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How to gauge the ROI of employee experience initiatives in 2023

Gregory S Mathew

Last Updated: 20 February 2023

In this article:

Employees come before customers. In fact, many organizations believe employees are the new customers. And rightfully so.

Many organisations are customer driven but few worry about employee happiness. And even fewer do something about bad employee experience. 

Employee Experience (EX) is like Customer Experience (CX) but outlines the happiness quotient of an employee in a company. It is just as crucial as CX because happier employees keep your customers satisfied. 

Gathering employees’ genuine views on workplace culture and job satisfaction is challenging. Rolling out initiatives for improvement is even more challenging without reliable data.

If you are wondering if measuring employee experience is worth considering, here are a few reasons that showcase why it is crucial. 

Why measuring employee experience should matter to you?

You may have taken many initiatives to create a safe and happy employee environment. But not knowing their effects would be like driving when blindfolded.

Here are the five primary reasons why you must measure the employee experience.

1. Low employee engagement

Left unchecked, a poor experience can reduce employee engagement with the organization. And lesser engaged employees show the following behavioral traits:

  • Don't take initiative
  • Don't participate in discussions and team-building exercises
  • Have more excuses than ideas
  • Complete their tasks half-heartedly

Sadly, around 70% of American employees feel disengaged at work.

2. Lower Productivity

They are 13% less productive than happy workers and cost the North American business economy up to $350 billion yearly in lost productivity. Plus, they can influence other workers and deteriorate the work environment.

3. Poor performance

Unsatisfied employees are likely to make 60% more mistakes and oversights, and are involved in 49% more accidents. They cannot concentrate on their work or stick to performance standards, that is until they start disappearing altogether.

4. Higher absenteeism

Absenteeism is up to 37% higher among unhappy employees. They usually find reasons not to go to work which causes backlog and interruptions in workflow.

5. Infant attrition

This trend refers to new joiners quitting the job during probation or within six months.

Taking EX seriously needs to start from the first day of joining. Despite your efforts to keep new workers happy, studies show that employee experience deteriorates by 22% in the first six months. According to PWC's Global Hopes and Fears Survey 2022, 23% of millennials and 27% of Gen Z workers are expected to quit their jobs during the first year.

How can you measure employee experience?

Wondering what your employees think of their experience? Then, don't lose sleep; just use one of the methods below to find the answer.

1. Focus Groups

Gather groups of employees based on specific projects, events, teams, or backgrounds, and you've got yourself a focus group. Focus groups can bring deep insights into your employees’ feedback about the company because people often find their voice in a group.

2. Interviews and Surveys

Both techniques involve nudging your employees to share their views on the company culture and picking up clues for areas for improvement. Interviews are conducted not only when an employee is joining or exiting but also to make them stay. While sitting across, you can also read their body language (and between the lines!) to foresee if they will stick around for the long run.

Skip-level meetings are also a great tool to gauge employee experience. These are conducted between senior leaders and someone who reports to their minus one or immediate subordinate.

You can conduct a survey at all stages of an employment cycle. For example, beginning from the onboarding process, probation period, and engagement and rewards to gauge their overall satisfaction with the company. And then, there are the employee exit surveys to know if anything went wrong and could have been done better.

Surveys usually tend to be generic and impersonal, making employees uninterested. Shorter surveys have a better response rate of 83%. But they don't show the complete picture of what's going on in the employee's mind. This is where bots can help.

3. AI-enabled bots

Bots engage employees in a more personalized manner to pick up their thoughts on the overall experience with the company in real time. Plus, they are handy for companies that employ remote workers and a hybrid environment.

More and more companies started using employee engagement bots during the pandemic to stay associated with employees on a personal level. Now, bots have become the WhatsApp equivalent for employee engagement.

And if the bot is as good as Amber, your employees can get more comfortable talking. Around 40% of employees believe Amber is real and are more likely to share their true feelings. Using Amber, you can monitor employees' mental health and happiness quotient. From the employee interaction, Amber can also help you predict if any employee is planning a resignation. This means that you, as their manager, can worry less and save time connecting with each worker individually.

Next, you will need to know the returns on all your initiatives to enhance employee experience.

What are the returns on employee experience?

Returns on Employee Experience (ROX) is a relative figure, or a percentage, which tells you the level of employee satisfaction, engagement, and overall experience. It works like Returns on Investment (ROI), showing you the profits compared to the expenses incurred.

How can you gauge the returns on employee experience?

There are tangible and intangible metrics to calculate ROX.

1. Tangible Metrics

You can calculate the ROX as:

ROX(%) = Net value of benefits to experience  X 100

                               Cost of investment 

Here’s an example. Say you invest $50k in enhancing the employee experience. Your initiatives reduce attrition by 10%, thus saving you $40k. With these initiatives, you can increase your employee satisfaction (ESAT) rate by 5 points, bringing you $75k more revenue.

Here, your ROX will be:

[($40,000 + $75,000) / $50,000] x 100 = 230% 

2. Intangible metrics

Measuring employee experience is all about gauging the experience you provide your employees that ultimately drives results. ROI figures do a good job of showing how much you earn back on your investment. But they don't show the complete picture.

Since employee experience is mostly intangible and concerned with their emotions, its metrics will be too.

The following components are hard to measure. However, they are good indicators of overall employee experience and expected returns.

3. Employee Engagement

You invest in many initiatives to engage your employees better. So it becomes equally important to seek their feedback on the same. You can measure employee engagement through pulse surveys, employee net promoter scores (eNPS), mood scores, and engagement scores.

  • Pulse Surveys: Workplace pulse surveys are a massive hit with companies for their crisp and straightforward nature. They are brief and ask the right questions in a shorter duration in real time.

    If you don't want to spend time framing the questions, you could use inFeedo's 17+ readymade pulse survey templates.

  • Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): eNPS is a scoring system highlighting your employee's concerns. This score tells you how liked (or disliked) you are as an employer.

    To calculate eNPS, you ask your employees to rate you as an employer on a scale of one to ten.

    Here's an example of the question you can post.

    "On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend your organization to a friend or family member?"

    Those who give you a score of 9 or 10 are the promoters who love working with you. The passive workers score you a 7 or an 8, and the detractors score you between 1 and 6. You should mark the promoters for loyalty and the detractors as those you need to work with. Passive workers are usually not a cause of worry.

    Next, calculate eNPS as follows:

    eNPS = % of Promoters - % of Detractors

  • Mood scores: Amber’s dashboard allows you to calculate employee moods according to three parameters:

    Company mood score: Average mood score of your existing and ex-employees. Amber calculates this score by asking a five-point anchor question and recording their responses.

    Benchmark mood score: Amber gives you the option to use one of its customer’s highest mood scores as the benchmark to compare with your mood scores.

    Filtered mood score: Our dashboard lets you filter your mood scores according to the department, location, manager, and function. It then gives you the score as per the selection.

  • Engagement scores

This figure helps you evaluate the employee engagement levels. You can access this figure on the Amber dashboard. 

4. Productivity and performance

Employee experience deeply affects their productivity and commitment to work. You can rely on figures of set targets like total sales or revenue numbers, performance against KPI, and 360-degree performance reviews. They tell you everything about employee productivity.

5. Attrition

The employee turnover rate is an excellent indicator of employee engagement levels. Employees experiencing growth and career progression don't look out for opportunities elsewhere. Higher attrition is a clear indicator of poor employee experience and unsatisfied employees.

6. Absenteeism

Employees who like their jobs and have a good time at work don't look out for reasons to be absent. Your company's absenteeism levels can indicate lower employee engagement levels and high workplace stress leading to burnout

7. Company Ratings

This includes your company’s and the top management’s ratings as an employer. A happy employee will rate you higher on most parameters and give you a good score. Plus, you can get ratings and reviews from external agencies like Glassdoor where your employees rate your top management, company culture, and overall recommendability.

If these parameters seem too much work, Amber can help you. Here's how it works.

How Amber intuitively measures EX?

Powered by advanced AI, Amber is highly intuitive at understanding your employees' emotions. It is built using inFeedo's research-backed EX framework, created after carefully considering feedback and insights from HR leaders just like you.

With inFeedo's analytics, companies have witnessed returns as high as 24x for employee engagement.

Amber is inFeedo's most innovative creation and has spoken with over 700,000 employees in more than 60 nations. It is trusted by 250+ CXOs, like you, worldwide to help them connect with their most crucial resources in a better and more personalized way.

Ready to enhance your employee experience?

Talk to Amber


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