Despite most HR leaders agreeing that employee experience (EX) has an impact on a company’s performance, many they are not sure how to measure workers’ experience.

The survey by XCD of both employees and HR leaders in organisations across the UK highlighted almost universal acceptance of the importance of EX.

Interestingly, 99 percent of HR leaders told the HR & Payroll software supplier there was a distinct link between EX and bottom-line business performance, while 88 percent also believe their business leaders are on-board with EX and workplace culture issues.

HR leaders identified reward & recognition, learning & development, workplace relationships, recruitment and onboarding as the most important elements of ensuring a good employee experience.

“This research shows how much progress has been made in bringing employee experience issues to the top of the boardroom agenda.” said Simon Fowler, XCD CEO.  

“Interestingly for us, it also suggests that higher levels of tech maturity, both in general workplace and HR-specific tech, indicate better performance in key individual areas of employee experience, as well as employee perceptions of EX overall.”

Emotional investment leads to financial gains

For employees, the 65 percent who rated their employer’s EX as good were significantly more likely to be “extremely invested in their employer’s success”, and more likely to go above and beyond regularly. This suggests that for HR leaders to create successful employee experiences, they had to also create a culture of belonging to ensure employees were emotionally invested in the company.

Employees who were invested in their employer’s success were also more likely to say they had a positive relationship with their manager and with business leaders.

Nearly three quarters of HR leaders said the pandemic had forced them to change their approach to employee experience, with EX increasing in importance over the last two years, and a quarter said technology has taken on greater significance during this time.

Technology plays a major role in EX

Ninety two percent of HR leaders agreed that technology was important to EX. And those in younger organisations, up to 15 years, were more likely than those in older business, more than 15 years, to believe technology was ‘vital’ to EX (53 percent v 40 percent).

The increased focus on EX means 75 percent of HR leaders said they would be investing more in EX over the next 12 months, and 85 percent said they would invest more if the decision was up to them.

However, while 60 percent of HR leaders say they’re actively looking for ways to improve return on investment on EX investments, 44 percent admit they currently have no way of measuring the impact  of employee experience on the bottom line. 

This was more pronounced in smaller companies, between 100-249 employees (57 percent), than larger ones, 250-499 employees (35 percent).

Disconnect between HR leaders and employees’ perceptions

The data highlighted a disconnect between HR leaders and employees when it came to their perception of EX. 88 percent of HR leaders said employee experience at their company was good, while only 65 percent of employees felt the same.

For HR leaders, 72 percent said the HR technology they use was either ‘advanced’ or ‘very advanced’, and those respondents were significantly more likely to rate their company’s overall performance as ‘very good’ compared to those without advanced HR tech (49 percent v 18 percent).

Additionally, HR leaders who rated their HR tech as advanced were more likely to say their overall employee experience is very good (45 percent vs 10 percent).

Employees who were either extremely invested in their company’s success, who often go above and beyond, or who rated their employee experience as good, were significantly more likely to say technology was important to employee experience.

Overall, employees who said they used more technology for HR processes were more likely to also report that their employee experience was good (69 percent v 54 percent).

The research highlights the need for HR teams to bolster technology processes to both strengthen and measure the experiences of their employees within their firms.