These are the most important employee experience terms

Author - Søren Smit. Director

There are many terms and conceptual frameworks being used within the Employee Experience discipline, so it can certainly seem confusing. Here, you can find a thorough introduction to the most central Employee Experience terms.

Working with Employee Experience is a complex discipline with many different agendas along the way. Therefore, it is incredibly important that everyone in the company “speaks the same language” in an employee experience context.

First, once you have a fixed conceptual framework and have understood what it means, you start by establishing a common language with respect to employee experience. Here, you can find a definition of the most commonly-used concepts within EX.

get familiar with the employee experience terms 

Employee Experience (EX) is a catch-all term that refers to the entire field. EX is thus a direct counterpart to customer experience (CX). Employee experience is the sum of all the experiences that a person, whether a candidate, employee, manager, freelancer, alumni, etc., has with an organization during their working and personal life (imposed, observed, felt and sensed) – from the time when they hear of the organization, are hired, have a daily life at the organization and until they quit, become an alumni and are potentially later re-hired.

Employee Journey (EJ) is the path an employee takes through an organization, from A to Z, that is, from the time they hear about the organization, get an interview, and are hired through their everyday lives as employees until they leave and become alumni. This means that an employee journey is also comprised of several smaller journeys such as, "I just heard about this organization," "I'm applying for a job," "I have a daily life here," "I'm being assigned somewhere," and "I'm getting a promotion." There are at least 25 significant subjourneys in every organization.

Employee touchpoint (ET) is a point of contact in the context of the employee journey. For example, this could be an interview with a recruiter, someone's first day at work, or lunchtime. One subjourney can contain hundreds of touchpoints. Every organization has more than 250 unique touchpoints that create experiences throughout the employee journey, and employees will revisit some of these touchpoints repeatedly, such as the managers that employees work with.

Employee moment of truth (eMOT) is any of several subjourneys or touchpoints in an employee's journey through an organization or their personal life. These usually have an especially high emotional value and are critically important to the employee experience, so the organization should be sure to perform at its absolute best on these. These include a first interview, the first day of work, development conversations, vacation requests, one-on-one talks, excessive pressure from work, serious illness, an employee making a mistake, or an employee deciding to quit. If an organization performs well during these, the result will be stronger engagement and loyalty in the period that follows. Our experience has been that most organizations have more than 50 eMOTs throughout the entire employee journey. It's important for the whole organization to be aware of these eMOTs and trained in how to perform especially well during these moments.

Employee friction-points (EF) are touchpoints that lead to inefficient work with no value production. As a result, these are associated with high economic cost. These include bad IT systems, unmanageable drives, bad collaborative interfaces, taxed processes, bad meetings, email culture, and so on. Any given organization typically has more than 25 significant friction points.

Detractor, Neutral and Promoter EX activities are activities or measures taken that result in negative, neutral, and positive employee experiences, respectively. A detractor activity might be a round of firings or a pay freeze, whereas a promoter activity might be the introduction of a 4-day workweek.

Employee continuous listening (ECL) is a system of regularly collecting insight about employees' experiences throughout the employee journey, including subjourneys, particular touchpoints, and moments, or all of the above, throughout the year.

People Analytics (PA) is a discipline that involves combining rich sources of data about employees throughout the employee journey and across touchpoints to derive valuable insights that can improve EX while also being connected to the top or bottom lines.

As the area related to employee experience develops, more and more concepts are continuously being introduced. However, now you are familiar with the most important EX concepts and are better equipped to talk about employee experience and EX transformation.

The discussion can now include ideas like wanting to map out the entire employee journey or wanting to perform people analytics to understand which touchpoints in the application journey are most significant to that particular subjourney and, ultimately, to your financial results.
The definition of EX also indicates that improving the employee experiences is not a small, temporary project or an ad hoc effort where you simply implement some new perk.

a transformation that never ends

On the contrary, improving employee experience requires a transformation that, in theory, never ends. The transformative process extends from the very beginning, when a potential candidate hears about your organization, to recruitment, onboarding, daily life in the organization, changes, shifts in role, promotions, and to the employee's exit from the workplace when they become a member of the alumni, the ever-growing group of people who once worked at your organization.

The main issue is how to secure a vision for this area while also guaranteeing a uniform, excellent employee experience all the way through the (often long) journey an employee takes from A to Z, including countless touchpoints.

Do you want to learn more about Employee Experience? Get a free extract from the book “Mastering Employee Experience - 16 specific step to take in your EX transformation” here:



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Søren Smit. Director

Søren Smit. Director

Søren Smit is passionate about employee and customer experience. He is head of Ennova’s EX and CX business development. He has worked for over 10 years with customer experience as a director and as the person responsible for establishing a data- and analysis-driven CX culture as well as a transformation of the customer experience at TDC Group.