Workhuman Analytics and Research Institute and IBM Smarter Workforce Institute Unveil a New Employee Experience Index

October 4, 2016 Sarah Payne

New Employee Experience Index

Which factors contribute to a more human employee experience in the workplace? How can organizational cultures and practices be enhanced to become more human-friendly themselves?

These questions are even more critical as the boundaries between people and technology become blurred.

While machines are now able to learn, reason, and interact with humans naturally, people—humans—are at the forefront of realizing the benefits of new technologies. Thus, we are now in a time when work can be a more rewarding experience for employees.

This idea is explored in greater detail in a new research study of more than 23,000 employees in 45 countries and territories, conducted by the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute and Globoforce’s WorkHuman Research Institute. The study, The Employee Experience Index: A new global measure of a human workplace and its impact, was announced at the HR Technology Conference in Chicago.

Download the full report here.

New Employee Experience Index from @globoforce and @IBMSmtWorkforce #workhuman
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The study reveals the impact of employee experience on the workplace, and recommends specific practices for organizations to create more human employee experiences.

Here’s what is especially exciting: the study found that employees experiencing a higher level of humanity at work tend to perform better, are more likely to exert extra effort at their jobs, and are more likely to stay at their companies.

Humanity at work is tied to improved job performance and intent to stay. @IBMSmtWorkforce
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The resulting index captures five core facets of the modern employee experience:

  • Belonging
  • Purpose
  • Achievement
  • Happiness
  • Vigor

In order to enhance each of these five facets, the study found that leaders and managers need to provide a high level of clarity and direction. Of those surveyed, only 56% of employees felt their senior leaders provide clear direction about where the organization is headed.

The study also examines the organizational practices that drive “humanness” levels at work, including organizational trust; supportive coworker relationships; meaningful work; employee recognition, feedback and growth; empowerment and voice; and work-life balance.

Key insights and findings from the study include:


  • Discretionary effort is nearly twice as high in positive work experiences (95 percent compared to 55 percent), suggesting a stronger employee experience can contribute to higher motivation levels to go “above and beyond” typical job duties.

Discretionary effort is nearly 2x in positive work experiences @IBMSmtWorkforce #workhuman
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  • A more positive work experience may help organizations retain their talent. Analysis shows employees with less positive experiences are more than twice as likely to say they want to leave compared to those with much more positive experiences (44 percent vs. 21 percent).
  • 83 percent of employees report a positive employee experience when they feel recognized for the good work they do, compared to 38 percent that don’t receive recognition.
  • Employees whose organizations offer recognition programs that provide rewards based on demonstrating core values have a considerably higher employee experience index score than those in organizations without recognition programs (81 percent vs. 62 percent).
  • It is also important for the employee voice to be heard. Employees who feel their ideas and suggestions matter are more than twice as likely to report a positive employee experience than those who don’t (83 percent vs. 34 percent).
  • The more senior an employee you are, the more positive your employee experiences are. Individual contributors report a less positive employee experience (63 percent) than managers (79 percent), a gap of 16 percentage points.
  • There are no significant differences in positive or negative employee experiences across generations.
  • Employees working in a team have more positive employee experiences at work than those who work on their own (73 percent vs. 61 percent).

To take a deeper dive into these new findings and the organizational practices that can help organizations make work more human, download the full report here.


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