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How a bad employee experience could damage your business

If a friend tells you they’re having a great employee experience in a new role, what comes to mind?

  • Chocolates and a welcome card on their first day
  • Monthly performance goals
  • Great pay
  • A flexible working pattern
  • Investment in L&D tools to support individual growth
  • Great communication and transparency
  • Amazing Christmas parties

All of these elements factor into the employee experience. While these would definitely go a long way to an outstanding employee experience, they each have an opposite which would create a poor one.

‘Employee experience’ (now called EX) is essentially everything an employee sees, feels and hears at work. Whether this is learning and development, interactions with managers and teams, or anything else they experience at work – the highs, the lows and everything in between.

An employee experience has the potential to make your business an employer of choice or a place people actively avoid.

Treat employees well, and they’ll stay. Mistreat employees, and… well, you’ll probably see the repercussions in a Glassdoor review!

But it’s not just a shoddy review you’ve got to worry about. Here are some other ways your business could seriously lose out from a bad employee experience:

1. Unhappiness leads to work absence

17.9 million UK working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2020.

Not only are unhappy employees less productive when they’re at work, but they actually show up less often than happy workers.

Usually called ‘absenteeism’, this can cause a decrease in productivity, company finances, and morale — but this is where creating an employee experience in which your teams actually want to come into work can be essential for your business.

2. You can’t afford disengaged employees

Actively disengaged employees cost the UK an estimated £340 billionper year.

Want to save some cash and help the economy? Invest in your employee’s experience. Keep them happy, prevent them from leaving.

Humans get bored as soon as we’re disengaged. So, if we’re working somewhere for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week – why would we want to stay if we’re just not enjoying it or happy?

One area to invest in is L&D opportunities.

In fact, 71% of employees want more time and budget to learn at work. Give your teams the opportunity and tools to learn and grow. Don’t be put off by employees upskilling; you’re nurturing them and, in turn, making them more invested in your company!

3. Innovation and job performance will plummet…

Employees who choose when, where, and how they work have higher levels of satisfaction, innovation, and job performance.

If your work patterns aren’t flexible, or the place of work is too rigid (i.e. in the office full-time with no leeway to work from home) your employees are seriously going to struggle.

The pandemic proved that many workplaces can still work efficiently from home. The introduction of flexi-hours has shown significant improvements in employee morale and productivity when given the freedom to work around their personal lives.

Thoughtfully designing your employees’ physical work environment directly influences performance, creativity, and overall employee satisfaction. If employees note that remote working is better for their work/life balance and they still get the work done, then it’s a no-brainer.

If you think your work culture is “just fine”, think again…

Only 54% of employees recommend their company as a place to work.

Senior management might assume the organisation’s work culture is strong, but over half of employees disagree – and they’re the ones truly experiencing the culture.

‘Rose-tinted glasses’ are often worn by the people running the business. They see what they want to see and are often treated better because of their status.

Ask the junior or middleweight status employees if you want to know how good the culture really is. Ask the employees that experience the day-to-day culture. Send out an anonymous survey and get real answers.

A bad employee experience can make your business crumble from the inside out. Your employees are the cogs in the machine. They’re your bread and butter!

Take a people-first approach, invest in your employees, and you’ll see your business soar.

Perfect your employee experience

Discover exactly how to build a strong employee experience, measure the impacts and the right tools to make it 10x more manageable than you think!

I want to build a strong employee experience!

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Written by Mara Swann

Mara has a passion for promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion across global workplaces and hopes to inspire learners to focus on their own careers with self-directed learning content.


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