Key takeaways: 

  • exceptional employee engagement prioritises flexibility and inclusion​
  • it requires clear and consistent communication​

  • it is driven by a belief in leadership values and purpose ​

It’s really important to connect employees and customers as one.

Ros Coffey, Head of People, Culture and Customer Experience, Macquarie Bank


Employee experience measures the way staff perceive their interactions with the company they work for – the emotional aspects of ‘what it’s like to work in that organisation’. It might include a sense of purpose and accountability, a feeling of being valued or an inclusive culture.

Employee experience goes far beyond a human resource function. It’s a holistic view of how people can be empowered and engaged to deliver on a business’ purpose and strategy. In a year when nearly half of Australia’s working population has had to suddenly adapt to working remotely1,  it has never been more important.

Research indicates employees have adapted well to the challenge of working outside of an office environment. Feedback has been generally positive, and many employees say they expect to continue to work remotely – at least part time2

It takes additional management effort and empathy to maintain team connection and collaboration in a remote environment. However, by proving the case for productivity out of the office, employees see COVID-19 as having opened up a conversation about the nuances of work/life balance – challenging long-held assumptions about ‘flexibility’, ‘9-to-5’ and the importance of ‘facetime’.

 

Studies show employees who are highly engaged deliver much better experiences to clients, and those clients themselves become highly engaged and more loyal.”

Rosalind Coffey, Macquarie Banking and Financial Services’ Head of People, Culture and Customer Experience

According to Rosalind Coffey, Macquarie Banking and Financial Services’ Head of People, Culture and Customer Experience, employees are more engaged when they feel empowered to do their jobs, believe their work aligns with the business’ strategy and when they have pride in their organisation. Ultimately, this comes down to leadership. If employees feel there is genuine investment in their potential, it motivates them to invest their talents within the business. 

Adaptive businesses define, measure and continually look for ways to improve employee experience. They seek feedback, monitor staff retention rates and set performance metrics to manage behaviours, values and culture.

Employee experience investment has taken different forms in the face of changing work constraints. Helping people work productively from home “is more than a technology solution,” according to Atlassian’s Work Futurist Dominic Price.

He suggests focusing on three things: mindset, processes and the physical environment. “It’s not a natural skill set for everyone, and you can’t expect to copy and paste the work environment into a work from home environment – some things will need to change or be dropped.”

You’ve got to care deeply about your employees, because you need them to deliver to your customers.”

Tiffani Bova, Growth and Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce

Atlassian also gave all staff budget to set up their work from home space3, and conducts regular pulse surveys to check in on mental health – because engagement is also a by-product of wellbeing.

Coffey describes employee experience as a “virtuous cycle” that improves customer experience. “Studies show employees who are highly engaged deliver much better experiences to clients, and those clients themselves become highly engaged and more loyal.”

 

 

More in the series:

Additional information

The information on this page has been prepared by Macquarie Business Banking, a division of Macquarie Bank Limited AFSL & Australian Credit Licence 237502 for general information purposes only, without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this general information, you must consider its appropriateness having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. The information provided is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for any accounting, tax or other professional advice, consultation or service.

1

ABS 4940.0 - Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, 29 Apr - 4 May 2020, 46% of all Australians who were working in late-April to early-May said they were working from home 

2

Re-thinking the way we work, Macquarie Bank, May 2020

3

How responsive is your crisis response strategy? Tami Rosen, Atlassian May 21 2020