How To Measure Employee Experience
From happier, more engaged and productive employees to increased customer satisfaction, staff retention rates and more. When you consider the many benefits available from improving your employee experience (EX), it’s not surprising to hear that more organisations are investing in EX.
However, if you’re going to improve your own employee experience, you need to know how strong your current EX is before you introduce any changes, and that requires identifying some key metrics to help you with that.
In this blog piece we’ll explore some effective metrics to help you, but before we do that it’s useful to revisit the concept of employee experience and why it matters.
Why employee experience matters
When you develop positive experiences for staff, they’re likely to be happier. And when you also consider that more contented workers are around 13% more productive than their unhappier counterparts, it makes sense to invest in your employee experience.
However, it’s much more than this. From increased employee motivation and engagement to greater workplace collaboration and innovation and the ability to better attract and retain staff. When you factor in the many other benefits of building a better employee experience, they all contribute to making your business more successful and competitive.
For a more in-depth review of why the employee experience is so important, you might like to read our ‘Why Employee Experience Matters’ blog piece.
Key metrics to help measure employee experience
As we stated earlier, you can’t begin improving your employee experience until you know how well you’re currently performing in this area. And to achieve this you need some solid ways of measuring and assessing it.
For example, instead of asking your workplace teams questions on the fly, you could create employee surveys, that will help you explore and delve deeper into your staff views about your EX and what you might do to improve it. Not only would their insight show you where your employee experience is excelling, but it could highlight any problem areas that need attention and ideas for improving it.
Employee surveys are great, but there’s also a number of metrics you can run alongside this that will allow you to better track how well you’re performing with your EX and keep it thriving.
Here’s some key metrics you need to consider implementing.
Employee Net Promoter (eNPS)
Probably one of the most widely recognised and used metric for measuring employee experience is the Employee Net Promoter metric. It’s helpful because it can allow you to quickly capture and identify your volume of loyal employees, which is a key indicator in your ability to retain staff, which is crucial to your business success.
Your eNPS can be measured by asking your staff the following question:
"On a scale of zero to ten, how likely would you be to recommend our company to others as a great place to work?"
(Where those closest to zero would be the least likely and those closer to ten the most likely to promote you)
Having gathered and reviewed their answers, you can then divide your employees into the following groups:
- Promoters – Those who gave you a rating of nine or ten are considered your promoters and can offer you valuable insights on what your company is doing right.
- Passives – Employees responding with a seven or an eight are categorised as passives. They don’t feel strongly about your company either way. Subsequently, you should be looking to convert these employees into promoters and prevent them from becoming detractors.
- Detractors – Anyone who gave you a rating of between zero and six are referred to as detractors. These people are unhappy with their job and are more likely to leave your company. However, detractors are still useful, as they can tell you a lot about what you need to be improving.
To calculate your eNPS, you’ll have to subtract your percentage of detractors from your percentage of promoters, or for a simpler way of working out this figure try our eNPS calculator.
You should now be left with a score of between –100 and 100. Any positive score is considered good, while anything below zero should serve as a warning sign that you need to work on improving employee satisfaction and your wider employee experience.
Employee Satisfaction Score (ESAT)
The second most important metric after eNPS, is working out your employee satisfaction score (ESAT).
When you use ESAT, it enables you to get a better picture of your employees’ contentment with your business, as well as the extent to which they feel you have met their wants and needs.
The ESAT metric helps to measure your employees’ satisfaction with your organisation by asking them the following question.
"How satisfied are you with the organisation you work for?"
As part of this question, each staff member is asked to rate their experience on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 which is “very dissatisfied” to 5 which represents “very satisfied”.
To calculate your ESAT score you need to take your volume of satisfied employees (who rated you either a 4 or a 5) and divide this by your total number of responses and then multiply this by 100. For example, if 55 out of 100 of your employees gave you a rating of 4 or 5, your overall ESAT score would be 55.
Your total ESAT score should reside somewhere between zero and 100.
Given the vital role that employee satisfaction plays in motivation, goal achievement and morale in the workplace, the closer your ESAT score gets to 100 the better, as the easier it should be to drive up staff motivation, morale and goal achievements.
Employee Effort Score (EES)
The EES metric is the next important metric in helping you to gauge where you are in providing an effective employee experience. It does this by measuring the amount of effort it takes your staff to perform their work tasks and deliver what your customers need, based on the tools and training you’ve provided and the processes they need to work with to complete tasks.
The thinking behind this metric is the simpler you make it for your staff to complete tasks the happier they will be.
The EES metric helps measure the effort typically taken by your employees by asking them questions such as the following.
"How simple was it to onboard with us?"
Then similar to the customer effort score (CES) question, staff respondents are encouraged to select their answer on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 which is ‘very easy’ to 5 which represents ‘very difficult’.
To work out the overall EES score for their workforce, customers using our Enterprise plan can take advantage of out-of-the-box EES and ESAT questions, which feature automatic score calculations and a range of visuals including Gauge, Column, Trend, Bar, Pie, Line, or Area chart types, which help simplify your analysis of this data.
Other indicators to help measure your employee experience
Besides the main employee experience metrics of eNPS, ESAT and EES, there are some further key performance indicators (KPIs), you can employ to get a better idea of how well you’re progressing with your employee experience. The best of these include:
A good way to start measuring your teams’ productivity is to set up actionable goals on a quarterly or yearly basis and then regularly follow up on their progress.
If the goals you’ve set are consistently reached or surpassed, it’s a sign of a positive and motivating employee experience. Once you’ve gauged productivity levels, you’ll be able to improve them over time, to help ensure that your teams are always working to produce their best work.
It stands to reason that when staff feel happy and motivated, they’re more likely to stay.
Subsequently, your employee retention KPI can provide a significant indication of how healthy your employee experience is.
You can calculate your employee retention rate using the following formula:
Employee retention = (number of employees at the end of the year ÷ number of employees at the beginning of the year) x 100
For example, let’s say you had 150 staff members working for your organisation at the start of January, and this number increased to 165 by the end of December. In this case, 15 employees started a new job at your company, and your retention rate is 110%.
A positive retention rate of over 100% indicates positive employee experience levels. In addition, if your retention rates improve over time, it also means that the steps you take to enhance employee experience are proving effective.
Your staff absenteeism rates can also provide a reasonably strong indication of how happy your employees are.
Keeping absenteeism rates as low as possible is critical, as it can significantly harm productivity and cost your organisation thousands of pounds a year. Every time an employee is absent, it also increases the workload on other employees, which can affect their performance and create a vicious cycle moving forward.
You can calculate your staff absenteeism rate using the following formula:
Absenteeism rate = (number of absences ÷ total number of workdays in a year) x 100
Generally, the lower your absenteeism rate (closer to zero) the better, as this indicates a positive employee experience. Staff who are optimistic about their work environment are less likely to be absent unless they are very ill or have a really valid reason for not working.
Tied closely to absenteeism rates is employee wellness.
When staff increasingly encounter physical or mental health issues that are derived from work-related issues, it can drastically impact their employee experience. Factors that can take a toll on employee wellness include:
- Unrealistic workloads and expectations
- Poor health and safety policies
- Bad management and communication practices
- Inflexible work hours
- Harassment or bullying in the workplace
- A workplace environment that does not value diversity and inclusion
It can be challenging to obtain quantitative data on employees’ wellness. However, you can a much better idea about how your teams are feeling and what factors are taking a toll on their wellbeing by regularly sending them a staff wellbeing survey.
Finally, another useful KPI, which often gets overlooked when trying to measure your employee experience, is to examine the number of referrals your teams’ members are sending to your HR department. While it’s closely linked with the employee Net Promoter Score, the great thing about the internal referral KPI, is that it demonstrates advocacy in practice, not just theory.
Consider the times when you have referred other people you know for a job at your organisation – and also the times when you didn’t.
More likely than not, you only did it when you felt positively about the employee experience at an organisation. If you don’t enjoy the environment you work in, you're not going to want to share that burden with someone else. On the other hand, if you feel engaged day-in-day-out, you’ll be happy to see others experience that as well.
Besides giving you a glimpse of how well your current EX is performing, referrals and a good referral program can also do wonders in further strengthening the employee experience you’re providing.
Having outlined some key EX metrics, as well as some other KPIs you can use to measure your employee experience, what we’ve outlined here should give you a solid foundation to assess the health of your EX and some ideas for improving it.
What’s important to remember however, is that if you’re going to improve your employee experience and be able to maintain it, you need to keep the process of tracking and measuring your EX in place for the long term. And you also need to be measuring it at all the key points of an employee’s employment journey with you from their initial recruitment and onboarding to their ongoing development, retention and final offboarding.
Considering that people are an organisation’s most important asset, the ability to engage and empower them through a positive employee experience, is one of the best ways of influencing positive business outcomes. So, for that reason alone, investing in and striving to make your employee experience as good as you can make it is totally worth it.