Employee Experience Design Could Enable 'The Great Retention'

Recent job reports confirm what most business analysts have been saying for months: The Great Resignation wave is continuing and shows no sign of cresting any time soon.

As we all know by now, the pandemic, as well as the spotlight on racial injustice, have led to an array of blue- and white-collar employees in all sectors (particularly retail and hospitality) reconsidering the company they work for and what they want their work life to be in 2022.

So what can employers do to change this dynamic?

Employee experience design is one tool that employers are using to turn The Great Resignation into The Great Retention. If you’re unfamiliar with employee experience design, think about it as similar to customer experience, but targeting your employees. 

Forget about whether or not your workforce is “happy,” because satisfaction in one’s work goes far beyond happiness. Companies that get what employees want and need to do their best work, and align that with what the company needs from their workforce to be successful, are retaining employees.



For a previous generation of employees, working in a large office with foosball tables and a full-time barista was important (a mindset that’s been waning even before COVID). Of course, what do all those perks matter if you can’t come into the office?

What does employee experience design look like in practice? It can range from peer recognition so employees can find more connection and meaning in a more remote work environment, to surveying employees about their job fulfillment and then enacting solutions; a new performance incentive program; encouraging employees to engage on company social media, allowing them to be your best advocates for recruitment and retention. Some companies are taking a page out of their CX playbook and are using journey mapping to surface the barriers to employees doing their best work, and then solving for those barriers.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Think about company culture through the lens of brand. It’s more than an HR function.
  • Develop content that meets your employees where they are. That could be an email, it could be a video, it could be social media. 
  • Remember employees are as important to companies as customers. Let them advocate for the company on social media.
  • Test market ideas to your employees to ensure they resonate and are authentic.
  • If you solicit employee feedback, tell employees what the results are and how you will be solving challenges surfaced in the research.

CEOs not worried about their corporate culture, employee retention and productivity, and where their future workforce is coming from, are missing a key component to long-term success -- as well as an effective way to make the tidal wave of the Great Resignation feel more like a puddle.

1 comment about "Employee Experience Design Could Enable 'The Great Retention'".
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  1. PJ Lehrer from NYU, February 8, 2022 at 10:15 a.m.

    Look to the past to improve the employee experience.  Bring back lunch...

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