Employee Corner

Employee Engagement Vs Employee Experience

Move over employee engagement, Organisations are now talking about employee experience

Experts have called 2018 the year of Employee Experience (EX). For a number of years, “employee engagement (EE)” was the key element of organizational culture, but the buzzword is fast being replaced by EX. So, what is EX?

Jacob Morgan, author of The Employee Experience Advantage explains that for years organizations have focused on EE without significant results. Engagement often takes the route of forcing employees to work in outdated workplace practices. In comparison, EX is about changing the workplace practices around the employees.

According to Morgan, EX is the only way to ensure that organizations are able to attract and retain the best people. “As we shift to the future of work where organizations are focusing on the reasons why employees want to work versus the need to work, EX is important.”

EX is a combination of three factors:

i) Culture

Company culture or corporate culture could be defined in a number of ways. It is the values and behaviors of employees and teams in an organization that contribute to an organization’s unique social and physiological environment. Characteristically, company culture is what energizes a workplace or drains it, encourages or discourages employees and either empowers workers or leads them to frustration.

An organization that wants to create a good employee experience considers employees’ thoughts and wellbeing in creating its organizational culture. Companies must find out what the employees value and how they could contribute to building the company culture. Although work should be the priority, the workforce feeling good should not be neglected.

ii) Technology

Technological experience refers to the tools and gadgets that employees use to complete their tasks. It includes software, machines, apps, internal technological systems and more. A number of companies have made technology a priority. Having live streaming of meetings across continents, virtual visits to offices and using internal software specially designed for the workplace is commonplace.

The new generation wants to work in workplaces that are well equipped with technology. Creating a cultural environment that meets technological needs of the employees comprises having the latest gadgets, fast systems and the willingness to introduce new solutions in the workplace.

iii) Physical Workspace

The physical elements would include essentials such as the architecture, interior décor, layout of the office space, furniture, demographics of the workforce and more. Research reveals that an effective physical workspace design can boost workplace environments. It can supercharge focus, collaboration, innovation and team spirit.

Organizations must try out different layouts, change the interiors and make employees an important part of these decisions. It is the employees who are going to be using the space and it’s important that the spaces are designed as per their requirements.


EX begins during the recruitment process

Gone are the days when the job of the HR department was confined to paperwork, skimming through resumes, negotiating salaries and merely sending out vacancy announcements. As organizations vie for talented workers from across the world, the jobs of the HR get more interesting. A part of their job role entails creating workplaces that talented people are attracted toward and want to stay with for a long period.

Background checks are an important part of recruitment processes but it is important for organizations to follow the process of background verification in the correct manner. This forms part of the employee experience right from the beginning of a candidate’s first interactions with the organization. In an article, Forbes magazine shares some dos and don’ts when conducting background checks.

Be thorough

Look at all the information available about the candidate. Consider doing checks of the applicant’s education, employment, and criminal history, social media and online reputation. Let the candidate be aware that the organization will be running background checks. That way the candidate knows how serious and professional your organization is and what they are signing up for.

Follow the laws

Every country, state and city could have different laws when it comes to professionally doing background checks. It is most important to follow these laws. Let the candidate know that the organization abides by all laws and expects the same from its employees. The best way to go about it would be to hire a background verification agency in your city.

Communicate with the applicant

First, let the candidate know that the organization will be hiring an external agency to conduct background verification. In case the checks find something that you are doubtful about, communicate with the applicant before making a decision.

Do not seek only negative information

Whereas background verification checks are considered to be for sourcing negative info about a candidate, use the opportunity to find out the positive history of a candidate. Background check companies provide customized services to organizations recruitment needs and make this possible.

Don’t limit the background check by searching yourself

Background verification is a specialized field. It comes with a small cost but organizations must understand that it’s worth the expense. HR departments’ search skills would be limited to social media and online, whereas background check companies have access to important data to conduct data checks and the knowhow to carry on the process professionally.

With so much dependent on EX, are you willing to look into what your organization is offering its employees?