The Employee Experience: Why it matters

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There are almost no days when we dont hear something about customer experience innovation and development. What we hear less is how golf clubs would like to manage the employee experience within their organizations. 

However, we should not forget that our golf clubs’ employees have the biggest impact on the overall customer experience (e.g. NPS, customer retention, revenue, sales).

As we know, outstanding customer experience can bring the golf club’s distinctive brand values and attributes to life. The same is true regarding employee experiences as well.

It will also help to cultivate a distinctive culture in the golf club that will help attract and retain employees.

So far, the only major employee experience program I am familiar with is Billy Casper Golf’s ACE the GUEST experience.

I want to clarify the difference between ‘employee experience’ and ‘employee engagement’. The two are not the same. Employee engagement is the level of an employee’s psychological investment in their organization. Engagement requires loyalty. Loyalty requires trust, and trust is a two-way street. 

Gallup has found that 87 percent of employees worldwide are NOT engaged with their employers. The very same study found that companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147 percent in earning per share.

There is a strong correlation between employee experience and customer experience. I would like to argue with those who think that current HR teams already know how to improve employee experience. 

What I see is that we could use some of the principles and techniques of customer experience development. 

Just like the customer journey map is the backbone of customer experience management, the employee journey map is the same for the employee experience development. 

How can you improve upon something if you have no clue what ‘it’ is? 

Employee journey mapping will encourage you to ask yourself – and investigate – important questions like:

  • What are your employees who work for you saying about your golf club to their friends?
  • What are they saying (or not saying) on social media?
  • What is your employer brand?
  • What are you doing to attract the right people?
  • What sort of recognition do you have as a workplace?
  • How often do your employees introduce their friends to come and work for you?

Employee journey mapping can be applied through the employee life cycle as well. Just like customer journeys today, employee journeys are not linear. 

So, we need to pay attention to transitions and identify points where employees can get lost. Let’s detect the possible gaps between the current experience and an experience that would address employees’ needs and cultivate the desired culture.

It is getting more challenging to  motivate golf employees solely by regular techniques (e.g. loyalty, any assumption of long-term employment etc.). Recently, I came across Graziadio Business Review where I read an interesting motivation technique.

It says employees should be motivated by the self-interest that access to leadership development can satisfy or by the sort of personal relationships, team solidarity, and engagement with the work that only effective leadership makes possible.

Just like in case of customer experience development, we must realize and accept that each of our employees has got different:

  • Personal & career plans
  • Desires and needs

Employee experience design should be based on employees’ drivers and desires.Therefore, the employee experience should be designed to appeal to different employee segments and individuals.

We should consider at least these aspects and issues:

  • Why employees want to work vs need to work?
  • How to strengthen the emotional connections people have to their work?
  • Creating social connections within and across teams.
  • How to ensure transparency and clarity of core values and goals.

In a digital world with increasing transparency and growing influence of Millennials, employees expect a productive, engaging, enjoyable work experience. 

Rather than focusing on employee engagement and culture, we should develop an integrated focus on the entire employee experience, bringing together all workforce, HR, and management practices that impact people on the job.

These are the TOP 5 factors that can contribute to outstanding employee experience:

  1. Meaningful work: select to fit, autonomy, small & empowered teams etc.
  2. Supportive management: clear & transparent goals, coaching, agile performance management etc.
  3. Positive work environment: humanistic workplace, the culture of recognition, flexible work environment etc.
  4. Growth opportunities
  5. Trust in leadership.

Last, but not least:

  • Ask them how they think they are doing on pressing important issues. 
  • Ask yourself what the most pressing people issues are.
  • Dare to run experiments what your employees tell you.
  • Tell your people what you learned.


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