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Employee Experience in 2020: A Time to Reflect & Learn

  • Employee Experience

Justin Timmer is our In-House Researcher. Contact him via

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably wondering what employee experience is or what it has to do with you. If you already know about employee experience, then you’ll be aware of the benefits of creating a good employee experience.

So what is employee experience?

Mark Levy, of Airbnb, coined the term employee experience when he wanted to further understand the customer experience. By understanding the processes involved in creating a great customer experience, he wanted to transfer that knowledge into creating a great experience for Airbnb employees. How? By approaching employees just as they do customers. Employee experience is; “what people encounter, observe, or feel over the course of their employee journey at an organisation” as defined by Culture Amp. It can also be described as a combination of culture, technological environment, and physical environment. In summation – people, technology, and place.

The Importance of focusing on Employee Experience in 2020

Customer experience has always been important to business, particularly for service industries, which now make up more than 85% of the UK (51% globally) employed population (source). In the past few years, top-performing companies began to turn their attention inwards. They started to devote their time to finding valuable resources to measure and improve the experience of their employees. For business leaders and HR managers understanding employee experience is very important. In an article by Mckinsey, they mention how: “The closer a company can align its commitment to customer-centricity with the interests of its employees, the closer it will get to achieving its customer-strategy goals”. To summarize, employee experience can directly reflect on an entire organisation’s brand and how it is perceived externally. Keeping employees engaged and loyal to your company is becoming more and more challenging in the competitive world of today.

I am sure I don’t have to explain what happens when an employee is not happy within an organisation. Further, if the employee doesn’t have a sense of motivation or involvement, this will eventually lead to unproductiveness. It could even have a negative impact on the organisation as a whole. A negative review from an employee, easily made and found online these days, can also impact the way a potential client looks at a company. Whereas for positive reviews external opinions are taken with a much higher worth level, a negative review of an internal source is even more catastrophic for a company.  In 2020, with the ongoing Corona crisis, the focus on employee experience is more important than ever. Therefore, companies have the opportunity to turn their full attention to employees, while, maintaining a strong connection with them during a difficult time.

Easier said than done, right?

Well, employee experience is something that needs constant attention from organisations. Especially as there is less ability to affect the physical environment of a distributed workforce. During the current Corona crisis, it is more important than ever to develop a human-centric workplace strategy that recognises this paradigm shift in the nature of work. In 2020 the nature of work suddenly became very different for millions of people around the world. The Corona crisis has seen those organisations with a strong culture and good technological solutions adapt easier to the situation. They have been able to quickly adapt to their staff working remotely, but have also recognised the need to have a more human-centric approach to work.

How are organisations able to better understand their employee experience? Most have been making regular daily (34%) or weekly check-ins (53%) with their teams (according to our polling). Very few, however (6%) are collecting data via surveys or utilising the technology at their disposal to capture the sentiments of their employees. Research indicates that employees providing anonymous feedback, also, provide better insights for employers. Because they contribute with constructive feedback through more honest comments. When employers are able to then act on these insights, it provides the right environment for the organisation to be even more successful.

Wondering how to improve your employee experience?

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