What is employee experience management? Best practices + benefits
Employee experience (EX) plays an important role in team performance. Improving EX can have added benefits for customers and productivity.
Last updated April 17, 2023
Building a team of talented employees is already a challenge. The last thing you want is to lose them because of internal issues. You can avoid this by investing in your employee experience management.
Having a dedicated representative focus on treating employees like they’re valued customers can have far-reaching effects. Improving processes, like streamlining workflows and implementing new tools, can reduce employee turnover and improve productivity.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- What is employee experience management?
- Benefits of employee experience management
- What is an employee experience manager?
- What does an employee experience manager do?
- Employee experience management best practices
- Using technology to improve the employee experience
What is employee experience management?
Employee experience management is how a company approaches delivering a positive work environment. When done effectively, it addresses every area of an employee’s interactions with the company to deliver the best workplace experience possible.
Rather than focusing on the bottom line, employee experience management emphasizes employee well-being to retain top talent. EX managers often work closely with human resource management to cover performance reviews and decide on employee perks.
Sneak peek: What is an employee experience manager?
An employee experience (EX) manager is responsible for assessing employee satisfaction and developing strategies that will lead to positive work experiences. EX managers use resources, like surveys, to measure existing sentiments and identify areas needing improvement.
Why is employee experience management important? 5 benefits
The five key benefits of employee experience management are gaining insights into the employee lifecycle, fueling employee motivation, creating a dialogue with management, producing a record of company development, and creating a culture of change.
Employee experience management is about more than simply improving the daily life of workers. With the proper approach, EX managers can produce widespread changes in an organization’s operations. For example, they can identify pain points (like poor ticket management) that employees would otherwise have to live with.
Leveraging the employee lifecycle for insights
Some workers are hesitant to raise concerns regarding what they’ve experienced. They might be worried about retribution stemming from their complaints, or they might not think it’ll do any good. That means fixable issues may fly under the radar for long periods, fueling employee discontent and, in some cases, preventable turnover.
Implementing employee experience management allows companies to be proactive. Rather than waiting for an issue to get bad enough to get noticed, EX management initiatives document the employee lifecycle and quickly bring problems to light.
Motivating and supporting employees
Often without the proper intervention, employees can accept workplace issues or obstacles as a new normal, despite their negative effects. Instead, by actively soliciting employee feedback, you can create more buy-in at the employee level by simply motivating people to take an active role in improving the company. This can help to upend the status quo and lead to more positive employee experiences.
Developing relationships between employees and management
Communication needs to flow freely for an organization to operate efficiently. If cracks form between management and employees, life gets harder for everyone.
Since employee experience management opens up avenues of communication, team members stay aligned on the state of their department and the company as a whole. When employees know you hear their concerns, they will feel valued and seen. This is important because if employees feel replaceable, it might not be long before they think similarly about their employer.
Completing employee assessments and measuring their satisfaction
Employee assessments can reveal a lot about company morale. What’s more, regularly administering assessments creates a record you can use to measure your programs’ successes. Assessing employee satisfaction throughout the year can give you insights that may have remained hidden until a disgruntled employee’s exit interview.
Enacting changes to improve as needed
Once you identify the touchpoints causing the most challenges in your organization, you can start making informed changes. Since creating and maintaining engaged employees is an ongoing process, the employee experience manager must also evaluate if any changes made had the desired effect. If not, they should develop a new approach.
What is an employee experience manager?
An employee experience manager is responsible for improving the overall work experience at that company. Their goals might include increasing overall employee engagement or productivity.
To meet their goals, the EX manager analyzes every stage of the employee lifecycle to see how to enhance processes. They’ll then build informed strategies to meet employee needs and improve workplace culture.
Employee experience manager skills
Since employee experience roles are people-centric, they typically require a diverse set of soft skills for success. Employee experience managers must be:
- Resourceful: Many of the problems they encounter on the job will be unique without a clearly defined answer. Working toward an acceptable resolution—no matter how obscure the issue—is a necessity.
- Detail-oriented: Noticing smaller pain points around the office that workers may hesitate to address can go a long way toward improving day-to-day life.
- Skilled communicators: The manager should speak with employees to learn what they’re going through, but they also need to effectively communicate process changes to ensure they are well-received.
- Organized: The EX manager will oversee long-term projects. Keeping everything on track requires a coordinated effort and a clear mind.
- Analytical: An EX manager must analyze results from surveys and various initiatives. Gathering relevant takeaways and assessing overall success are important steps for continued performance improvements.
In short, an employee experience manager’s job description will emphasize finding a people person who takes initiative and wants to be responsible for managing projects.
What does an employee experience manager do?
EX managers strive to make their company a place where people want to work, and they accomplish this goal in a number of different ways.
It’s important to note that employee experience manager responsibilities vary from one company to the next. The size of the organization and the resources at its disposal impact role responsibilities. But common tasks include:
- Creating, administering, and evaluating employee surveys to source feedback, like an annual employee satisfaction survey
- Tracking key performance indicators (like employee retention) to measure the success of initiatives
- Planning engagement events or initiatives, such as holiday parties or virtual meet-ups
- Providing recommendations to other decision-makers based on feedback and data they gather to make improvements, like updates to employee benefits
On Monday, the EX manager may conduct an exit interview. On Friday, they may search for a venue for a team-building retreat. It’s a dynamic position that requires well-rounded skills.
Employee experience management best practices
Employee experience management is a dynamic job. Whether it’s a one-person department or a multi-person employee experience team, these best practices will help you get positive results.
1. Gather and listen to team feedback
There’s no better source for understanding the employee experience journey than by going straight to the employees. You can gather employee feedback through:
- Surveys: Consider anonymous surveys to get honest employee opinions. You can send out surveys annually for general job satisfaction and others throughout the year for feedback on specific initiatives.
- Suggestion box: A suggestion box can be a physical box in the office or an email address. A suggestion box can supplement surveys, providing an immediate outlet for feedback.
- Focus groups: Set up small group meetings for employees to discuss specific issues at work—anything from the onboarding process to burnout. This can help you drill down into what’s working—and what isn’t—in targeted areas.
2. Evaluate your employee support processes for gaps
It’s important for an employee experience manager to assess existing support processes to better understand any pain points that might be impacting the employee experience or customer journey. For instance, are there areas where you can improve your customer portal to reduce the workload of employees or their need to answer basic, recurring questions? Small tweaks to workflows or services may be an easy way to improve an existing process.
3. Define clear objectives and goals
Identifying priorities and defining desired outcomes is necessary for measuring success. A good goal is realistic and measurable—-realistic in what’s actually achievable and measurable in that it’s tied to specific metrics or time frames. Here are some examples:
- The employee experience manager will report on annual survey results by the end of Q1 2024.
- The employee experience team will seek an average employee job satisfaction score of 9 out of 10 on the annual survey.
- The employee experience team will seek to increase average employee retention to five years by Q1 of 2027.
4. Foster development and training opportunities
Just under one-half of employees think employers don’t offer the right amount of training, leading to feelings of neglect. On-the-job training is an important step in the onboarding process, but it shouldn’t stop there. Ongoing development opportunities let your employees grow and advance their careers—a must for employee satisfaction. Some ways to facilitate employee development include:
- Learning portals: Create an online resource for employee training. Segment lessons into a training plan for different roles so employees have a comprehensive path for growth.
- Mentorship: Pair a junior employee with someone more seasoned in the role. The mentor can provide job-related guidance in an informal setting.
- Tuition assistance: Reimburse employees for successfully completing approved courses from third-party organizations. Offering a way to gain outside knowledge can help ensure your organization is up to date on current market practices.
5. Manage burnout
Sometimes the drive to meet organizational goals comes at the expense of employee wellness. By proactively improving company culture, employee experience managers can prevent the burnout that leads to high turnover rates. Policies that promote a healthy work-life balance include keeping workloads manageable and encouraging taking paid time to help manage stress.
6. Measure employee satisfaction consistently and adjust
Keep a record of survey feedback to see if your employee experience initiatives provide the desired effect. Administer agent satisfaction surveys at least annually—but you can conduct them as frequently as every three months. Here are some ways to get actionable survey results:
- Limit the number of questions: If you overwhelm employees with too many questions, they may lose interest in providing quality responses. Roughly 50 questions are sufficient for most surveys.
- Ask multiple-choice questions: Measuring feedback is easier when employees have preset options. Asking respondents for their satisfaction level is one way to track outcomes.
- Leave room for explanation: Give respondents space to expand on their employee satisfaction scores in their own words. Their reasoning may provide important context.
7. Make information easy to find with a help center
Setting employees up for success can improve the employee lifecycle. Creating a knowledge base of internal documents makes onboarding new hires easier by giving them a library to reference. An employee help center acts like internal customer service and can include process documents, templates, an FAQ page, and anything else that might benefit stakeholders.
Using technology to improve the employee experience for your team
Embracing technological advancements can lead to better business outcomes and a healthier workspace (and help protect everyone from burnout). Below, we’ve gathered some examples of how you can leverage different technologies to improve the employee experience:
- Employee help centers can decrease the number of ticket requests and help manage those requests among team members.
- An internal help center can also help shoulder the responsibilities of human resources and IT support, like using FAQ pages to empower employee independence.
- Chatbots can answer frequently asked questions, direct users to longer-form guides, and streamline conversations through connection to live chat or ticket escalation.
On top of the on-the-spot benefits for employees, an internal help desk can also gather analytics concerning platform usage that can deliver key insights into user metrics, revealing areas needing the most attention.
Support your team (and your employee experience managers)
Employee experience management initiatives should improve company culture so everyone—from new hires to senior team members—has positive experiences. If you’re wondering where to start, check out our Employee Experience Trends Report for insights.
Already sold on the benefits of employee experience technology? Consider using internal help desk software to make your employees’ lives easier.