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How to measure employee experience

Last updated

19 September 2023


Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Lara Leganger

In the fast-paced world of business, companies scramble to attract and retain the best talent. As a result, employee experience is crucial.

Measuring employee experience has endless benefits not limited to enhancing company productivity, employee retention, and engagement levels. Employee experience is a pivotal factor that helps companies maintain a positive work culture, deliver optimum customer satisfaction, and drive the overall bottom line.

Discover ways to measure employee experience and how it contributes to a positive company culture.

What does employee experience mean?

Employee experience is a combination of what employees observe, learn, think, and feel when interacting with a company throughout their employee life cycle. The employee life cycle may include the following stages:

  • The interview process

  • Onboarding for new hires

  • Performance reviews

  • Training

  • Career development

  • Work promotions

  • The offboarding process

Employee experience refers to how employees perceive the organization, including elements such as workplace technology, the company culture, and the physical work environment.

Why measure employee experience?

Measuring employee experience is crucial because it

  • Reveals ways to boost employee engagement and maintain a positive working space

  • Shows how employees feel about their workplace

  • Boosts employee productivity

  • Lowers turnover rates

  • Helps companies attract and retain the best talent in the field

  • Provides an opportunity to improve the company

  • Helps in the development of employee experience programs such as updating human resources (HR) policies, offering training opportunities, and increasing effective communication channels

  • Acts as a benchmark to measure the success of employee experience over time

  • Uncovers the factors that drive a positive customer experience

How to measure employee experience

Here are some of the techniques companies can use to measure employee experience:

HR technology

A digitized HR system combined with data analytics can help leaders understand employee experience at a deeper level.

When equipped with robust analytics, reporting capabilities can help companies uncover what’s happening in their workforce. For instance, it can provide valuable insights into employee metrics such as turnover, referral rates, absenteeism, and productivity.

The technology can also identify gaps that require improvement and at-risk employees. With this information, HR managers can execute an effective employee experience strategy.

Common HR technologies include the following:

  • Human capital management systems (HCMS)

  • Human resource management systems (HRMS)

  • Human resource information systems (HRIS)

HRIS is a platform that HR managers can use to track recruitment, payroll, talent management, attendance, and employee engagement. Meanwhile, HCMS and HRMS consolidate all employee data in one platform.

These technologies can help HR teams analyze employee needs and trends and create surveys to gather their opinions and perspectives.


Surveys are efficient tools for gathering targeted feedback from employees. Sending surveys to employees can help uncover critical data to measure their experience. They reveal insights into employee thoughts, concerns, and engagement levels.

Here are a few types of surveys:

Candidate experience surveys

These surveys gather information from new hires on how they felt about the hiring process. They feature a series of well-crafted questions that evaluate various aspects of the candidate’s journey, including the application process, interview phases, communication, and first impressions.

Remember, timing is crucial to obtaining satisfactory and reliable results from candidate experience surveys. The survey should be sent out within a suitable period after completing the recruitment process.

Here are some questions you might include:

  • Was the recruiter professional/friendly?

  • Did the recruiter clearly describe all the job requirements?

  • Overall, how much did you like the recruitment process?

  • Describe the hiring process in your own words.

  • Would you refer others to apply for an open position in the future?

  • What areas of the interview sessions could be improved?

Onboarding experience surveys

Onboarding sets the tone for an employee’s life cycle. Creating an excellent experience is a necessity, as employees with a positive onboarding experience tend to stay at the company for longer.

Gathering information with these surveys can help evaluate how a new employee perceives the company during the onboarding process. It also helps measure how invested the employee is and how well they have integrated.

How new hires are treated during onboarding will define how they feel about the organization. If a work environment feels hostile, employees may start looking to move elsewhere. However, when you act on the insights gathered, you can improve employee experience and lower turnover rates. 

Questions to include in an onboarding experience survey are:

  • Do you feel welcome here?

  • How well do you understand your role and responsibilities?

  • How proud are you to work for the company?

  • Have you been given all the necessary tools?

  • Can you describe some of the challenges you encountered during the onboarding process, if any?

  • Is there anything we could have done to improve your onboarding experience?

Employee engagement surveys

The main objective of an employee engagement survey is to evaluate how engaged, connected, and enthusiastic your staff are at work. It helps assess how invested employees are in their roles within the company.

Here are some of the key components of engagement surveys that will gather accurate feedback:

  • Clear and concise questions covering only relevant areas

  • A combination of open-ended, multiple choice, and rate scale questions to gather both quantitative and qualitative data

  • Addressing candidates by their names to encourage participation

  • Ensuring confidentiality by keeping the surveys anonymous

  • Follow-up actions that demonstrate your commitment to improving the employee experience

  • Allowing for additional comments, such as add-on suggestions

  • Incentives, such as a voucher or gift to thank participants for their time

Employee net promoter score (eNPS)

The company can get insights into employee experience by analyzing metrics such as net promoter score. This is probably the most widely recognized metric for measuring employee experience.

An eNPS asks whether the employee is likely to recommend someone to work for the company. It asks the question:

On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend your workplace to friends or family members?

Employees are then classified into three categories based on their responses:

  • Promoters (9–10): happy, loyal employees who would promote the company

  • Neutrals (7–8): employees who might not recommend the company but are unlikely to speak negatively of it

  • Detractors (0–6): employees who are unhappy with their roles and are more likely to leave the company

Pulse surveys

Pulse surveys are conducted more frequently to evaluate employee attitudes and opinions. They capture real-time feedback throughout the year rather than just once. For instance, you might conduct pulse surveys weekly, biweekly, or on a monthly basis.

These surveys can cover particular topics, such as employees’ thoughts about proposed company policies or their views on hybrid work practices. Remember to deploy short and anonymous survey questions that will motivate employees to participate and give honest feedback.

With information gathered from pulse surveys, companies can promptly address employee concerns before they escalate. 

Exit surveys

These surveys are given to employees during the offboarding process at the end of their life cycle with the company. They provide insights into why employees leave and suggestions for how to improve the employee experience for current and future employees.

Effective exit surveys are anonymous. Anonymity encourages employees to give honest feedback.

Here are some questions to help you get started on exit surveys:

  • What did you enjoy most about your job?

  • What prompted you to consider leaving?

  • What did you dislike about your workplace?

  • Are there any specific things that could have been done to prevent you from leaving?

  • What aspects of the company culture can be improved in the future?

  • Do you have any suggestions for improving the onboarding process?

  • How was the relationship between team members and management?

Focus groups

This is a quick way to collect in-depth insights about employees’ perceptions, attitudes, and experiences.

Focus groups typically comprise 6–12 members participating in guided, in-depth discussions. They have a moderator who takes comprehensive notes and organizes the logistics of the meeting.

You can use focus groups to get detailed information on how employees feel about specific events or company projects that are related to employee experience.

When used appropriately, focus groups have a wealth of benefits. They offer employees a platform for openly sharing their insights as a collective and provide opportunities for engaging employees through one-on-one interaction. They are quick and can be tailored to different situations.

Here are some best practices for a successful focus group:

  • Setting clear goals on what you want employees to discuss so that the session stays objective

  • Choosing an experienced facilitator

  • Using an independent and neutral moderator

  • Having a group guide for the facilitator to follow

  • Using carefully crafted focus group questions

  • Deciding on the type of participants and group size—groups should comprise members with similar characteristics or shared common interests

  • Giving employees full freedom to share their opinions openly and honestly

  • Being prepared to accept criticism as a business owner

Look at the data you already have

The organization may already have numerous data sources that can be analyzed. Take advantage of data captured internally, such as attendance records and employee referrals. Analyzing data that has already been collected can offer an unfiltered view of employee experience.

For example, employee referrals can reveal how your staff feel about the work environment. A sudden surge in referrals may indicate that the employee experience is positive. On the other hand, employees not recommending your company indicates poor employee experience.

High levels of absence or late check-ins could indicate your employees are unmotivated. Monitoring metrics such as retention rate and performance can uncover insights that other forms cannot. A higher turnover signifies poor employee experience, while low productivity levels indicate poor employee experience (and vice versa).

Possible challenges when measuring employee experience

Measuring employee experience is the key to unlocking better business outcomes. But it’s not always an easy process.

Below are some challenges that can make measuring employee experience complex:

  • Employee experience is diverse because each employee has unique expectations. It’s subjective. Not everyone will have the same perception of a positive or negative experience.

  • Several factors shape employee experience, so isolating and measuring each factor can be complex.

  • Employee experience fluctuates over time, making it impossible to measure at a single point.

  • There is a lack of a standardized methodology for accurately measuring employee experience, making comparing or measuring employee experience across different levels of the organization challenging.

  • Some employees may be hesitant to give honest feedback because they fear repercussions.

  • Pulse surveys can lead to survey fatigue and employees becoming less motivated to participate.


What is the formula for the employee experience index?

An employee experience index measures the extent to which employees are satisfied with their workplace experience. It combines employee purpose, happiness, achievement, vigor, and belonging metrics, so there is no standardized formula.

What is an employee experience tool?

Integrate an employee experience tool to manage employees and measure or quantify employee experience. It can be used to perform employee pulse surveys and conduct wellness check-ins to gauge overall satisfaction.

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