Employee experience (EX)

The employee experience (EX) is an all-encompassing term that represents the sentiments about an employee's (or potential employee’s) experiences with an employer, from applying, onboarding, and managing benefits, to leaving.


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While a positive EX may look different for everyone, one thing is clear—it should be placed at the forefront of organizations to retain a business’ workforce, keep employees invested, and maintain its brand reputation. 

Every business wants motivated, engaged, learning, and collaborative employees. And thanks to industry shifts like an increasing acceptance of remote and hybrid work cultures, the introduction of the four-day workweek, and uncertain market conditions, employees’ expectations are higher than ever—with many looking for solid alignment between their values and the company culture. 

What are the stages of the EX? 

While the terms of each stage and the exact order can vary depending on who you ask, they generally include the following: 

1. Attraction: the moment a potential applicant learns of your organization and begins forming their first impressions 

2. Recruitment: the process of a candidate applying for a role

3. Onboarding: the process of a candidate accepting an offer, learning systems and platforms, and understanding of the position’s expectations

4. Development: this stage involves helping employees improve over time, addressing any concerns or issues, and supporting their career goals 

5. Retention: employees are expected to be fully integrated by this point 

6. Separation or exit: an employee has decided to leave an employer and is now transitioning out of the organization 

How to assess and measure EX 

When getting a feel of the employee experience, you should hear from none other than your employees. While most organizations have an annual engagement survey, its results and feedback can come back too late to make a difference. To prevent this from happening, place the employee’s voice at the center of your HR program instead of the end-user. 

To stay engaged with employees in real-time, employers should get rapid feedback on every stage of EX directly from their employees. This critical step guarantees that data will be actionable and that the team is mindful of what’s placed in front of employees. Here are a few examples of how organizations can gather insight on EX:

  • Collect feedback on communications, surveys, and performance reviews, pre-launch 
  • Include an employee representative on project teams 
  • Test with a human insight platform 
  • Pilot test programs with small teams and get employee buy-in before your rollout 

By adding the step of gathering feedback in the program development process to your checklist, you’re saving the employee’s time when they read your messaging and simplifying the ask. Involving your employees directly in shaping your programs and communications is what’ll lead to impactful change—and a better employee experience