Can We Measure The Employee Experience?

Yael Sagy Hagag

It has been a while since we started focusing on customer experience as a holistic concept, rather than the narrower approach of measuring unique, smaller interactions. The same rationale is increasingly being adopted in organizations when looking at their human capital. It is the employee experience that counts.

So, what exactly is employee experience? What impacts it? And how can this be tracked and measured?

Clearly, the employee experience is a journey that starts even prior to the recruitment phase and goes all the way back to the organization’s perceived and employer brand. The recruiting process and the first interactions during this initial stage have a lot of influence on shaping our talent’s experience (before one becomes an employee). Later, the employee experience and its formation will be impacted by the onboarding period and by their day-to-day experiences.

The basic assumption is that positive talent experience will lead to higher engagement and motivation, which in turn will result in higher performance and productivity. It is a chain of many small events, interactions, and unique situations that build the general employee experience. So where should we focus? On which elements? Where should organizations invest the most to create the “best” employee experience?

This is probably a multi-million-dollar question: How can we measure success? Can we find a crystal ball to predict the answers we are searching for?

Crystal balls are nowhere to be found, but interesting technologies and rapid market changes are on our side.

We can definitely use HR analytics to help us with this process, to guide us through the maze of our talent experience measurements. We can gather ongoing measurements of satisfaction, creating a large enough dataset to extract the right analytics that relate to the employee experience, based on multiple interaction points.

In general, we tend to survey employees only following major organization events or processes. Since we are considering the continuous chain of events rather than a specific event, the pulse survey model, in which employees are surveyed at regular intervals, should be more widely used.

Even if we measure and track our employees’ experience on an ongoing basis, we often base our surveys on subjective reporting methodologies, which are vulnerable to bias and statistical deviations.

Fortunately, new, disruptive technologies can help us measure our employee experience index differently, enabling a frequent, nondisruptive mode of measurement. Advanced technologies, such as those on the following list, offer the opportunity to acquire data and conduct deep learning on the employee experience (being mindful of data-privacy constraints).

  • Biosensors and wearables: Smart, wearable biosensors are becoming widely used in personalized health and well-being. They are capable of measuring physiological levels (heart rate, respiration rate, body and skin temperature, blood pressure, etc.) as well as various surrounding parameters (distance, light, etc.). Provided the employee consents, these data sources and technologies enable us to gain relevant info on our talent and measure indicators of employee experience using a more objective, ongoing methodology.
  • Emotion recognition: Various technologies can analyze a photograph and identify a person’s facial expression and emotion, such as happiness, anger, sadness, surprise, etc. Given the data we’re already able to acquire from a still picture, imagine what video/live streaming and voice sentiment analytics (already being used in call centers and related jobs) can tell us about the talent experience.
  • Voice sentiment recognition: Voice sentiment also enables employers to collect data about customer relations and engagement in an ongoing, non-disruptive manner. This technology can be used to better understand our talent and their reaction to certain conditions, activities, and situations.

An interesting journey lies ahead!

The purpose of using these technologies is not to just collect data about our employees, rather to integrate it with existing HR management systems. When such critical data is isolated and stored on a standalone platform, we can’t create a holistic HR analytics map. Collecting and integrating this employee data will enable us to perform predictive analytics and forecast the impact of various processes, activities, and events on the overall employee experience index.

We need to keep our mind open to leverage these new technologies, not only to learn about the external customer experience, but also to assess the internal employee experience. HR can be the pioneers in using technology for a true digital and meaningful transformation of the employee experience.

Learn more about how monitoring employees’ moods can improve their experience. See How Emotionally Aware Computing Can Bring Happiness to Your Organization.

This blog was originally published on LinkedIn.

Yael Sagy Hagag

About Yael Sagy Hagag

Yael Sagy Hagag is the HR Director for Israel at SAP. She brings with her over 13 years of experience in the area of human resources, acting in various leading positions in the Israeli high-tech sector. Before joining SAP, Yael was at EMC, where she led the Learning & Talent development practice, as well as the Community outreach and welling domains. Prior to that, she worked at Comverse, both in Europe and Israel, in various positions including Head of the Israeli HR Service Center and Senior HR Business Partner of the global VAS BU.