The ROI of investing in employee experience – Interview with Jacob Morgan


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Today’s interview is with Jacob Morgan, a speaker, advisor, futurist and best-selling author on the future of work. Jacob joins me today to talk about his new book: The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces They Want, the Tools They Need, and a Culture They Can Celebrate, the extensive research project that fueled the book, the RoI of employee experience and what we can learn from the book.

This interview follows on from my recent interview – Focus on the right things to drive your own customer experience revolution – Interview with Susan Ganeshan – and is number 217 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.

Highlights from my conversation with Jacob:

  • Jacob has recently published a new book: The Employee Experience Advantage: How to Win the War for Talent by Giving Employees the Workspaces They Want, the Tools They Need, and a Culture They Can Celebrate.
  • For the last few years Jacob has been interested in the employee engagement arena but what he has noticed is that whilst the level of investment in employee engagement initiatives is growing, employee engagement scores aren’t growing.
  • We are now seeing the emergence of employee experience.
  • The big difference between employee engagement and employee experience is that employee engagement is primarily focused on getting employees to work using outdated work practices but you give them perks whereas employee experience looks at changing what those work practices are.
  • The book was backed by an extensive research project that looked at over 150 studies and articles, featured extensive interviews with over 150 executives, and analyzed over 250 global organizations for how good they were at designing things around culture, technology and physical space.
  • The research looked at 17 variables: 10 for culture, 4 for physical space and 3 for technology.
  • Your employees are customers of your organisation.
  • Whilst we go to all sorts of lengths to better understand our customers through journey mapping, touch point analysis and data and analytical tools, we don’t spend as much time on our employees or use the same sort of approach or thinking to better understand our employees. Most organisations just assume that employees ‘just work for us’.
  • Organisations like Adobe have a person who is responsible for both the customer and the employee experience and their title is SVP of customer and employee experience.
  • The organisation does not create purpose for you but rather should help try and connect you, through the work that you do, and the impact that you are having and to their purpose.
  • It’s naive to think that someone else should be responsible to your sense of purpose.
  • Therefore, employees should have a sense of self-awareness about what sort of company they want to work for, in what sector and what sort of impact they want to have.
  • Organisations that invest in employee experience tend to experience more productivity, happier employees and a better talent pipeline.
  • They also tend to rank and appear, up to 40x more often, on lists of the most innovative organisations and the best places to work.
  • Moreover, the best organisations for employee experience tend to exhibit 4x more profit per employee, 3x higher revenue per employee, they are 24% smaller and have a rate of staff turnover that is 40% lower than the average organisation.
  • Finally, in terms of stock price the best organisations for employee experience tend to significantly outperform all the major stock indices.
  • Out of the 252 companies that Jacob analysed there were 15 that they recognised as ‘experiential’ organisations. They included organisations like Facebook, Google, Cisco, AirBnB, Microsoft, Accenture etc.
  • They have all done a great job of redesigning their workplace practices.
  • For example, Cisco is doing a number of things including:
    • Challenging the traditional notion of work,
    • Giving many of their managers training around emotional intelligence so that they can better connect with their employees,
    • They are challenging the conventional notion that someone should have one ‘job’ inside a company and they are experimenting with the idea of allowing employees to have multiple jobs inside the company,
    • They have redesigned their workplaces and made them much more tech-savvy,
    • Their executives are really approachable and they act more like coaches and mentors, and
    • They have hackathons which break down their current work practices (i.e. the annual review process) and rebuild them so that they are ready for the 21st century,
  • Cisco also does something called Moments of Impact, where view the employee as an individual rather than just a worker and are looking at the moments that matter in their life (buying your first house, getting married etc) and are designing their employee experience with these in mind.
  • Cisco is constantly experimenting with how they do things in the quest to make work fit inside of life rather than the other way round.
  • In terms of where executives and organisations should start when it comes to designing a better employee experience, Jacob advocates that executives should start by talking to their people.
  • Wow service/experience for Jacob is very simple and comes about when he gets what he is told he is going to get. If that can’t happen, then the organisation should solve the problem in an easy way. It’s all about meeting expectations.
  • Check out Jacob’s new book (The Employee Experience Advantage) and his website (The Future Organization).

About Jacob (adapted from his own site and LinkedIn bios)

Jacob MorganAfter having terrible jobs working for other people Jacob went off on his own to research and explore how work and everything we know about it is changing. Today Jacob Morgan is one of the world’s leading authorities on the future of work, employee experience, and how the workplace is changing.

He is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, and futurist who advises business leaders and organizations around the world.

He has written three books: The Employee Experience Advantage (2017), The Future of Work (2014), and The Collaborative Organization (2012).

His work has been endorsed by the CEOs of: Cisco, T-Mobile, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Schneider Electric, Best Buy, KPMG, AARP, Pandora, and many others.

Jacob frequently speak at conferences and events all over the world on topics ranging from the future of work, employee experience, AI and automation, management and leadership, innovation, the internet of things, and other related themes.

Check out Jacob’s new book (The Employee Experience Advantage), his website (The Future Organization), connect with him on LinkedIn here and say Hi to him on Twitter @jacobm.

Photo Credit: William Doran Flickr via Compfight cc

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


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