My Research on Employee Experience

My new book, The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces they Want, the Tools they Need, and a Culture They Can Celebrate, comes out March 27, 2017. It’s been a rather intensive project for me due to the heavy research component that was involved. Essentially my goal was to explore what employee experience is, what the world’s top companies are doing, how to create frameworks that others can follow, and what the ROI of investing in employee experience is. I’ll share more details about the book as we get closer to the launch date but for now I wanted to give some context on the research that was conducted.

Chances are you’ve heard of the phrase “employee experience” but it’s largely been a nebulous topic with little context, data, and research. Future posts will explore what that actually means and how it differentiates from employee engagement. To really understand as much as I could around employee experience I did a few things.

  1. Interviewed over 150 senior level executives such as the Chairman of the Board of Yahoo!, CHRO of Marriott International, CTO of Xerox, CEO of Jamba Juice, CTO of Accenture, and many others. You can listen to many of those conversations on the future of work podcast.
  2. Went through just as many research articles, case studies, and reports to understand what employees care about most at work when it comes to culture, technology, and the physical workspace.
  3. Sought the advice of Steve King at Emergent Research and Serge P. da Motta Veiga who is the Assistant Professor of Management at American University on methodology, question design, and data collection.
  4. Hired a team of 5 researchers and 2 data scientists to help me analyze and review over 252 global organizations.
  5. Did a comparison of “best-of” lists to see if organizations that invest in employee experience appear on other lists more often than those who don’t.
  6. Went through a TON of financial and business data ranging from profit and revenue to overall stock price performance.

After interviewing so many business leaders I realized that employee experience is essentially comprised of three environments: culture, technology, and the physical workspace. Once I knew what these three environments were the next step was to figure out the crucial variables that comprise them, to actually go about ranking and reviewing various organizations, collecting tons of data, and then analyzing and visualizing the data. This is where I needed help since data collection and then data analysis are neither easy nor are they cheap.

Thankfully two organizations stepped up and agreed to sponsor my research on employee experience, Lever.co and Cisco. Lever is a recruiting platform and Cisco is one of the world’s leading technology companies. In addition to sponsoring the research both of these organizations have also made significant investments in their own employee experience programs. It’s also important to stress that neither Lever or Cisco had any say whatsoever into the rankings, methodologies, or approach that I took for anything. They simply supplied the funds and trusted me to handle the rest. I say this because I want to both acknowledge their contributions but also clarify their objectivity.

Although I’ve seen lots written about employee experience I haven’t seen any actual data or research around what this means, who the top companies are, frameworks around employee experience, etc. I’m hoping that all of that will change come March 27! In the meantime, I also wanted to give a big thank you to Lever and Cisco for helping me make the research happen, the results which I will share soon, are interesting to say the least!

If you want to grab a copy of the book you can do so on Amazon or wherever books are sold. Stay tuned for much more and thanks for your support!