The Difference Between Employee Engagement & Employee Experience
As a business owner, you understand that the way your customers interact with your business is crucial. But the way that your employees interact with your company and their ability to work productively will also have a profound effect on the business. This has become a point of interest for employers and has led to both employee engagement and employee experience being a top priority, with the COVID-19 pandemic elevating the importance of digital experiences for customers and employees.
Without the implementation of technological advancements in communication and utilising the many different touchpoints that now exist to enhance the digital experience, such as through wearables and automated processes, many organizations face falling behind. According to the 2020 HR Sentiment Survey carried out by Future Workplace, 50% of HR and business leaders put the employee experience as their top initiative for this year, closely followed by 41% putting a greater focus on using technology to automate routine tasks. Further investment in both employee experience and engagement will have mutually beneficial outcomes for both businesses and their staff.
What Is Employee Engagement & Employee Experience?
Though there are several different definitions for what employee engagement is, there is one that is widely used to describe it. Employee engagement is where an employee invests their cognitive, emotional and behavioural energies toward a positive outcome for the organization. All whilst being committed to company values, goals and being motivated to contribute to the organisation’s success and have a sense of well-being and place within the business. An employee’s engagement within your business will depend on a number of factors, with COVID-19 and remote working providing business leaders with a unique challenge to maintain this without a familiar office environment. According to LinkedIn, organisations that have a high level of employee engagement can expect 18% higher productivity and 50% less absence days.
Employee experience encompasses the entire experience an employee has from inside and outside the workplace from what they feel, observe and interact with in the business. Similarly to the customer experience, your employees need to feel valued and listened to. Many organizations keep strategies for customer and employee experience separated, whereas interweaving best practices from both can help enhance a multiexperience approach. The employee experience begins from recruitment, as employees will begin to make quick judgements on how they interact with your organization during this crucial stage.
During the pandemic, it’s important that any gaps uncovered of the digital experience for both employees and customers is focused on and initiatives prioritised to maximise shared outcomes and values. A recent study by McKinsey found that 80% of US-based employees have found COVID-19 is materially affecting their daily work lives, with them all having widely varied experiences, perspectives and outcomes. The study recommends that employers use a combination of science, technology, data and analytics to segment their employees like they would their customers to support and tailor interventions.
What Is the Difference?
Though both are very similar, it is important to note that one encompasses their input and ability to work, whilst one can affect the entire company culture in term of output. Employee engagement is a process of encouraging your employees and providing them with what they need to complete a job well. This can be achieved by modernizing the front-end UX of your business applications with a focus on multi experience interoperability and modularity. This will enable a path towards the future of applications where assembly and composability are essential.
Employee experience is the overall input that your staff has with your company when compared to another. It can encompass the physical and mental challenges of every aspect of the working day such as the environment, the parking/commute, or the amount of training and development provided within the role. With employees working from home for long periods, the blurs between work/life balance are enhanced, meaning more emphasis is needed on improving the employee experience. It’s predicted by 2022, 35% of organizations will run active employee experience programs that incorporate modern and enjoyable digital experiences, supporting brand affinity. This is according to research from the International Data Corporation (IDC), who also predict the customer experience technology market will be valued at over $600 billion by that year.
How Can Your Business Strive to Achieve Both?
When looking to boost employee engagement and experience there are multiple places you can start, but ultimately it comes down to strategic planning. By chartering an employee experience community of practice across business and IT for sharing design and fostering ideas, this will impact your employee and customer experience strategies and link to related centers of excellence. According to Gartner, by 2023 40% of professional workers will orchestrate their business application experiences and capabilities like they do their music streaming experience, driven by employee desire to have a work environment that is similar to their personal one, especially in the age of remote working normality. Business leaders need to adjust now to ensure that when the future arrives, they are ready for these new working realities. Investing in key areas will ensure enhanced employee engagement that in effect improves the employee experience. With an estimated 85% of employees not being engaged in the workplace, that means a vast majority of business leaders need to act now to identify the reasons behind this and the strategy needed to improve it.
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