12 Crucial Metrics to Measure Employee Experience


HR Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for HR pros

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

What quantifiable metrics could employers use to calculate the experience of their workforce? Here are 12 you might want to start with.

Article 9 Minutes
Made to Measure: 7 Metrics You Need to Improve Your Employee Experience

Employee experience is a big issue in HR right now, with companies across the globe aiming to improve everyday life for their workers. This can be defined by looking at the employee lifecycle, which encompasses the different stages an employee goes through with an organization, from initial recruitment and onboarding to separation.

This is more important than ever in the wake of what’s being referred to as the ‘Great Resignation’ and ‘the Big Quit’, with a Microsoft Work Trend Index last year finding 40% of people wanted to change their jobs. Perhaps the prospect of losing so many employees has made managers appreciate that a successful business isn’t solely about the customer experience but also the experience of its employees.

Why measuring employee experience matters more than ever

This can only be a good thing for both workers and employers – after all, an engaged and happy workforce could lead to a more positive culture, happier customers and a better bottom line. Indeed, it may be one of the reasons a recent study by Deloitte found 80% of executives now rate employee experience as very important.

But it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to turning qualitative information into something quantifiable, particularly when factors from the physical workspace, workplace technology and company culture must all be taken into account.

That’s why you need to use concrete metrics to accurately assess how satisfied your employees are and see if you are moving towards your specific goals. Doing so could provide the early warning system you need to address issues before they lead to poor employee performance and dissatisfaction.

How should you measure employee experience?

  • Employee surveys: Sending out regular surveys (pulse surveys, employee engagement surveys, etc) to workers allows you to gain insight into job-related roles, engagement, communication and the overall work environment.
  • Collect data: Your organization houses numerous data sources that you can leverage to gain insights into the employee experience. HR technology will provide insights into metrics such as employee absenteeism, turnover and employee referrals.
  • Being open to feedback and criticism is key: Listen to what your employees have to say, take any criticism or feedback on board and use it to make improvements.
  • Know your benchmarks: Employee experience benchmarks can provide context and help you to gauge whether certain scores are normal or out of the ordinary.
  • Look up your competitors: Knowing how well your competitors are performing can tell you a lot about what you should be doing moving forward. The Employee Experience Index ranks 252 organizations from around the world based on variables and is a good place to start looking at what other companies are doing successfully.

12 KPIs to measure employee experience

Although there’s no single thing to measure to act as a magic bullet and inform you on employee experience, here are some key metrics and indicators you might want to start with.

1. Employee satisfaction

It might sound like stating the obvious, but actually asking employees about their job satisfaction will really help you read the room and work out your priorities for improvement going forward. It’s important to do it in a way that creates data, so consider surveys with questions that respondents must answer on a one-to-five scale.

You can do this using apps or email, but remember to make the responses anonymous to ensure honesty and keep them short - surveys with fewer than 12 questions have response rates of around 83%.

Questions to ask in your survey

Some effective employee experience survey questions include:

  • Are you satisfied with our company’s culture?
  • Do your managers value your feedback?
  • Do you feel that your contributions are valued in the workplace?
  • Do you find your work meaningful?
  • Does our company provide you with the resources you need to do your job well?

2. Employee productivity

Recent research found happiness makes people around 12% more productive because they use their time more effectively, while Gallup showed highly engaged employees could make companies 21% more profitable.

That’s why measuring the productivity rates of your employees could help you to determine whether or not they’re happy – and if not, why not.

3. Employee retention

In a similar vein, highly engaged and motivated employees don’t tend to leave their jobs, so a high turnover rate could mean there’s something wrong. By crunching the numbers and laying them out as hard data, you should be able to see if you are retaining staff as you should.

Employee retention rate formula

4. Recruitment

Measuring the percentage of employees you’re gaining through referrals is a good metric to use for employee experience, but it’s also a good idea to go deeper and gain data from new hires or those who have participated in the recruitment process.

For example, you could survey candidates who went through interviews to assess the clarity of job descriptions versus the actual role, or ask them about communication. There’s also an opportunity in the 90-day failure rate of new hires, as high figures and bounce rates suggest the onboarding process might not be working as it should.

5. Employee net promoter score

Another survey opportunity can be found in the employee net promoter score (eNPS), which is the likelihood of an existing worker recommending their company or its products to their friends and family. Unhappy workers are probably not going to rate their company highly, which in turn suggests they aren’t having a positive employee experience.

NPS relies on a scale from 0 to 10. Typically, a score of 9 or 10 categorizes workers as promoters, those with a score of 7 or 8 are considered neutrals, and those scoring between 0 and 6 are detractors.

To calculate eNPS, subtract the number of detractors from the number of promoters and divide the answer by the total number of respondents.

6. Absenteeism

No member of staff can realistically achieve 100% attendance, but high levels of unplanned days off could indicate a problem. Divide your total planned workdays by unplanned absences for each worker and you have a metric you can use to dig deeper and examine employee experience. 

# unplanned absences / total planned workdays X 100 = Absenteeism rate %

7. Vacation days used

As many as 768 million vacation days go unused in the US every year, but don’t be tempted to think this is a sign of loyalty and devotion. Instead, it may indicate that employees are feeling overworked and under pressure from presenteeism.

Calculating who has days left and how many might help you to root out underlying problems staff have been bottling up.

8. Wellness 

Wellness is closely linked to job satisfaction. Employee wellness is a measure of how well workers are doing mentally, emotionally and physically. When team members feel overworked, emotionally exhausted or stressed after work it can have negative consequences for them on a personal level as well as for the company.

Therefore, it’s important to regularly check in with employees to ensure their wellbeing needs are being met. To do this, you can send employee wellness surveys or use mood trackers so that individuals can track their moods frequently over periods of time.

9. Workplace culture 

Workplace culture refers to the way a company and its employees behave in the workplace. For instance, some companies will operate with a team-based culture that encourages employee participation at all levels, whereas others will employ a more traditional or hierarchical culture.

Company culture is an important factor for 46% of job seekers when deciding whether or not they want to accept an offer. Measuring workplace culture can provide valuable insight into the employee experience, and help you to identify ways to improve to ensure worker satisfaction. There are various ways to do this, including through employee surveys, focus groups and exit interviews.

10. Recognition frequency 

Recognition in the workplace helps to boost employee morale and provides encouragement for them to keep working in the same way. Frequent recognition should celebrate good performance and behavior regularly.

Measuring recognition frequency allows you to understand whether or not employees feel that their contributions are valued. You can do this by using surveys to ask employees whether they feel valued at work, as well as looking at specific metrics to measure the success of your employee recognition program.

11. Training participation rate 

Growth and development play a vital role in the experience you offer to your employees. Understanding the level of engagement in your training programs can help you to gauge whether or not employees are satisfied or something is missing.

To calculate training participation rate, divide the number of employees who participated in the training by the number of those who were eligible, then multiply the result by 100.

Armed with this information, you can delve deeper by looking at any stages in the employee lifecycle where training participation slows down or accelerates, whether there are specific roles not receiving adequate training, and if diversity and inclusion is a valid concern.

12. Employee rating websites  

Websites like Glassdoor and Indeed enable current and past employees to rate their job experience, share their salary information and leave reviews. Often, job seekers seek out these websites to decide if a workplace offers what they’re looking for, but they can also provide companies with valuable insights into the employee experience.

You can use the anonymous feedback left by employees to identify areas for improvement and to reflect on the reasons workers may feel frustrated or satisfied with their experience at your company.

Final thoughts

Collecting key performance indicators is a quantifiable method of seeing in black and white how your employees are and what might happen in the future, potentially leading to a comprehensive employee journey mapping scheme.

By spotting patterns, you could identify possible problems before they occur and put strategies and programs in place to boost engagement, hopefully leading to a better employee experience overall.

Failing to make the most of employee experience metrics could make your business feel directionless, but capitalizing on them may ensure your company is a better place to work – and you could reap the rewards of that for years to come.

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