's mission and values. It also helps employees feel more connected to their work, leading to higher job satisfaction and overall well-being. 👯
  • To be recognized for the quality of their work: Recognition can come in many forms, such as bonuses, promotions, awards, or even just a simple "thank you." When employees feel valued for their work, it boosts their self-esteem and motivation. It can also increase employee loyalty and engagement by demonstrating that their hard work and dedication are noticed and appreciated by your organization. 🏆
  • To have a work-life balance: Without balance, work can become overwhelming and lead to burnout, causing a negative impact on both personal and professional lives. It's important your team has time for self-care, family, and hobbies so they can stay happy and healthy. Remember, taking care of yourself is not selfish, it's necessary for a fulfilling and successful life! ⚖️
  • To feel valued and cared for by their employer: Employees want to feel like their employer cares about their well-being, both inside and outside of work. This can include things like offering flexible work arrangements, regular team bonding or simply checking in with them to see how they are doing. ❤️
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By focusing on these key elements, your digital employee experience strategy is already well on its way to success.

The importance of the employee experience ⭐️

Why is the employee experience so important, you ask? Well, for starters, it can directly impact the productivity and efficiency of the employees. When employees are happy and satisfied with their work environment, they tend to be more motivated and engaged. This, in turn, leads to increased productivity and better overall performance. On the other hand, when employees are unhappy and dissatisfied with their work environment, they tend to be less productive and may even be more likely to quit.

Here 5 key benefits of a positive employee experience: 

  • Employee retention: Investing in the employee experience can help companies attract and retain top talent. According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, HR professionals agree that a positive employee experience is important for employee retention. 🔄
  • Employee engagement: The employee experience has a direct impact on employee engagement, which is crucial for productivity and business success. In fact, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%. 👀
  • Business success: Prioritizing the employee experience can lead to increased business success. Companies with a strong focus on the employee experience were four times more profitable than those without. 🥇
  • Brand reputation: The employee experience can also impact a company's brand reputation, as employees can be powerful advocates or detractors for a company. According to Gartner, 68% of employees would consider leaving their current job for a company with a better reputation. 💬
  • Diversity and inclusion: The employee experience is also important for creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. By prioritizing diversity and inclusion in the employee experience, companies can attract and retain a wider range of talent and improve overall business outcomes. 🤜🤛

At the end of the day, employees want to work for a company that values their contributions and provides a positive work environment. Essentially, by focusing on the employee experience, companies can create a workplace culture that attracts top talent and encourages them to stay for the long haul.

Quote from CEO & Founder of Confetti on effective leaders

Who is responsible for the employee experience? 🧐

Company leadership and HR play complementary roles in building the employee experience. While HR is responsible for the day-to-day management of policies and programs that impact employees, leadership sets the tone for the overall company culture and vision.

HR and leadership work together to create and communicate a shared vision for the employee experience, aligning policies and programs with the company's values and goals. By collaborating on initiatives such as training and development programs, employee recognition programs, and work-life balance initiatives, they can create a cohesive and supportive work environment that attracts and retains top talent. 

Leadership also has an important role in modeling the desired behaviors and values, and HR can provide the necessary resources and support to enable leaders to do so effectively. By working together, HR and leadership can create a workplace culture that values and invests in employees, leading to increased engagement, productivity, and success for the company as a whole.

How to enhance the employee experience 💪

So, what can companies do to improve the employee experience? Here are a few ideas to improve employee experience:

  • Optimize your onboarding: Onboarding sets the foundation of employee experience, being the main influencer around how your employees feel and perform down the road. Yet only 12% of employees strongly believe their organization has a great onboarding process. By investing in a great onboarding experience, organizations can improve employee engagement, accelerate time-to-productivity, and increase overall job satisfaction. 
  • Align on your company’s mission and values: 72% of employees who align with their company values say work makes them feel personally accomplished. When organizations have a clear mission and set of values that are communicated and lived out by leaders and employees alike, it helps to create a shared sense of purpose and direction. 
  • Invest in employee development: Provide opportunities for employees to learn new skills and advance in their careers. This not only benefits the employee but the company as a whole.
  • Foster good manager-employee relationships: 82% of workers say they’d quit a job because of a bad manager. But strong employee-manager relations help reduce employee turnover and absenteeism. 
  • Encourage open communication: Make sure employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas with management. This can help identify and address issues before they become bigger problems. Open communication also fosters a sense of trust and transparency between employees and management, leading to a more positive and collaborative work environment.
  • Cultivate a collaborative culture: Only 14% of companies think internal processes for decision-making and collaborating work well, yet 75% of employees rate effective collaboration as very important to their role. 
  • Recognize and reward employees: Show appreciation for employees' hard work and contributions. This can be as simple as saying "thank you" or offering a small bonus or a gift.

Culture and employee experience 🤩

The benefits of making a people-centric employee experience a key part of company culture is vast, but it essentially boils down to the direct impact it has on the well-being and happiness of employees. 

When employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to be engaged and productive, which ultimately benefits the company as a whole. Additionally, a positive employee experience can help attract and retain top talent, creating a competitive edge in the job market. 

By prioritizing the employee experience as a core part of company culture, businesses can foster a sense of community and build a strong foundation for long-term success.

Employee experience key milestones ✅

Let’s take a closer look at some key milestones in the employee experience journey, from the moment a potential candidate applies for a job to their first day on the job and beyond. 

7 Key Milestones of the Employee Experience

Attract 🔍

This is where the magic happens — the moment when a potential candidate discovers your company and decides if they want to be a part of your team. It's all about making a great first impression and showing why your company is the place to be! 

Plus, candidates who had a positive candidate experience are far more likely to accept a job offer. 

Hire 🤝

This is where the rubber hits the road, and the potential candidate becomes an actual employee. It's all about finding the perfect match between the candidate and the company — making sure they have the right skills, the right attitude, and makes the right cultural addition.

Best event for new hires: Water Cooler

Onboard 📚

Onboarding is where the new employee gets their feet wet and starts to become part of the team. It's all about setting them up for success — providing the tools, resources, and support they need to hit the ground running. According to Glassdoor, a positive onboarding experience can increase new hire retention rates by 82% and productivity by 70%.

Onboarding is a crucial time, full of learning and growth, as the new employee gets to know their new colleagues and starts to make their mark on the company.

Best event for onboarding: Game Night

Best event for onboarding: Game Night

Engage 👀

This is where the employee becomes fully immersed in the company culture and starts to contribute their unique talents and perspectives. According to Gallup, highly engaged teams are 21% more profitable and have 41% lower absenteeism. Additionally, organizations with already low-turn over saw 59% less turnover after focusing on engagement! 

From team building activities to employee recognition programs, there are countless ways to keep employees engaged and motivated. It's an exciting time, full of collaboration and innovation, as the employee becomes an integral part of the team and drives the company forward. 

Best event for employee engagement: Coworker Feud

Perform 🕺

This is where the employee's hard work and dedication pay off, and they get to see the results of their efforts. It's all about setting clear goals and expectations, providing regular feedback and coaching, and recognizing and rewarding top performers. With the right support and guidance, the employee can continue to grow and thrive, both personally and professionally.

Best event for understanding performance goals: Vision Board Workshop

Develop 🧠

This is where the employee's skills and expertise are honed and expanded, setting them up for success both now and in the future. And according to a study by LinkedIn, 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. 

Development all about providing opportunities for learning and development, both on the job and through training and education programs. With the right investment in their growth, the employee can become an even more valuable asset to the company, bringing fresh ideas and innovative approaches to their work.

Best event for professional development: Mindful Leadership Workshop

Exit 👋

Although it can be bittersweet, this is an important part of the employee experience. It's all about making sure the employee leaves the company on good terms, with the support and resources they need to transition smoothly to their next opportunity. It's also a chance for the company to learn and grow, gathering feedback from the departing employee and using it to improve the employee experience for future hires. 

Additionally, a positive exit experience can help to retain a company's reputation, as employees are 2.9x more likely to recommend their former employer if they had a positive exit experience. By handling exits with care and professionalism, the company can maintain a positive reputation and a strong relationship with former employees. 

Best event for retiring employees: Workplace Gratitude

The future of the employee experience 🥳

The employee experience is more than just a buzzword — it's a crucial part of any successful company culture. From attracting top talent to retaining valuable employees, every step of the employee journey is important. By creating a positive, engaging, and supportive work environment, offering opportunities for growth and development, and measuring and analyzing employee feedback, companies can ensure that their employees are happy, productive, and motivated to achieve their best. 

So, whether you're a new hire just starting out or a seasoned employee looking to take your career to the next level, remember that the employee experience is all about you — and with the right support and guidance, you can achieve your full potential and contribute to the success of your company.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is employee experience?

The employee experience is the journey that an employee takes from the moment they apply for a job to the moment they leave the company. It's all about creating a positive, engaging, and supportive environment that fosters personal and professional growth, and helps employees achieve their full potential.

What is the digital employee experience?

The digital employee experience encompasses the various ways in which employees interact with and use digital tools and technology in the workplace, from communication and collaboration platforms to learning and development resources. It involves creating a seamless and engaging digital journey for employees that supports productivity, engagement, and overall business success.

How do you improve the employee experience?

To improve the employee experience, it's important to focus on creating a positive and supportive work environment, offering opportunities for growth and development, and recognizing and rewarding employees for their hard work and achievements. By prioritizing the employee experience, companies can attract and retain top talent, drive innovation and growth, and create a culture of success.

How do you measure the employee experience?

To measure the employee experience, it's important to gather feedback from employees through surveys, interviews, and other forms of communication. By analyzing this feedback and tracking key metrics such as employee engagement, turnover rates, and productivity, companies can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to enhance the overall employee experience.

Why is employee experience important?

The employee experience is important because it can have a significant impact on a company's bottom line, including productivity, employee retention, and overall business success. By prioritizing the employee experience, companies can create a positive work culture that attracts top talent, fosters innovation, and drives long-term growth.

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