You want your company to be a great place for employees to work, you want to drive innovation in your industry and ultimately you want to create an excellent customer experience. How can you drive such diverse goals with just one initiative? Enter: the employee experience.

Research shows that companies that invest most heavily in  employee experience are 11.5 times more likely to be one of Glassdoor’s ‘Best Places to Work’, 28 times more likely to be listed among Fast Company’s ‘Most Innovative Companies’ and twice as often found in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. So, there’s evidence to suggest that the employee experience matters, but what is it exactly?

Employee experience is the sum of every interaction an employee has with an organization from the first contact with the recruiter through the exit interview. It’s every call, email, process, benefit and roadblock that an employee encounters through the life cycle of employment with an organization. With a scope that vast, how could you possibly begin to evaluate your employee experience, and how on earth could you focus on improving it?

Plus does this by focusing on the journey. Take relocation for example. From the moment an employee learns of a relocation or assignment opportunity through completion of the move, there’s hundreds, maybe even thousands of intersecting touchpoints, encounters and interactions that shape that employee’s experience. To understand more about it, we mapped it all out and we’d encourage you to do the same. Look at each phase of the process, take into account each touchpoint, and also, what’s going on between touchpoints, something we refer to as “in the hallways." Then look at the employee’s “come-to” state, or their emotional state when they enter that phase. Where are their stress levels, do they feel supported, do they have the resources they need to get to the next step? This will allow you to evaluate how well you’re supporting your relocating employees and where there are gaps. And luckily, it’s not always about adding more - more calls, more touchpoints, more emails. It’s about understanding where that person is in their journey and meeting them where they’re at. And sometimes, that means less.

It’s a lot of effort, but it’s worth it. A well-designed employee experience will help attract the hires you need, keep your current employees engaged and forward thinking, and allow you a fighting edge to win war for talent.

This year, I challenge you to dive in and make 2018 “The year of the employee experience.”

Read our recent white paper, The Happy Customer Equation, for more ideas on how to tackle the employee experience.