Research

Better employee experience brings financial gains

23 Jan 2020 By Siobhan Palmer

The highest-performing businesses focus on how their staff feel about the company, study finds

Companies that provide the best employee experiences are also the most financially successful, according to research from consulting firm Willis Towers Watson. 

The study found businesses offering a strong employee experience also consistently outperformed their sector in other areas, including return on assets and equity, and long and short-term profitability.

In contrast, organisations rating poorly for employee experience underperformed compared to others in their sector when it came to the financial metrics the research focused on. 

Patrick Kulesa, senior research director at Willis Towers Watson’s Research and Innovation Centre, says this shows “the world’s leading organisations are increasingly focusing on employee experience. The highest-performing companies have a very strong focus on how their employees feel about the organisation, from feeling inspired by its purpose and a trust in leadership, to feeling confident in achieving their career aspirations.”

The research surveyed employees about their working conditions, including training opportunities, supervision and teamwork, and their impressions of senior leadership. Workers at organisations with the best employee experience felt inspired by the company’s mission and able to achieve their career aspirations, and had trust in senior leadership. 

Stephen Young, global practice leader at Willis Towers Watson Employee Insights, emphasises the importance of a leadership mindset in creating such a working environment, describing effective leadership as the “ultimate magic key to unlocking high performance”. 

Other factors, such as efficient processes, workplace flexibility and basic understanding of workplace goals, were shown to have less of an impact on company performance. Kulesa says while these elements are still important, they can “distract employers from the true hallmarks of excellence”.

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