10 Smart Strategies to Enhance Employee Experience
A woman improving employee experience through a presentation in a conference room.

For years, business owners and HR managers have focused on improving employee engagement — and with good reason. Employees who aren’t engaged (and most aren’t) are more likely to move on to other jobs, and the average cost to replace one of those workers is from 90% to 200% of their annual salary (this according to PayScale). 

Increasingly, however, forward-leaning companies recognize the need to track a more complete set of metrics, one which encompasses the totality of interactions workers have with the businesses for which they work. Basically, to achieve their goals, businesses need to focus on improving employee experience.

What is Employee Experience?

To maintain talented employees, businesses need to focus on every major aspect of those workers’ experiences in the workplace. That includes, among other things, benefits packages, company culture, training programs, and their physical work environment. These are the factors that not only induce workers to stay with a business but also help them succeed in their jobs and add to your productivity and profitability.

As Josh Bersin writing for the Society for Human Resource Management (SRHM) notes, positive employee experience is critical to achieving other, mission-critical business goals:

“Over the last several years, companies have become highly focused on improving the work experiences of employees…Why the emphasis on this area? It’s simple. As we enter the eleventh year of economic growth around the world, CEOs and business leaders are heavily focused on productivity improvements, organizational transformation, and the development of new digital business models. Success in these areas is not possible if employees are having a hard time getting their work done.”

How Can Businesses Enhance Employee Experience?

Taking prudent steps to improve employee experience will both help you more effectively (and cost-effectively) keep your current workers and enhance your ability to acquire new talent. Doing so means leveraging best practice strategies, including the following 10:

  1. Map out each employee’s journey through your business.
    Every worker comes up against key inflection points in their time with your business — things like onboarding, training, and advancement opportunities. You need to be aware of what those critical moments look like from the employee’s point of view and work to make them as satisfactory as possible. Start by defining what good outcomes look like at each of these critical stages, then work towards achieving those outcomes.
  2. Keep communications helpful and transparent.
    A good communications strategy starts from the top, but it should be defined from the bottom. In other words, the communication medium is not as important as understanding the organization through the eyes of the employees and empowering employees to openly communicate. A sound internal communications strategy should boost morale, advance a sense of community and persuade your employees that you care about their welfare and concerns.
  3. Create a positive first impression.
    Much has been written about the importance of effective onboarding, and with good reason. According to the Harvard Business Review, about one of every three new employees considers moving to another job in their first six months. To create that all-important first impression, design onboarding programs customized to individual positions, job responsibilities, and accountabilities.
  4. Head off potential problems at the pass.
    To enhance employee experience and prevent problems from festering, interview your employees periodically to identify and resolve those problems. Collecting data across the entire employee lifecycle is important. The insights you gain will help you retain talented workers and identify ways to improve company culture.
  5. Help your employees get and stay well.
    Wellness programs can help your business save on healthcare costs. Equally important, they tell your employees you care about their physical and psychological health. Smart wellness programs include things like individualized health recommendations and family leave benefits — the best are designed in collaboration with employees. Before you settle on the specific elements of your wellness program, survey your workers to find out which appeal to them most.
  6. Ask your employees what benefits matter to them.
    Your workers won’t necessarily agree with you on what makes up the best benefits packages. Before spending a lot of time and money creating new benefits, take the time to ask your workers what they care about most.
  7. Don’t ask for feedback if you don’t intend to act on it.
    Nothing will hurt your relationship with employees more than asking for their advice and then ignoring it. That means you need to be thoughtful about the feedback you ask for. Employees tend to care less about being asked for their opinions than that you take those opinions seriously and incorporate them into action plans.
  8. Provide career advancement opportunities.
    According to a recent study from the Harvard Business Review (HBR), the opportunity for promotions and advancement are more important to a positive employee experience than salary. It’s not enough to offer vague statements about advancement — you need to show each employee a clear career advancement path within your organization, and of course, couple that with associated job performance requirements.
  9. Reward your employees for strong performance.
    You should never miss an opportunity to tell your employees that they’ve done a good job. In fact, you should formalize a process for employee recognition, implementing periodic employee appreciation events. Be sure to include recognition from third parties — this includes customers, vendors and members of other departments.
  10. Help your managers manage.
    The fact that an employee has the skills to perform their job doesn’t necessarily mean he or she can manage others in theirs. Effective management is a learned skill, which means you need to provide effective and ongoing training to make sure your managers have strong leadership skills, skills like active listening, the delegation of authority, and helpful evaluation of performance.


Making the right moves to improve the experience of your employees can be a game-changer for your business — but it can also be both confusing and complicated, especially if this is your first go at it. Fortunately, there are experienced agencies who give you the guidance and advice you need to succeed.

To learn more about the ways our employee survey platforms and data-driven approach can help your business improve employee engagement, experience and retention, contact us today.