Happy Employees: The Key Factor for Growing Business Value?

The State of Employee Experience in 2019

Richard Branson.png

Richard Branson – Pioneer, or Dreamer?

There may not be a more prominent “buzz” word in the HR arena right now than Employee Experience (EX). Most HR folks (and even non-HR people like Richard Branson) speak about it – yet most of them struggle to define the term, not to mention explain how to manage it.

We have started the journey & made some interesting findings!

Over the last two years, together with around 30 clients, we have spent a lot of our time and effort exploring the above-mentioned blind spots. We have created a definition of EX, a concept for the management and deployment of EX, and the underpinning technology to roll it out at scale. Perhaps most importantly, we have found a way to measure the impact of EX on tangible business outcomes.

We define 'Employee Experience' as the sum of all experiences (HR, job, culture & leadership, digital workplace) of managers, employees, candidates, freelancers and alumni of a company.

With respect to EX management, we have learned from our marketing colleagues who have successfully applied Customer Experience (CX) principles for decades:

We identified four main activities required to manage EX at scale:

  • Design: Foundation, journeys, touch points

  • Share: Prototypes & responsibilities

  • Measure: EX & benchmark

  • Act: Embed EX

FIG 1. Phases of the Employee Experience lifecycle

FIG 1. Phases of the Employee Experience lifecycle

CHROs like ING’s Hein Knaapen, EMEAs CHRO of the year for ‘Sustainable Workforce’, ask how employee experience relates to engagement, organisational health, and ultimately, business value. In Hein's words: “If there is one thing I learned as a CHRO, it is that everything HR does has to have a clear line of sight to business results.” In short: CHROs rightfully want us to explain the business value of EX.

During our research we found many convincing arguments that EX is directly contributing to the business value of organisations.

A successfully managed Employee Experience (by applying the “Design, Share, Measure, Act” concept) increases engagement, which has a direct impact on attraction and retention, as well as work productivity. That again translates into increased revenue. In addition, operating costs can be decreased by designing experiences that give time back to managers, employees and HR staff.

FIG 2. Employee Experience specific business value levers

FIG 2. Employee Experience specific business value levers

Once the business value question is answered, CHROs subsequently want to know how to deploy employee experience at scale in large, complex organisations. Is it a team of design thinkers that will build better experiences? How about an investment in a survey tool to measure experience? Is it ultimately a transformation of HR, or even all support functions to provide a great experience? What does it cost?

In our research we uncovered answers to those questions. We have, for example, defined roles and responsibilities that support the deployment of the Employee Experience concept.

The ‘Scrum Team’ enables the HR product owners to work in unison to accomplish the goal of an EX-driven HR; while the ‘HR Product Owner’ holds the responsibility for delivering a great overall HR journey experience.

Fig 3.

Fig 3.

Why not simply believe Richard Branson?

There is still uncertainty around the Employee Experience concept. Everyone speaks about it – yet most of us struggle to implement a robust concept. And that bugs us!

Given the tangible impact that Employee Experience can have on the business AND employees, we are interested learn more about Employee Experience within in your organisation, in 2019. How seriously is it taken? What business value is associated and how exactly is it deployed?

We need your input!

In order to understand the state of Employee Experience in 2019 we want to understand your view on it.

Be apart of our Employee Experience research initiative by completing this short survey (it only takes 7 minutes!) to share your point of view.

You will be rewarded with a copy of the resulting research white-paper, written by TI People (Employee Experience thought leaders), and supported by myHRfuture (Learning and News for HR Professionals) and The HR Congress (the ‘Davos of HR’).


Volker Jacobs is the CEO and founder of TI People and an Executive Director and co-founder of Insight222 Limited. Volker holds degrees in economics and information sciences, has worked for U.S. and European consulting companies and started his own HR management consulting business that he sold to CEB. At CEB, Volker held a senior management position with a global responsibility for HR consulting and HR technology before co-founding TI People.