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

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Monday, June 27, 2022

What quantifiable metrics could employers use to calculate the experience of their workforce? Here are 7 you might want to start with.

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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 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.

Employee experience: Why and how?

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 performance and dissatisfaction.

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%.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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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