Why do Employee Experience initiatives fall short?

3 Minutes
Why is such a simple concept proving so hard to bring to life for organisations?

According to a Deloitte study*, 85% of employees from the US and 84% from the UK rated Employee Experience (EX) as important or very important. However, in the same study, they found that only 22% reported that their companies were excellent at building a differentiated EX. So, why is such a simple concept proving so hard to bring to life for organisations?

Here are six reasons:

  1. EX is not a priority for organisations, despite findings such as in the Deloitte study or Forbes** calling EX the ‘number one priority for HR’, back in 2017. It rarely appears on risk registers, despite the potentially massive performance impact of high employee turnover, low motivation levels and the like.
  2. Most organisations have yet to assign a senior leader to be responsible for EX or purposefully assign employees to EX roles. Instead, they continue to rely on HR employees to perform EX tasks as ‘add-ons’ to their day-to-day role.
  3. There is little funding available to improve EX. (We don’t believe it needs a lot... probably half a Director’s salary per year would enable a significant shift across an entire organisation.)
  4. Employee feedback mechanisms are largely used to prove what’s going right at an organisation, with topics and questions posed being biased towards the positive, with little appetite for digging beneath the surface to unearth real issues and areas for improvement.
  5. Few organisations view the many EX touchpoints holistically. Instead, they’re managed and reported on in silos.
  6. Employees are often still viewed as ‘the problem’ instead of being seen as ‘central to the solution’.

Suggestions for improvements

Here are six suggestions:

  1. To help to build the business case for EX improvements, complete the EXO ROI Calculator for your organisation and share the results with your senior leaders. Once seen, they will be unable to ignore the huge financial and human costs in terms of lost productivity, sickness and turnover.
  2. Does your organisation have Customer Success Managers? Yes? Well, then you can build the case for EX Managers. After all, employees are your best asset, right? They can then help to break down the silos and offer a consistent EX across the entire organisation.
  3. Define your Employee Lifecycle and then use Employee Journey Mapping to create the Moments that Matter to support and care for your employees.
  4. Stop making employee surveys all about chasing the number. Make them about improvements. The score is unimportant, the improvements are.
  5. Involve your employees in any changes to their working practices. Those who do the work know it best – almost always more than the senior leaders responsible – so tap into their expertise and leverage them to power improvements.
  6. Utilise mojo to track and improve motivation and productivity – this will mean you won’t need to ask your employees how they’re feeling, you’ll know how they’re feeling – and can create action plans to energise employees and your entire enterprise.

Do get in touch if you’d like to discuss anything in this article in more detail.

For more Employee Experience definitions, view this page.


*Deloitte. ‘The employee experience: Culture, engagement, and beyond.’ Accessed 16 August 2020. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/focus/human-capital-trends/2017/improving-the-employee-experience-culture-engagement.html

**Forbes. ‘The Employee Experience Is The Future Of Work: 10 HR Trends For 2017’. Accessed 22 August 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2017/01/05/the-employee-experience-is-the-future-of-work-10-hr-trends-for-2017/#31843d1a20a6

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