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What is the Return on Investment of Your EX?

What gets measured gets managed, and that mentality applies to even the most seemingly intangible components of working life – such as the employee experience (EX). The EX is a ...

What is the Return on Investment of Your EX?

What gets measured gets managed, and that mentality applies to even the most seemingly intangible components of working life – such as the employee experience (EX).

The EX is a constantly evolving – and increasingly important – part of our working lives. It covers all touchpoints that employees have with their employer, from hire to retire, and incorporates everything that employees encounter and observe over the course of their tenure at an organisation. From recruitment and onboarding, through to the work environment and the various engagement and professional development activities undertaken, and finally the exit from the organisation – all these elements will shape the EX.

The ROI of the EX

As an extension of the broader concept of employee engagement, demonstrating the return in investment (ROI) of the EX has been challenging.

What impact does a positive EX have on customer satisfaction? On innovation or employee retention?

The latest research from The Josh Bersin Company[1] has attempted to shed light on this oft-misunderstood part of HR’s remit. However, as Bersin himself states on his website,[2] your employees “are” your organisation, so the more productive and engaged they are, the more successful your organisation will be. It pays to understand the benefits that a positive EX can bring.

It’s also important to remember that engagement is an important outcome of a great EX. It stands to reason that if employees are more engaged, they will generally be happier, more productive, and provide better service to customers. However, it’s not the only outcome to consider.

Bersin’s research indicates that if organisations focus on the right EX strategies and practices, they’ll have better business, people, and innovation outcomes. For example, organisations leveraging the right EX strategies are likely to be:

  • 4x more likely to delight customers
  • 7x more likely to adapt well to change
  • 1x more likely to exceed financial targets
  • 1x more likely to engage and retain employees

This is best shown in this diagram[3] from the Josh Bersin Company:

What is the Return on Investment of Your EX?

Despite these statistics, it may still be difficult to trace the line from these outcomes directly back to the EX. There will always be a mix of internal and external elements (such as overall economic conditions) that impact these outcomes. That’s why it’s never been more important for HR to be gathering data and metrics on all aspects of the employee lifecycle, and then have the skills to assess that data and make more informed decisions.

The core elements of the EX

There are several core ingredients that must come together to create a powerful EX. These core ingredients include:

  • Purpose

Employers should aim to provide a feeling of purpose in their employees. This can take the form of an overarching mission with supporting values. It’s an easy way to ensure everyone is reaching for – and being guided by – the same ‘North Star’.

  • Trust

Employees must trust not just their leaders but their organisation as a whole. This often comes down to clear, transparent communication, and ‘walking the talk’ or following through on any promises made.

  • Fairness

Employees react positively when they feel their employer treats them fairly and respects their uniqueness and identity as an individual. A culture that encourages diversity and inclusion, gives employees a voice, and creates a sense of belonging can be beneficial.

  • Ongoing commitment to the foundations of the employee / employer relationship

Investment in the pay, growth and career advancement of employees may seem obvious, but it has an incredible impact on the overall EX. Ideally, these elements are personalised and tailored to each individual. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work; instead, appreciating and understanding each individual’s circumstances, experience and aspirations is critical.

How technology can help

Technology plays a critical role in the overall EX. Not only do employees need the right tools and technology to do their jobs effectively, but technology also plays a role in helping business leaders to constantly improve the EX. For example, without the right technology, it’s impossible to gain insights into employee sentiment, provide personalised and job-relevant experiences and development opportunities, or support employees at scale, regardless of where they are based.

ELMO Experiences, for example, creates memorable, personalised experiences for all the critical ‘moments that matter’ during the employee lifecycle. Employers can save time and resources while creating seamless experiences using a unique journey builder for important career transition milestones such as onboarding, promotions, internal moves, office relocations, return to work, and more. The Broadcast function also serves to reinforce both the corporate culture and the EX by enabling leaders to distribute universal and consistent messages and information organisation-wide.

ELMO Survey helps business leaders collect, manage, analyse and compare data sourced directly from employees. It enables staff surveys to be conducted and managed throughout all points of the employee lifecycle to gain actionable insights into your employees’ attitudes and opinions towards work.

More than “the right thing to do”

Of course, every organisation has its own unique mix of elements that impact employee happiness, productivity, and business outcomes. However, as more and more research is undertaken, it’s becoming clear that a focus on the EX is becoming more than just “the right thing to do” and is now a proven contributor to business performance. Even better, it’s an area where HR can have the biggest impact.

ELMO Software  is a cloud-based solution that helps thousands of organisations across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to effectively manage their people, process and pay. ELMO solutions span the entire employee lifecycle from ‘hire to retire’. They can be used together or stand-alone, and are configurable according to an organisation’s unique processes and workflows. Automate and streamline your operations to reduce costs, increase efficiency and bolster productivity. For further information, contact us.

[1] “The Definitive Guide: Employee Experience”, The Josh Bersin Company, 2021

[2] “Secrets to employee experience: The definitive guide launches today”, The Josh Bersin Company, 16 July 2021

[3] “The Definitive Guide: Employee Experience”, The Josh Bersin Company, 2021