Higher engaged employees deliver 20% higher rates of productivity, Zone white paper shows

There is a clear profitable distinction between companies that invest in their employee experience journey to those that don’t, as detailed in a new white paper from ZoneShout out to my EX: How to invest in EX to boost productivity, positivity and profitability, which combines exclusive third party research with insights from brand decision-makers.

Zone, the customer experience agency, within Cognizant, conducted market research with CensusWide, surveying 150 decision makers including Commercial, HR and Digital Directors, CTOs, CEOs and CIOs in the automotive, food & drink, financial services, retail, consumer packaged goods (CPG) and travel & leisure sectors. The purpose of the research is to understand the reasons why investing in EX continues to be largely overlooked, despite having such evident positive business effects. 

A dose of reality for leadership

One of the most interesting aspects of the research proved a real distinction between those who set out the ideas to those who tasked them- business leaders may have an overtly ‘rosy’ view of their EX maturity whilst those ‘at the coal face’ are somewhat more realistic about progress. 

Over 70% of middle managers felt that their organisation was very much at the beginning of this journey, while business owners were altogether more bullish, leaning towards the more positive end of the spectrum. This would suggest that those who set out the ideas had a more optimistic view of EX progress than those tasked with implementing it.

When asked to what extent employers lived their brand through each interaction with employees and customers, only 8% agreed that it was embedded in everything they did. The majority (55%) said they were exploring the opportunity and its impact. The research also showed a significant discrepancy between layers of management as to how well embedded EX is across the business. While senior leaders and business owners believe EX is spreading beyond a single team or function in their business (46% and 44% respectively), middle managers state there is a much lower spread (only 20%), once again highlighting the discrepancy between leaders and those running the day-to-day.

Becoming a truly experience-led organisation

As with all other areas of EX and CX maturity, Zone’s research found that most organisations (43%) are stuck in exploring how to align the metrics through which they reward and recognise their people with the desired experiences they are trying to achieve with their employees and customers. For many businesses the translation between the experience they are trying to achieve and how this relates to how their employees are rewarded and recognised has been lost. 

The Retail sector, for example, is behind other organisations in the industry in agreeing that aligning reward and recognition metrics against the desired experience for employees and customers is not considered at all (12%) or they are exploring the opportunity (60%).  Consumer packaged goods (CPG) is outperforming other industries in this area, with 46% of respondents stating it is considered by parts of their organisation and 15% stating it is embedded into everything they do 

Investing in EX Generates Results

By embedding experience throughout the organisation, businesses will not only benefit from attraction, retention and development of key talent but also drive key business benefits, including four times the profitability (Forbes), twice the customer satisfaction and 20% higher productivity (MIT).  

Patti Alderman, AVP digital experience at Cognizant, said: “It’s become increasingly more apparent that good employee experience (EX) drives more than engagement and attracting talent – it directly impacts customers. The bottom line: to be truly customer-centric you must first be employee-centric. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach and must be directly linked back to a company’s ambition and mindset, remaining true to brand and purpose. Our data shows there is a discrepancy across all sectors between how senior executives and other members of staff view EX maturity in their business. This highlights the importance of embedding the right mindset, methods and measures of EX across the whole organisation. Each is reliant on the other to drive the cultural and behavioural shift required to become an experience-led business.”