In this economy, the employee experience is everything. It is the experience that gives companies a competitive edge even when their products fall short. It creates loyalty and a powerful commitment to a certain company or brand.

Yet, when it comes to creating, maintaining and measuring a positive employee experience, most companies fall short. According to Gallup, 70% of the US workforce is actively disengaged and US companies are losing north of $500 billion in profits each year due to loss of productivity. According to Harvard Business Review, organizations with low engagement report up to a 65% increase in turnover. Clearly, something needs to change.

I am excited about new research that we worked on with our friends George LaRocque (Founder, #HRWins) and Ben Eubanks (Principal Analyst, Lighthouse Research and Advisory) for Talmetrix that talks about the strategies for improving the employee experience.

Here are a few highlights from the research:

  1. Define Culture: Culture is the foundation and the most critical step in creating a positive employee experience. It includes the set of beliefs and behaviors that shape a team and all of their interactions. Studies show that companies with performance-enhancing cultures far out-perform those without it in terms of revenue growth, stock price growth, and net income growth.
  2. Measure the Experience: Don’t expect to make changes and improvements without a strategy for measuring the employee experience. Aptitude’s 2016 Hire, Engage and Retain Survey found that 81% of top-performing companies measure the experience of candidates, employees, managers, and leaders.
  3. Strengthen Employee Communication and Collaboration: Communication received by an employee during all interactions with the employer affects their feeling of engagement and leads to particular behaviors. Communication is most effective when it is personal and shouldn’t be done through email alone. Companies need to find what type of communication works for engaging employees.
  4. Use Data to Drive Decisions: While an increasing number of companies are recognizing the need for better analytics and insights, the majority are still utilizing ad-hoc approaches to collecting data, pulling reports, and analyzing. Data needs to drive decisions around how to engage with talent and provide a more meaningful relationship between companies and employees.

As you start planning for how to improve the employee experience in 2018, check out the research and let us know what you think.