Companies today have to focus on creating a place where employees want–not need–to come to work.

But how did we get to the point of needing to invest in employee experience? The need to create an empowering and engaging environment for employees has evolved for decades.

A century ago, organizations were focused solely on utility. Organizations only provided employees the bare-bones tools to show up, do their work, and go home.

The utility era transitioned to an era focused on productivity. During that time, organizations were hyper-focused on making employees work better, faster, and more efficiently. Managers were tasked with creating repeatable processes that optimized employees and helped companies get as much as possible from their people.

Then came the era of employee engagement, or when organizations were totally focused on employee happiness. They surveyed employees and offered incredible perks and benefits to ensure employees were happy with their work environment.

During the era of employee engagement, companies invested more time and resources into engagement than ever before. But engagement scores overall didn’t improve. In fact, some even dropped. Leaders couldn’t see the ROI of employee engagement, which led to our current era of employee experience.

Employee experience moves beyond just perks and benefits to change core workplace practices around people. In this era, companies must focus on the three core environments: culture, technology, and physical space. These environments work together to create an engaged and empowered workforce.

It’s no longer enough to provide employees only with essentials or just give them perks. Employee experience is the next big battleground for attracting and retaining talent. And that requires creating a place where employees WANT to come to work.

I put together a video which talks about this in more detail. Please check it out below.