How do you quantify the employee experience? That’s what the boffins at IBM have been considering, and the results are fascinating.
You can view the whole text of their Employee Experience Index here.
As we prepare to launch the UK Employee Experience Awards 2020, we want to share the key findings of the report with you. Here’s what we made of it.
It’s really not about table football
Of course, workplace environment matters, but companies should not think that providing flashy perks, pinball machines and artisan coffees constitutes a fulfilling employee experience. In fact, those perks can be used to disguise an unhealthy work culture or other defects in the employee experience.
For IBM, there are five key dimensions to EX:
Combining these dimensions to create the Index, IBM shared some interesting results.
Better EX means better, longer-lasting work
IBM conducted a survey of 23,000 employees in 45 countries to see how these factors contributed to a better experience. They also present compelling evidence that higher scores in these five dimensions leads to better work performance, higher discretionary effort, and greater levels of retention. When you look at the results of those with the top 25% highest EX index scores, and compare them with the bottom 25%, you can see the difference in performance.
- 96% of positive EX workers had good work performance, compared to 73% of those with negative EX.
- 96% of contented workers put in more discretionary effort, compared with just 55% who had negative EX.
- 21% of positive EX workers intend to leave their place of work, compared to 44% of those with negative EX.
Feedback, environment and meaningful work also crucial
In some management philosophies, a notion persists that it’s counter-productive to give employees positive feedback. The evidence does not support this. In fact, just 40% of workers without consistent feedback report a positive employee experience. For those whose managers take the time and effort to give specific, actionable feedback, the EX score jumps to 83%.
Good relationships with colleagues are also crucial. When employees say their coworkers help them out when needed, 77% report a more positive employee experience, compared to 35% working in environments where help is not forthcoming. So it looks like cutthroat work environments don’t bring out the best in your employees!
The work itself must also be meaningful, ensuring ‘that employees’ skills and talents are being fully utilised and there is greater alignment to shared, core values.’ This is especially significant – just 29% of employees who aren’t sure how their work connects with organisational values report a positive experience.
What does this mean for businesses?
This report was very clear in its findings. Almost every factor made a significant difference to those in the top and bottom quartiles, sometimes as much as 50%. This large variation can be explained by the fact that some companies are involving their employees in decision-making, giving them quality feedback and creating an environment in which workers help each other.
This isn’t just a question of personal and professional fulfilment: better EX policies make a substantial difference to work performance and cut down the costs on recruitment. Put simply, good EX makes better business sense.
For more Employee Experience stories, click here.