Employee Experience (EX)

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What is Employee Experience (EX)?

Employee experience (EX) is a term used to describe the type of experience an employee has with an organization throughout the employee life cycle. This includes everything from recruitment to onboarding, to day-to-day responsibilities, development opportunities, and offboarding.


Factors that can influence employee experience include the type of work completed, working environment, employee culture, relationships with coworkers, management style, pay, benefits, and paid time off (PTO).

Techopedia Explains the Employee Experience Meaning

Techopedia Explains the Employee Experience Meaning

    The definition of employee experience is the type of experience an employee has at an organization. It can be used to measure how an employee feels about their role, work environment, and employer.

    If we consider the broader meaning of employee experience, we can summarize it as the collective experiences that workers have with an employer brand (similar to how customer experience refers to the experiences that customers have with a brand).

    Why is the Employee Experience Important

    Optimizing the employee experience is essential for attracting top talent and for ensuring that current employees have a productive and rewarding working environment. According to SHRM, employees with a positive employee experience are 68% less likely to consider leaving.

    In this sense, recognizing employees’ needs and providing them with an engaging work environment is critical for ensuring that they perform at their best and remain with the organization long-term. Failure to do so can result in employees leaving the organization or quitting.

    Offering a high-quality employee experience is also essential for preserving a company’s employer brand. Disgruntled ex-employees can leave negative reviews on sites like Google Reviews, Indeed, or Glassdoor, which can discourage new hires.

    Unfortunately, few organizations are meeting the needs of employees, with Gartner finding that just 13% of employees are fully satisfied with their experience.

    Positive Employee Experience

    There is no one-size-fits-all employee experience, as everyone has different preferences. For example, some employees may prefer to work in the office, others may prefer to work in and out of the office as part of a hybrid work approach, and others may opt for remote working options.

    This means that organizations need to be able to identify the work experiences that employees want and provide them where possible as part of a broader employee experience management strategy (typically by collecting employee feedback).

    Focusing on general principles like offering work-life balance, proactively addressing workplace bullying, and reducing micromanagement can also provide a great place to start when building a positive experience.

    Employee Experience vs. Employee Engagement

    Employee experience and employee engagement are two terms that are often used together, but each has a distinct difference.

    Employee experience is the overarching experience an employee has with a company from hiring to offboarding, whereas employee engagement refers to how engaged an employee feels with their organization.

    That being said, the end goal of measuring the employee experience should be to increase employee engagement as much as possible to support employee wellness, development, and retention.

    Stages of Employee Experience

    Stages of Employee Experience

      According to Gallup, the employee experience can be broken down into 7 core stages. These are outlined briefly below:

      1. Attract

        How an organization attracts top talent. Q’s to consider:

        Is the salary competitive?

        Is our company culture clearly highlighted?

        Does our employer brand come across like it representing a fulfilling place to work?

      2. Hire

        This is the stage where candidates are actively hired. Q’s to consider:

        How frictionless was the hiring process?

        Was it conducted fairly?

        Did candidates have a chance to ask questions about the role?

      3. Onboard

        New hires are brought on board the organization. Q’s to consider:

        Are new hires given access to the tools and guidance necessary to perform their role? Have they been given a chance to learn about our organization’s values?

      4. Engage

        Building interest in the role long term. Q’s to consider

        Do employees feel engaged at work?

        Is the work they’re assigned rewarding?

      5. Perform

        Where employee performance is assessed. Q’s to consider:

        Are employee reviews fair and accurate?

        Are there incentives for good performance?

      6. Develop

        Long-term growth opportunities. Q’s to consider:

        Do we offer flexible career paths?

        Do we support employee career development?

        Are there opportunities for employees to learn new skills?

      7. Departure

        When employees leave the organization. Q’s to consider

        Does our exit program offer a positive experience?

        Why does our top talent leave?

        Do we thank employees for their contributions?

      Types of Employee Experience Surveys

      There is a wide range of surveys that enterprises can use to assess employee experience. Some of these are as follows:

      Employee satisfaction survey
      An employee satisfaction survey or employee morale survey can be used to collect feedback from employees on how their working environment could be improved. 

      Culture survey
      A culture survey can assess the beliefs, values, and norms that make up an organization’s work culture and help understand how employees interpret it. 

      Business process feedback survey
      A business process feedback survey can be used to get feedback from employees on how a certain process could be improved – from being made more efficient to being made more rewarding/fulfilling.
      360-degree feedback survey
      A 360-degree feedback survey is designed to gather feedback from multiple sources to measure an employee’s performance and highlight areas for improvement. 

      How to Improve Employee Experience Strategy

      The best way to improve an organization’s employee experience strategy is to develop a process for regularly collecting feedback from employees and how their work environment could be improved.

      Start by asking qualitative questions about how they feel about the cultural, physical, and technological components of their work environment. Collecting feedback to improve each of these areas can help HR teams develop insights into how to improve the employee experience as a whole.

      Employee Experience Examples

      There are some core ways that organizations can look to improve employee experience. These include:

      Flexible working arrangementsPersonalized development opportunitiesUnlimited paid time offEmployee wellness programs

      Offering flexible working arrangements gives employees the option to work where they are most productive, whether that’s in the office, at home, or as part of a remote or hybrid working schedule.

      Offer employees career development and training opportunities that align with their interests and long-term career aspirations. This can be done via promotion, external training, and mentorship.

      Providing employees with unlimited paid time off can be a good way to improve work-life balance, as long as employees are encouraged to take time off when they need to. Having a short break can help to increase fulfillment and productivity.

      Developing an employee wellness program can help employees maintain their work-life balance and overall health. This can include onsite gyms, subsidized gym/sports club memberships, offering “play areas” at work, and mental health support.

      Benefits of Positive Employee Experience

      Building a positive employee experience offers a number of core benefits. These include:

      • Increasing employee retention: Creating a more rewarding working environment can help to increase employee retention.
      • Improving productivity: Engaged and fulfilled employees are more productive in the workplace.
      • Attracting new talent: Developing a reputation for providing a fulfilling workplace environment can help attract new hires seeking a better work-life balance.
      • Increasing revenue: Helping employees work more productively can help to increase revenue.
      • Better employee wellness: A positive and rewarding working environment leads to improved employee wellness and satisfaction.
      • Enhance customer satisfaction: Improved employee performance and productivity can help to increase customer satisfaction downstream.

      Employee Experience Challenges

      Creating an optimal employee experience is easier said than done – particularly when taking into account the fact that every employee has different preferences. Some of the most common challenges include:

      Creating personalized employee development pathways
      Different employees want different opportunities for development, which means managers need to be prepared to support those goals. 

      Measuring employee experience
      Collecting data on employee experience can be difficult as some employees may be reluctant to give direct feedback on how certain processes or their overall experience could be improved.

      Supporting remote and hybrid workers
      Remote and hybrid workers may feel isolated when working from home due to the lack of in-person interaction – so employers will need to make sure these workers feel like part of the team and have equal access to promotions. 
      Competing against other employer brands
      Many employee brands are using employee experience as a selling point to attract top talent. This means organizations need to offer a full-array of perks and an engaging work environment if they want to compete. 

      The Bottom Line

      Providing a solid employee experience is the bare minimum for retaining employees long-term. Today’s employees, particularly among younger generations like generation Z and millennials, expect to have work-life balance and will leave organizations that fail to offer these.


      What is employee experience in simple terms?

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      What are the fundamentals of employee experience?


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      Tim Keary
      Technology Specialist
      Tim Keary
      Technology Specialist

      Tim Keary is a freelance technology writer and reporter covering AI, cybersecurity, and enterprise technology. Before joining Techopedia full-time in 2023, his work appeared on VentureBeat, Forbes Advisor, and other notable technology platforms, where he covered the latest trends and innovations in technology. He holds a Master’s degree in History from the University of Kent, where he learned of the value of breaking complex topics down into simple concepts. Outside of writing and conducting interviews, Tim produces music and trains in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).