A good workplace experience leads to higher employee performance, better customer satisfaction, and improved business outcomes. But, while most organizations understand the impact of employee experience (EX) and the significance of customer experience (CX), they don’t often single out the value of a positive workplace experience (WX).
Table of contents
- What is Workplace Experience?
- Why is Workplace Experience Important?
- 10 Key Components of Workplace Experience
- Benefits of a Positive Workplace Experience
- Strategies for Enhancing Workplace Experience
- Tools and Technologies to Elevate Workplace Experience
- Internal Communications to Improve Workplace Experience
- What’s Next?
To truly thrive, organizations must adopt a dynamic and holistic approach that addresses the entire workplace, including technology, operations, culture, and the all-important employee experience. This integrated perspective is referred to as the workplace experience.
According to HqO’s 2023 edition of The State of Workplace Experience, by 2024 companies that maintain a dedicated cross-functional team focused on developing workplace experience strategies are 80% more likely to achieve high levels of employee satisfaction within their workplace environment. Their research indicates that doing so decreases turnover costs, improves employee productivity, and improves net operating income (NOI).
However, prioritization of the workplace experience is low in the business world.
According to Gallagher’s State of the Sector 2022/23 report, organizations persist in prioritizing certain aspects that impact employee experience while overlooking others, including workplace and digital experience. Their research statistics show that 28% of respondents, 38% of whom were in internal communication positions and 34% in HR, have no structural workplace experience. In stark contrast, 80% of them said their approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) was well-defined or in development.
We’re going to take a closer look at workplace experience and analyze its importance. We’ll discuss the benefits of it and how it affects employee engagement, job performance, and ultimately the bottom line of organizations. We’ll show you how to measure workplace experience and suggest ways of improving it.
What is Workplace Experience?
Workplace experience refers to the overall environment and atmosphere in which employees work and interact within an organization. It encompasses various elements that contribute to employees’ daily interactions, engagement, and satisfaction while employed and working. This concept goes beyond traditional notions of just the physical workspace and includes the broader aspects of the work environment.
It looks at everything that happens at work as an integrated experience that impacts daily life in and outside the workplace, including overall physical, emotional, professional, and financial well-being.
International real estate company, VTS, defines workplace experience in a more personal way. They see it “as the collection of feelings a person has throughout their day about their workplace environment.” It’s a manifestation of how everyone in the workplace community interacts and shares services and resources in an office ecosystem. It encompasses how people feel and is crucial to employee experience and engagement.
“Workplace experience is a significant determinant of how happy, productive, and fulfilled employees feel in their place of work, playing a role in both organizational culture and the nature of work community-wide.” VTS
Why is Workplace Experience Important?
Simply put, a good workplace experience increases productivity. Smart working is real. When a company provides a good experience, people feel more motivated and are more likely to complete projects successfully and achieve better results. Employee engagement makes them more willing to go the extra mile to ensure their work is on time and accurate. That in itself can positively impact the company’s bottom line.
An improved workplace experience also leads to higher customer satisfaction. When employees are comfortable and engaged in a business they are more likely to provide better customer service. And better customer experiences bring better results and profit.
HqO’s workplace experience report highlights the fact that “high-performing companies need high-performing workplaces and employees.” Their key workplace experience takeaways for 2023 underline what organizations need to do to maximize productivity and achieve peak performance. These are based on real estate industry employee experience and feedback. In a nutshell, to fuel employee performance, it’s important to take these five steps:
- Promote meaningful workplace connections that contribute to a real sense of community.
- Provide support to help employees stay engaged and productive.
- Accept the realities of hybrid work settings.
- Facilitate and maintain improved employee connections to enhance the workplace experience.
- Establish roles for workplace experience professionals.
10 Key Components of Workplace Experience
We’ve briefly defined what workplace experience is. Here are 10 key components that contribute to its success.
#1 Physical Environment
The design, layout, and amenities of the physical workplace. They include factors such as office layout, lighting, furniture, and facilities. This will only apply to remote workers if companies contribute to their physical workplace environment.
Deloitte highlights that the physical space where employees work is one of the most overlooked aspects of the workplace experience. Yet research shows a positive environment can reduce chronic stress and typical physiological consequences. These include controlled levels of cortisol and increased risk of heart disease.
#2 Cultural Environment
The values, beliefs, and behaviors that define the organizational culture are at the heart of any workplace experience. This includes how employees collaborate, communicate, and interact with each other.
The workplace can serve as a medium through which an organization can uniquely foster (and change) its culture.” Deloitte
#3 Workplace Technology
The tools and technologies provided to employees to perform their tasks efficiently. Workplace technology and tools include hardware, software, and equally important communication tools.
We’ll discuss tools and technologies in more detail later on.
#4 Leadership and Management
The quality of leadership and management practices within the organization. This includes communication styles, decision-making processes, and the level of support provided to employees.
Gartner identifies three essential components of human leadership. It needs to be authentic, empathetic, and adaptive. To achieve this and improve the workplace experience for employees, many leaders need to adjust. Authenticity means acting with true self-expression and purpose. Empathy means being genuinely caring, respectful, and concerned about every employee’s well-being. Being adaptive implies the need for flexibility and the ability to support team members’ unique needs.
#5 Opportunities for Learning and Development
The availability of training programs, career development opportunities, and resources for employees to enhance their skills and grow within the organization.
#6 Work-Life Balance
Initiatives that support the physical and mental well-being of employees, as well as policies that promote a healthy work-life balance.
#7 Employee Engagement
The level of commitment, motivation, and satisfaction employees feel in their roles. This can be influenced by factors such as recognition, feedback, and opportunities for advancement.
Employee experience incorporates the entirety of an employee’s interactions and perceptions throughout their entire journey with the organization. It includes elements ranging from recruitment, onboarding, and day-to-day work to professional development and departure or retirement. Employee engagement focuses on creating a positive and holistic experience for employees at every stage of employment. In doing so, it emphasizes satisfaction, engagement, and a sense of purpose.
#8 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The organization’s commitment to fostering an inclusive, equitable, and diverse workplace, where employees feel valued and respected regardless of their background and cultural or other differences.
The effectiveness of communication channels within the organization. It is crucial to ensure that information is transparent, accessible, and timely.
Employees need to feel connected to the company, and the best way is through internal communication tools where the company can transparently share its decisions, initiatives, programs, departments, and executive messages.
It’s not just the physical workplace with its furniture and workplace technology that’s important. People play an integral role in the workplace experience – and this includes the way it relates to remote workers. There must be opportunities for social interaction and community-building within the workplace. These can include team-building activities, events, and shared spaces.
Benefits of a Positive Workplace Experience
Whether you’re a CEO, an Internal Communicator, or a member of a company’s IT department, you’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about the importance of the employee experience. While workplace experience specifically refers to the physical environment and atmosphere of the workplace, employee experience is a broader concept. The latter encompasses all aspects of an employee’s interactions and engagement with the organization throughout their entire tenure.
You could say that it’s an encapsulation of employees’ feelings towards organizational culture, management style, collaboration, engagement, the workplace environment, as well as salary and benefits. It’s also an essential element of the workplace experience, which significantly affects job performance and employee retention.
Amplifying Employee Engagement and Retention
A positive workplace experience is often associated with increased employee engagement, productivity, and satisfaction, which, in turn, can contribute to the overall success and competitiveness of the organization. Organizations that prioritize and invest in creating a good workplace experience are more likely to attract and retain talented employees.
Maximizing Space Efficiency and Minimizing Real Estate Costs
According to HqO research, collaborative workspaces like meeting rooms are still of significant importance to employees. In their 2023 The State of the Workplace Experience report, they say Gartner’s research supports these findings. The Gartner projections state that by 2025, 70% of corporate workspace will be collaborative vs 30% in 2021-22. Similarly, 30% of corporate workspace will be designed for individual use by 2025 vs 70% in 2021-22. This indicates a preference for maximizing space efficiency and minimizing physical workplace costs.
Strategies for Enhancing Workplace Experience
In its 2023 Employee Experience Trends, Qualtrics XM highlights the importance of meaningful employee experiences — and that includes a meaningful workplace experience. “The organizations that understand how people feel — and act on those sentiments — are well positioned to create more human-centric experiences.”
Of course, people in different organizations (and workplaces) have different priorities. So, it’s important to get feedback from your employees and to act on it.
Meanwhile, HqO research highlights what employees globally are looking for to improve their workplace experience. Their top three pain points are:
- A need for a greater sense of community in the workplace.
- A desire for more support for productivity.
- A hope that there will be more collaboration and knowledge-sharing in the workplace.
Listening Actively to Employee Feedback
Effective communication is essential for any business to thrive and succeed. There are many forms and types of internal communication, some more effective than others — depending on the environment and circumstances. Two-way communication is particularly important because it engages employees and provides a mechanism for employee feedback.
Organizations can ask for feedback in surveys or via chat apps, even in open meetings. But the important point is that leaders and management need to actively listen to feedback and act on it.
Delegating Responsibility for Workplace Experience
Delegating responsibility involves assigning specific tasks and roles to individuals or teams within the organization. It impacts directly on employee performance as a whole.
The process starts by identifying individuals or teams with the skills, expertise, and interest in shaping the workplace experience. Then you’ll need to get a team together and define roles and responsibilities. It’s vital to set clear goals and objectives that align with the overall organizational strategy. Encourage collaboration and utilize technology. Project management tools, communication platforms, and collaborative software can all enhance efficiency.
It’s also important to provide the necessary training and development opportunities for those involved in shaping the workplace to ensure a good experience. Stay adaptable and open to feedback, allowing the structure to evolve based on changing needs.
Investing in Cutting-Edge Workplace Experience Platforms
Cutting-edge platforms are advanced, innovative digital solutions designed to enhance employee experience within an organization. These platforms typically integrate technology, data analytics, and user-centric design to create a more engaging, efficient, and supportive work environment.
Investing in cutting-edge workplace experience platforms improves employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity. The investment leverages innovative technologies and fosters a positive work environment.
These platforms enhance collaboration and support initiatives aimed at well-being and health. They enable personalized employee experiences and contribute to a more competitive and attractive workplace for top talent. Ultimately, the investment aligns with organizational goals of talent retention, and performance optimization. It’s a proven way of staying at the forefront of workplace innovation.
Fostering Collaboration Across Teams
According to Harvard Business Review, close to 80% of employees at collaborative organizations say they are well prepared for challenges. And more than half (55%) report revenue growth, which is more than double what those working for organizations where collaboration is valued say.
Measuring and Improving Workplace Experience
To measure workplace experience, utilize employee surveys, feedback mechanisms, and key performance indicators (KPIs) aligned with organizational goals. Regularly assess factors like employee satisfaction, engagement, and well-being to identify areas for improvement.
Improve the experience by addressing feedback, implementing targeted initiatives, fostering a positive organizational culture, and leveraging technology to streamline processes and enhance collaboration. Continuous measurement and strategic adjustments ensure a dynamic and evolving workplace experience that aligns with employee needs and organizational objectives.
Tools and Technologies to Elevate Workplace Experience
The tools and technologies we use to elevate the workplace experience range from hardware and software to communication tools, which often require software and hardware. Implementing these tools and technologies thoughtfully can contribute to a positive workplace experience by improving communication, collaboration, and efficiency, ultimately enhancing employee satisfaction and engagement.
A wide variety of hardware tools may be used to enhance employee experience and create a meaningful workplace experience. These devices are designed to improve productivity, collaboration, and overall efficiency.
Laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, headsets, and microphones are all commonly used to elevate the workplace experience.
Providing employees with modern and powerful computers ensures they can perform their tasks efficiently. Mobile devices enable flexibility, allowing employees to stay connected, access information, and collaborate on the go. Quality audio equipment is essential for virtual meetings, video conferences, and remote collaboration.
Other examples include printers and scanners, wireless presentation systems, interactive whiteboards, docking stations, and ergonomic furniture.
There are a myriad of software options to make the workplace experience positive for employees. Most will also improve the all-important employee experience. Here are just a few examples:
- Collaboration and Communication:
- Slack: A messaging platform that facilitates real-time communication and collaboration within teams, reducing reliance on email.
- Microsoft Teams: An integrated collaboration platform that combines chat, video conferencing, file storage, and application integration.
- Employee Recognition and Engagement:
- Bonusly: An employee recognition platform that allows peers to give and receive recognition in the form of points, which can be redeemed for rewards.
- 15Five: An employee engagement platform that facilitates continuous feedback, check-ins, and goal tracking to improve communication between managers and their teams.
- Digital Workspace and Intranet:
- SharePoint: A web-based collaboration platform that integrates with Microsoft 365 and serves as a centralized hub for document management, communication, and collaboration.
- Confluence: A team collaboration tool that allows for the creation and sharing of content, making it easy for teams to collaborate and share knowledge.
- Remote Work Tools:
- Zoom: A popular video conferencing platform for virtual meetings and collaboration, widely used for remote work.
- Miro: An online collaborative whiteboard platform that enables remote teams to brainstorm, plan, and visualize ideas together.
Internal Communication Tools
Internal communication platforms ensure that messages to employees are targeted and relevant. It is confirmed that when an open communication system is implemented in the organization and employees are allowed to communicate openly with their colleagues and share their ideas with other members then it would increase employee retention.
The best corporate communication tools create connections that are crucial in helping employees understand why executives are making decisions and implementing changes. When they understand what’s driving those decisions and changes, they’re more likely to be receptive and engaged. Motivated teams are not only more productive but also more likely to stay loyal to a company and promote it. Disengaged employees, on the other hand, are costly – creating turnover when they eventually leave for greener pastures.
Furthermore, engaged employees choose to develop their careers and grow in an organization that provides them with a better experience. Engaged staff are more likely to post on their socials about their job which creates an employer’s brand and attracts talent.
Internal Communications to Improve Workplace Experience
Communication is one of the key components of a good workplace experience.
We’ve highlighted how important internal communications are in any organization. We have also mentioned how important two-way communication is. This is why engaging employees and getting constant feedback is so important.
But to improve your internal communication and with it your employees’ workplace experience, you need workplace technology tools.
The Cerkl Broadcast platform offers a highly effective centralized hub that allows communicators to access and manage information. Its omnichannel capability is a standout feature that supports efficiency and collaboration. It also lets employees choose which channels they want to use.
Broadcast has superior feedback and analytics tools that allow communicators to measure the impact of messages. It also offers a survey capability that enables you to compile, conduct, and analyze the full spectrum of employee surveys.
From new employees to seasoned professionals, the employee journey is an important one. But when you prioritize the workplace experience, the organization reaps the benefits. These include putting the company at a competitive advantage, fostering employee retention, and creating significant increases in job performance.
Do you want to take advantage of the benefits of prioritizing workforce experience and improving their performance? Is internal communication that can increase employee retention important to your organization? If so, now’s a great time to schedule a chat to learn more.
Workplace experience encompasses the collective perceptions, interactions, and overall environment within a company. It encapsulates how employees feel and consequently engage with their work, team leaders, colleagues, and the organization as a whole.
Employers can enhance their workplace experience by prioritizing open communication and providing opportunities for growth and development. Other priorities include creating a supportive and inclusive culture and offering work-life balance initiatives. When employees work on-site, it is also important to ensure a comfortable physical workspace that aligns with their needs and preferences.
Use feedback mechanisms, surveys, and key performance indicators to measure the experience. Ensure that these are aligned with the company’s mission and goals.
This is characterized by a supportive, inclusive culture, and opportunities for growth and development. Transparent communication and feedback, meaningful recognition, and a good work-life balance are also important.
The employee experience (EX) is established from the time an employee is recruited. It incorporates every experience from this time onwards, including the onboarding processes, opportunities they get for skill development and career advancement, and the impact of leadership. Other EX examples include work opportunities, the degree of recognition employees get, and the inclusivity of workplace culture.