What’s the difference between employee engagement and employee experience?

The same as the difference between updating a car by just painting the outside and replacing the entire engine. One method makes the car look nice, but the other actually improves its performance.

Employee engagement is popular, but it’s a short-term fix. Employee experience is a long-term solution that addresses the core of major issues.

Most companies invest in employee engagement and measure it with periodic engagement surveys. Employee engagement starts with good intentions but doesn’t lead to real change.

Employees are likely engaged when they start working for a company, but over time their engagement naturally starts to dip. When that happens, the company tries to increase its engagement score, usually through perks like free food or work from home Fridays. Those efforts raise the engagement score, but then over time it drops again and another perk is introduced.

The result is a cycle of employee engagement with regular adrenaline shots of new perks. The problem is that these Band-Aid solutions don’t change the core workplace practices.

On the other hand, employee experience looks at the workplace with a long-term view. Employee experience improves core practices around people and involves truly knowing your employees and giving them what they care about to create an environment where they are empowered and valued.

Employees can tell the difference between a temporary perk that’s intended to make them want to work more and a truly improved employee experience that considers their motivations and desires. Employee experience considers all aspects of an employee’s time at the organization. It might not be as flashy as free yoga classes or bringing your dog to work, but the end results are much more beneficial.

Instead of focusing only on employee engagement, it’s time to see the difference and focus on employee experience.

I put together a video which talks about this in more detail. Please check it out below and if you want more content like this you can subscribe to my Youtube channel.

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