How to design a good employee experience (EX)
Employee Experience

How to design a good employee experience (EX)

Employee experience is now on the rise as companies like McKinsey have seen the benefits that positive workplace environments have

Harvey Connor
March 25, 2021

For both their productivity and retention levels. It has spawned a new wave of management and culture in the form of continuous employee engagement. A happy workforce and sustainable organisational performance.

Smart businesses value the importance of engaged employees because they are more productive, innovative and engaged in their own careers.

Employee experience is also increasing in popularity as a metric for workplace engagement. Employee experience is moving from a somewhat obscure third party engagement technology that only larger companies could afford, to an increasingly popular employee experience metric within the C-Suite. Many companies are now measuring their "employee experience" and tracking the information for their own internal company goals. Whether that be enhancing the work environment or measuring employee retention rates.

What is employee experience (EX)?

Employee experience is defined as “the perceptions, behaviours, thoughts and feelings an employee has about work”. It is more than simply the sum of its parts (pay, benefits etc.) or the company’s brand perception. It includes everything from leadership to engagement. It takes into account elements from both an employee’s personal life and their role in the organisation.

Employee experience is not a practice that directly improves measurable outcomes like customer satisfaction or brand awareness. It does so indirectly by influencing those outcomes. By improving the health of its employees, organisations see an improved work environment which leads to sustainable business results over time. Employee experience initiatives can range from anything such as participation in company-wide events to being included in training opportunities.

Employee experience is also a more formal philosophy and practice of employee engagement. It’s an approach that goes beyond the traditional metrics of job satisfaction, employee morale, and turnover rates. All factors cited in employee experience surveys. 

Empirical evidence shows that companies that focus on their employees’ well-being. Report higher levels of productivity and profitability compared to those that don’t. Employees who participate in care-giving activities such as volunteering are more engaged with work. In turn produce more positive outcomes for their organisation.

The rise of employee experience or the way organisations are being structured to cater to the well-being of their employees. Instead of just considering them as resources, they have to utilise them.

This is fuelled by Millennial workers who have been entering the workplace and demanding more from their employers. Organisations are recognizing this trend and have realised that investing in the future of their employee experience. It actually pays off in terms of productivity, engagement and retention rates.

A 2015 study done by Basex revealed that the three most important elements of employee experience are:

1. Understanding

Helping employees understand their role within an organisation, their company’s vision and values is important. How it all ties in together is a critical part of employee experience. It is the foundation of any kind of relationship which an employer has with its employee. It helps form that bond.

2. Awareness

Employee experience is focused on creating a culture where the employee feels that they are valued by the company. It allows them to realise that their role within the company plays a significant role in its success. A company that is aware of employee experience is therefore focused on creating a strong sense of awareness for its employees. Thi will help them understand the way things are and what is working.

3. Satisfaction

The highest level of employee experience is when an organisation can provide satisfaction and happiness to its employees. Through their recognition and appreciation, and compensation plans. Employee satisfaction will also be directly linked to employee retention as well as performance.

Therefore, it is very important for organisations to understand what their employees are looking for. Also what they are not looking for in their workplace environment. They must create a framework where they will be able to offer a more consistently positive experience than their competitors.

Why is employee experience important and its impact on your business?

The rise of employee experience has led the way for technology such as Nura Space to come into the workplace. Creating solutions for companies and their managers to help them devise solutions that will help with the employee experience.

Employee experience is a critical facet of any workplace, but it's something that many companies fail to invest in. It is important because it has a direct effect on your employees and their output. It will show how much they enjoy their work. 

A good experience will make a difference in your bottom line, but these experiences often go unrecognised. Here are 5 reasons why employee experience is important:

1. Essential to their health and happiness

A happy employee is a productive employee. The costs of an unhappy worker are costly, both in the short and long term. Research has shown that employees with low job satisfaction are more likely to report physical symptoms. 

Symptoms such as back problems, headache, stomach pain and insomnia when compared to those with higher job satisfaction. These symptoms can be detrimental to their health and wellness and can in turn result in less productivity.

2. High retention rates

Employees who enjoy their time in a company are less likely to look for another job. A good experience will make them more invested in the company. Which contributes to a lower employee turnover rate and greater productivity. A happier worker stays invested and doesn't have the desire to find something new. 

3. Improves employee efficiency and output

A happy employee is more productive, on average, than an unhappy worker. This is largely because a happier worker has less stress, which makes them more focused and efficient. 

An employee experiencing an unhappy situation will be less productive due to unnecessary distracting thoughts and emotions. While these thoughts and emotions can be beneficial to an employee at times. They can also lead to inefficient work when not managed properly.

4. Enhanced collaboration and innovation

Employee engagement can increase productivity and innovation in a company. Simply because employees feel they are being heard, valued, and are important to their employers. There is a close connection between high employee engagement and employee retention. 

When employees are engaged at work they tend to be better collaborators, better prepared for tasks, and more innovative. Thinking about what you value is part of the definition of high employee engagement.

5. Cost savings

High employee engagement and low turnover result in a decrease in cost for employers. There is always time lost in the candidate hiring process, which can result in high employee turnover. A high turnover rate can also be costly to companies because of potential skill gaps within the workplace.

Investing in tools such as Nura Space will have a direct and positive impact on employee health and happiness. As well as productivity and retention. A happier employee is a more productive one, which can benefit your company's bottom line.

The difference between physical and digital employee experience

The difference between physical and digital employee experience seems simple in concept. But, the implementation of physical and digital work environments have very different personas. The challenges of fitting both physical and digital work environments into an enterprise can certainly be overwhelming.

The physical employee experience

Let's start with physical employee experience. In this case we are talking about things such as:

  • the office location they work
  • their desk
  • the meeting rooms
  • their level of safety
  • the temperature of the building
  • the office aesthetics 
  • any other physical parameter that can be measured

The physical employee experience is all about the environment. Things such as lighting, noise levels and ventilation are key drivers for a physical employee experience.

This is a very primal experience with the employees journey. There's an ease to this physical experience as employees come into work for the day. Then leave work for home at night. It's a known environment where all the variables are controlled by management. 

The digital employee experience

The digital employee experience is a little different, in this case, we are talking about things such as: 

  • device that they use daily
  • their connectivity to the internet
  • the software and the digital tools to collaborate. 

It's all about tools and devices which transform their physical experience with the world.

The digital experience can be very different because it's a much more dynamic environment in comparison to physical environments. The key point that needs to be taken is that both environments are being measured and managed in the same way. Whether it's physical or digital, the objective is always the same. Get your people to work, have an engaging and productive work environment and get them home happy at night.

How flexible working arrangements have impacted physical and digital employee experience

The physical employee experience has changed dramatically post Covid, with many workplaces moving to flexible working arrangements. How these flexible working arrangements are implemented will have a huge impact on the physical employee experience. Also on how employees interact with the physical environment.

When setting up flexible working arrangements, it's all about understanding what employees need and implementing solutions that match their needs. Some of the key factors to be considered are:

  • knowing when employees will be in the office
  • when will they be working remotely
  • what tools they need to be in the office
  • when and what device they will be using
  • when do they need to collaborate with each other

Knowing the answers to the above questions will lead you to your solution. You can have a flexible working arrangement with a digital solution. Or you can have the same flexible arrangement but use physical devices and technology.

The digital employee experience has become much more important as the post-Covid world moves to a flexible working environment. The importance of a streamlined digital employee experience is more important than ever. It's the link between what employees do at work and their home life. Most importantly how they collaborate with other team members and business stakeholders.

How to improve your employee experience

Improving your employee experience management can lead to less employee turnover, more engaged employees, and better company morale. It’s not hard to do, either.

Here are ten ways to improve your employee experience in just a few small steps.

1. Having a strategy to monitor and improve the employee experience 

A goal that is measured is a goal that is achieved. Having an approach to monitor employee experience will let your employees know that you care about them and appreciate them. This will help foster better relationships and worker retention. 

2. Allow opportunities for employee feedback

Using tools which will allow the team to share any employee feedback whether positive or negative is good business. It will allow your company to improve business performance based on said feedback. There are tools which allow automated pulse surveys (employee experience surveys) so you can keep track of the workplace experience. This can be measured via these routine surveys which ask for specific feedback in different areas of employee experience.

3. Offer training

When you offer employees a chance to learn something new and develop their skill set. You’re acknowledging that your employees need help – knowing that if they didn’t, then you wouldn’t be paying them. Offering them the opportunity to learn something new not only helps your company. It also ensures that your company is the best it can be.

4. Routine acknowledgement

People love to be acknowledged. For example, thanking a team member during their probationary period is a sure way to retain them and promote professional growth. Making aside time to let employees know they are appreciated will help them develop and grow as well.

5. Making collaboration easier with colleagues

Having your employees collaborate is a great way to improve company morale. Having your employees work with each other will help them learn about different aspects of the business. This can lead to a better understanding of the role they’re in. Giving them  a better idea of how to do their job better.

6. Hosting an office social event

Creating an opportunity for your employees to relax, have fun and enjoy themselves within the office. Is a great way to improve employee experience. 

Not only will it increase morale and reduce stress. It can also create new company relationships and help your employees get to know their colleagues better. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!

7. Making sure you provide a safe working environment and communicate that

A safe environment is important for employee safety, but it also makes for a better working environment. Making sure your employees know about any policies and procedures that make that safety possible. As well as keeping them up to date on any changes. It will help ensure the company is structured in a way that promotes their safety.

8. Getting people involved

One of the best ways to promote employee satisfaction is by encouraging employees to be involved. This can be in both work and personal life. When you take the time to get your employees involved in something they’re truly interested in. They will be more invested in their job and the company.

9. Mentoring programs

Providing an opportunity for people to be mentored or get counsel is important. Especially from someone they respect can be a huge help to an employee. 

Both professionally and personally. Providing your employees the opportunity to speak to or get guidance from people they have a strong relationship with. This is a great way to give them both emotional and professional support

10. Tools to allow employees to thrive

Having a tool suite that allows your employees to thrive, properly manage their work and collaborate with others is a must. Whether you’re providing apps or software, allowing them access to these tools. It will help them achieve their goals and make sure they’re satisfied with their overall experience.

Nura Space has created a Unified Working Platform that will help propel you employee experience and engagement to a new level. With a range of tools and analytics that will help your employees collaborate with each other.  Plus helping your management team understand their teams better. Click here to learn more.

How to design your employee experience strategy

Building a positive employee experience can only happen by designing what the ideal employee experience looks like. In this section, we will walk you through the steps on how to design your employee experience strategy.

It's a common misconception that an HR team is solely responsible for employees' happiness and retention. While it might be a part of their duties, it's a shared responsibility between different departments and levels within the company. Every team has a stake in creating a positive employee experience. This is because it affects both recruitment and retention rates as well as productivity levels.

Step 1: Understanding the situation

Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What is the ideal employee experience you envision? 
  • Why is it important to your business? 
  • How would you describe your company culture? 
  • What is the image you want to convey to your employees? 
  • How do you want your company to be perceived by customers/clients/prospects?

Step 2: Create some assumptions

After answering these questions, the next step is to create some assumptions around the answers. By doing this you can better design your employee experience strategy and establish what's missing, what's possible and what's ideal. The next steps are:

  • Create a list of department responsibilities and ideas around how each department contributes to the overall employee experience strategy. 
  • Create a diagram of how departments will collaborate to achieve the goals set by each company culture aspect.
  • Identify the challenges that you face and the main reasons for doing so.
  • Identify the benefits of doing it this way and the expected outcomes.

Step 3: Create solutions to deliver employee experience

Now that you have identified what's missing and what's possible, you will be able to develop creative solutions. The solutions will be the backbone of your employee experience strategy. It's important that you incorporate all departments into your decision-making process. Building a collaborative approach to achieving the goals set out in the corporate culture aspect. Making sure that you have reviewed and completed employee journey mapping. For each goal, ask yourself: 

  • What's the business impact if we don't achieve our target? 
  • What's the business impact if we exceed our target? 
  • Which of our team members are involved in achieving these goals and which are not? 

Make sure that you set SMART goals for every department. Ensuring that you have a team of people responsible for achieving these goals. It's important that you do this with every goal. Your employee experience strategy will be based on the collaboration between different departments.

Step 4: Measure, discuss and improve

The final part of your strategy revolves around the tools and reporting of the progress of your employee experience. Your leadership team should be accountable for this and responsible for the employee experience strategy implementation plan. 

A great way to increase accountability is to hold regular member engagement meetings with your leadership team. This will be an opportunity to update them on the progress of your employee experience strategy. It will also get their input on what they expect from your employee experience strategy.

How to measure your employee experience

Measuring employee experience can be tough but it’s an important process for a wide range of reasons. First, it gives you insight into what is most important to employees and what drives their engagement. 

Second, it helps organisations find areas where they might want to improve. And lastly, it can help make decisions about staffing levels.  Help with figuring out salaries based on how well valued your employees are at your company.

As mentioned earlier, pulse surveys are a great way of gauging employee sentiment. At Nura Space we have taken this to the next level. With our unified working platform that takes workplace analytics to a new level. This will give you insights into employee engagement with the office environment and the collaboration between team members.

These analytics are available and will help inform leaders of your business. It will help them understand whether your metrics around employee experience is being achieved. 


Employee experience has become an extremely important part of business strategy in the last decade. As companies continue to ask employees to sacrifice time and travel while they simultaneously place importance on employee life cycle and interaction. It is critical for employers to understand what makes their workforce happy and engaged. As well as what leads them to leave. 

Your employee experience strategy may well be the action your business takes to propel your business into the future. This strategy isn’t just limited to your staff. It’s a vital point of your focus for outside staff, such as contractors and consultants, as well. 

When creating an effective employee experience strategy, it is important to understand where your employees are in the decision-making journey. Some employees will strongly resist new company initiatives. They will need to be convinced of the need for change, while some may embrace change willingly. 

Employees are looking for career progression, job security and a good work/life balance. 

To enjoy employee experience at its fullest. You must provide your workers with the resources and tools they need to excel at their jobs. The more freedom employees feel they have to do their jobs well. The more likely it is that they will stay with your company.

Harvey Connor

Web & App Developer | ReactJS, React Native & NodeJS.

Enjoyed this read?

Stay up to date with the latest video business news, strategies, and insights sent straight to your inbox!

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.