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Workforce Experience and 6 Strategies to Improve It

You probably know all about the power of a good employee experience. But what about workforce experience? We’ve got the intel to keep you informed!
Written by: Penny Swift
workforce experience blog post
Published: March 22, 2024
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Organizations worldwide are realizing how important it is for everything they do to create a good experience. If customers don’t have a superior experience they’re not going to continue supporting the business. If employees don’t enjoy their experience at work, they’re not going to stick around. Instead, they’ll be looking out for new opportunities. 

Digging deeper, we find that workforce experience (WX) is another critical factor for employees. Also known as the workplace experience (WX), it’s nothing new. It’s just a smaller piece of the puzzle that contributes to the overall employee experience (EX). 

But what exactly is workforce experience and how can it be improved? 

This post aims to provide readers with a clear understanding of workforce experience and provide strategies to enhance it within their organizations. 

What is Workforce Experience?

The concept of workforce experience is growing in popularity as organizations across the globe realize the impact it has on various aspects of business operations.These range from employee productivity and engagement to talent attraction and brand reputation.

We talk a lot about employee experience (EX), which is the entire journey an employee has with a company, from recruitment to departure. It relates to how employees perceive their interactions with the company, their colleagues, and their work. And it considers factors like company culture, leadership style, work-life balance, and opportunities for growth.

Customer experience (CX) is a customer’s perception of their interactions with a company. Brand experience (BX) is a broad concept that encompasses all the aspects that shape a customer’s perception of a brand, including marketing, advertising, product quality, social responsibility, and overall brand image.

WX can be defined as the overall perception and feeling employees have about their work environment. It’s a blend of three key elements – space, technology, and people. 

  • Space is the physical environment where employees work.
  • Technology concerns the tools and tech systems employees use to perform their jobs. 
  • People are relevant in the context of relationships, company culture, and management practices that impact how work gets done. 

We mentioned that WX is a small piece of the puzzle. While related to EX, it refers specifically to employees’ experiences within the physical workplace itself, including the layout, amenities, technology provided, and overall work environment. So, for instance, a comfortable, well-equipped workspace can boost morale and productivity, while a cramped or outdated one can be a source of frustration.

Improving this experience is critical because it directly impacts employee satisfaction and, consequently, a company’s success. A positive workforce experience fosters a culture where individuals are motivated and driven, leading to increased productivity and retention rates.

Why Do We Need to Improve Workforce Experience?

According to real estate experience software company, HqO’s 2023 Edition of The State of Workplace Experience, poor workplace connections are hurting employee satisfaction. Before examining the figures, it’s worth noting that the data quoted in HqO’s report is drawn from two exclusive sources:

  1. Industry research by Gartner
  2. Experience research by Leesman, which is an HqO company

The report states that 40% of employees aren’t satisfied with workplace meeting rooms and 45% aren’t satisfied with the room and desk-booking system workplaces offer. Nearly a third (31%) don’t believe the workplace contributes to a sense of community at work. A quarter (25%) don’t agree that the workplace environment supports the sharing of knowledge and ideas between colleagues. 

why we need to improve workforce experience

As they say, “High-performing companies need high-performing workplaces and employees.” In other words, we need to improve both the EX and WX. 

An article posted in Harvard Business Review by Appspace asks, “Why is the workplace experience in 2023 so bad?” It quotes the company’s 2023 Workplace experience trends & insights report: Hybrid work is here to stay – but are your employees?

Some of the key findings are that:

  • 93% of those working from an office want a better “in-office experience.”
  • 70% say they waste time switching from working inside the office to working at the office.
  • 35% who work hybrid jobs struggle to feel connected and engaged.
  • 29% report that it takes too long to receive important information. 

“This is the workplace experience in 2023, and it is not good enough. The workplace needs to feel alive, but for many, it’s on life support. Organizations need innovative ways to support and engage their employees—the office nine-to-fivers, the stay-at-home types, the critical frontliners, and everyone everywhere in between.”

Appspace

Components of the Workforce Experience

We have said that the three key elements of WX are space, technology, and people. At a very basic level, WX focuses on how these elements work together to create an environment that fosters productivity, well-being, and employee satisfaction. Each of these elements plays a vital role in shaping the overall experience and requires careful consideration to ensure they contribute positively to the work culture.

Space

The physical environment in which employees work is one of the first and most noticeable aspects of the workforce experience. It includes the layout of the workspace, the comfort of the furniture, access to natural light, and even amenities like gyms and break rooms. 

A well-designed physical environment can enhance employee well-being, encourage communication and functional teamwork, and boost productivity. For instance, open-space offices can facilitate easier collaboration, while private areas allow for focused work. 

Technology

In today’s digital age, technological infrastructure is a backbone of the workforce experience. This includes having computers with reliable hardware, efficient software, and internet connectivity. It also requires access to collaboration tools that support seamless communication.

Utilization of advanced technologies like AI for routine tasks can free up employees for more complex, fulfilling work, thus enhancing their employee experience. Selecting the right technology is driven by specific requirements templates that align with organizational goals and employee needs.

Furthermore, the digital employee experience (DEX) is an increasingly crucial factor. 

People

Human resources play a pivotal role in creating a positive workforce experience throughout the journey with any organization, from recruitment to retirement. This involves implementing an inclusive company culture, offering development opportunities, and establishing centered leadership that respects and values employee contributions. Relationships and coworker dynamics as well as opportunities for collaboration and a sense of belonging are also hugely important.

“The real winners in the future of work are the organizations that can use technology to make siloed tools and systems a thing of the past and unify the physical and digital workplaces to make work a connected and engaging experience – wherever it happens. Because we all deserve a workplace experience we love.”

Appspace
components of workforce experience

The Impact of Workforce Experience

A positive workforce experience is at the heart of every successful organization. The concept extends beyond mere employee fulfillment. As we have said, it encompasses all aspects of how individuals interact with their work environment, from the physical settings to the technological tools, and human relationships within the company.

In a 2022 Workforce Experience Research Study, Deloitte surveyed more than 4,000 US-based employees from different industries and roles to determine which factors most impact the WX. The findings showed that growth, well-being, and managers and leadership had the greatest impact. 

Workers who trust their senior leadership are 6.6 times more likely to agree that they feel connected, committed, and invested in their organization’s success. They are also 2.7 times more likely to stay with their current employer for the next 12 months.

Ultimately, a thriving workforce experience is essential for cultivating an environment where creativity, productivity, and collaboration flourish. A positive WX can lead to benefits including:

  • Increased employee engagement
  • Improved morale and motivation
  • Reduced absenteeism and turnover
  • Enhanced creativity and innovation

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a key indicator that WA is positive. Engaged employees are not only happier but also significantly more productive. They are the ones who will go the extra mile because they are driven by a sense of belonging and commitment to their team’s and company’s goals. 

Ryan Pendell, Gallup’s senior workplace science editor highlights a direct correlation between high levels of engagement and increased profitability. He points out that organizations that “make engagement the controlling factor in day-to-day operations stand out from their competitors. They are also more resilient to shocks.” What this means is that engaged teams often outperform their peers even better when times are tough. 

Talent Attraction and Retention

A strong workforce experience also acts as a magnet for top talent and plays a crucial role in retention strategies. In this increasingly competitive job market, offering an enriching employee experience can set a company apart. Job seekers are increasingly looking at the cultural fit and growth opportunities as much as they evaluate salary packages.

Productivity and Performance

Another tangible impact of a well-crafted workforce experience is evident in productivity and performance metrics. When employees are supported by a conducive working environment, equipped with the right tools, and motivated by acknowledged achievements, their efficiency soars. This elevated level of productivity directly contributes to achieving business objectives and sustaining competitive advantage.

Adopting workforce communication software can streamline operations, alleviate common pain points, and facilitate functional teamwork — further boosting productivity. When coupled with clear communication and driven decisions, an enhanced WX can elevate organizational performance significantly.

Brand Reputation

The internal workforce experience also spills over to impact the external perception of the brand. Employees are often considered the first customers and the most vocal ambassadors of a company. A positive employee experience can lead to favorable reviews on employer review sites, word-of-mouth recommendations, and can even play a part in customer satisfaction through interactions with happy, engaged employees.

This symbiosis between employee satisfaction and brand reputation emphasizes the importance of nurturing a positive workforce environment. Transparent company practices, responsive management, and a focus on employee well-being contribute to building a reputable brand both internally and externally.

impact of workforce experience

6 Strategies for Enhancing Workforce Experience

The pursuit of enhancing workforce experience may seem daunting, but organizations can create thriving environments with strategic approaches rooted in the principles of knowledge-experience design and comprehensive guide frameworks. Let’s explore some proven strategies known for boosting employee and workforce experiences.

#1 Design Employee-Centric Spaces

Designing employee-centric spaces plays a crucial role in fostering a positive workforce experience. Physical environments significantly influence creativity, productivity, and overall employee engagement and satisfaction. This involves creating ergonomic workspaces, ensuring natural light, and incorporating green areas which can all contribute to a healthier, more inviting workplace environment.

  • Implement areas for collaboration as well as silent zones for focused work to accommodate different working styles.
  • Consider the aesthetics of the workplace, as a well-designed office can enhance brand design and reflect company values.

Involving employees in the design process boosts their sense of belonging and ensures work spaces meet their needs and preferences.

#2 Provide Development and Training Programs

To complement the creation of employee-centric spaces, it is essential to provide developmental opportunities and training that will nurture a thriving workforce. These opportunities empower employees to enhance their skills, expand their knowledge, and grow professionally.They also contribute to increased job satisfaction and retention rates. 

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ The benefits of investing in People report, developmental opportunities, training, and well-being lead to the best outcomes in terms of benefits. Expressed as a percentage of total turnover, investments in these three practices can yield 4.9% return on investment (ROI). 

  • Offering diverse training programs tailored to different skill levels and career paths allows employees to continually develop and progress within the organization.
  • Encouraging a culture of continuous learning fosters innovation and adaptability, equipping employees with the tools they need to excel in an ever-evolving workplace.
  • Providing mentorship programs and coaching sessions can facilitate individualized development, offering guidance and support as employees navigate their career paths.

Investing in employee development not only benefits individuals but also strengthens the organization as a whole by cultivating a talented and capable workforce poised for success.

#3 Implement Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexibility has become a cornerstone of the modern workforce experience. Offering flexible working arrangements like remote work options, flexible hours, and compressed work weeks can significantly improve employee satisfaction and work-life balance. This strategy requires not just policy adjustments but also a cultural shift towards trust and accountability.

  • Equip teams with the necessary collaboration tools to maintain communication and productivity regardless of location.
  • Ensure leaders are trained on managing remote teams effectively and inclusively.

Flexible work arrangements underscore the importance of focusing on outcomes rather than physical presence, aligning with a results-driven approach.

#4 Invest in Technology for Collaboration

The right technological infrastructure is fundamental for an effective workforce experience transformation. Investment in cutting-edge collaboration tools allows for seamless communication, project management, and sharing of ideas, irrespective of geographic boundaries. Moreover, these tools can enhance functional teamwork, fostering a culture of innovation and efficiency.

  • Explore platforms that integrate various functions such as messaging, video conferencing, and document sharing to streamline work processes.
  • Provide training to ensure employees are proficient in utilizing the new technologies to their full potential.

This approach emphasizes the shift towards a more agile, knowledge-driven working environment where technology empowers employees rather than being a hindrance.

#5 Foster Inclusive Company Culture

An inclusive company culture is at the heart of a positive workforce experience. It involves creating an environment where diversity is celebrated, and every employee’s voice is heard and valued. This culture encourages innovation, as different perspectives are considered in decision-making processes.

  • Promote diversity and inclusion initiatives that go beyond surface-level commitments to foster genuine understanding and respect among employees.
  • Implement mentorship programs to support professional growth and development across diverse groups within the organization.

This kind of culture not only enhances employee engagement but also plays a crucial role in talent attraction and retention, showcasing the company as a desirable place to work.

#6 Prioritizing Employee Well-being

Last but not least, prioritizing employee well-being is essential for a comprehensive workforce experience strategy. This goes beyond physical health to include mental and emotional support, recognizing the interconnectedness of personal well-being and professional performance. 

According to the Deloitte survey, 58% of workers are regularly recognized for their work contributions, and only half feel that their job is good for their mental health. Workers who disagree that their organization cares about their well-being say they are twice as likely to quit in the next 12 months.

  • Offer wellness programs that cater to a wide range of needs, including mental health resources, fitness facilities, and financial planning assistance.
  • Create an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their well-being with their managers, fostering an atmosphere of openness and trust.

By addressing the holistic needs of employees, organizations can assure a more engaged, productive, and satisfied workforce, ultimately driving business success.

strategies for enhancing workforce experience

How Can Cerkl Help You Maintain a Positive Workforce Experience

Cerkl Broadcast helps organizations improve internal communication with a superior audience management platform that delivers personalized emails and intranet content to engage and inform employees.

When employees are well-informed and engaged, they are generally more productive. But the secret is to deliver clear, concise, meaningful communication. Cerkl Broadcast’s MyNews does exactly this by breaking down barriers and beating information overload. 

Broadcast also enables organizations to deliver personalized messages that are relevant to individual employees. This increases engagement phenomenally and also improves productivity.

Broadcast’s omnichannel capability is particularly effective because your audience can select the channels they prefer to use. This means they can access comms anywhere — on site, in a remote location, or even in another country. 

The platform offers great content scheduling features. For example, communicators can strategically plan the timing and frequency of messages to reach their audience at the best possible time. 

What’s Next?

A good way to assess your employee communications and build a solid internal communications strategy is to use our audit template. It will help you identify which channels your employees enjoy most and which types of content they’re responding to. 

FAQ

What is workforce experience?

WX is how employees perceive their work environment. It considers the physical space, technology provided, and overall company culture that impacts their day-to-day work life.

How does WX relate to EX?

EX encompasses everything from recruitment to departure, while WX focuses specifically on the work environment itself.

What’s the best way to improve a company’s WX?

The best way to improve WX is through a multi-pronged approach. This could involve redesigning office spaces for better collaboration, investing in user-friendly technology, and promoting a culture of well-being and work-life balance.

Does a strong workforce experience increase productivity?

A strong workforce experience can definitely increase productivity. When employees feel comfortable, supported, and have the right tools to do their jobs, they’re more likely to be engaged and productive.

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