5 Employee Experience Metrics Your Workplace Can Measure

by Glenn Hicks on July 9, 2019

If you think your real estate is expensive, consider the fact that your people account for up to 80 percent of your company’s costs. Making improvements in employee experience metrics can have a far greater payoff than cutting real estate costs.

But how do you measure the ROI of things that move the needle in those areas —like a great workplace design or an employee wellness program?

Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics, and Kay Sargent, Senior Principal of WorkPlace at HOK (both speakers at our recent Big Easy Workplace Summit) say there are many ways workplace leaders can quantify the impact.

Here are five of them.

5 Employee Experience Metrics To Measure In Your Workplace

  • Employee Productivity
  • Employee Wellness
  • Employee Engagement
  • Employee Retention
  • Employee Recruitment

1. Employee Productivity

Even small improvements in employee productivity can have a big impact on your bottom line. How do we know? Lister uses the example of a hypothetical company with an average employee salary of $85,000, which breaks down to $0.71 per minute.

Increasing employee productivity by just 3.8 percent—or 18 minutes per day— results in an improvement of $12.78 per employee, per day. If you multiply that by 500 employees and 250 working days, you’ll achieve a total annual impact of $1.6 million.

To achieve the same financial impact through reductions in real estate, your organization would have to reduce office space by 25 percent!

2. Employee Wellness

We might not think of wellness as an employee experience metric, but it’s a big one. And it’s pretty obvious why—employees who are suffering physically, mentally or emotionally miss more days of work and are less productive when they are working. Sixty-eight percent of the workforce has at least one chronic health condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Lister studied data from peer-reviewed research on costs per chronic condition to develop a formula that calculates the impact of employee wellbeing on a company’s bottom line.

In total, the top eight chronic conditions—including stress—rob a typical employer of 44 days a year for every 1,000 employees, according to Lister’s Global Workplace Analytics Well-Being Savings Calculator.

As she puts it, “that’s like having two out of every 10 employees doing nothing but watch YouTube videos every hour of every day!”

That doesn’t even account for “presenteeism,” or employees who show up to work but aren’t performing at their best because of a health condition.

A workplace that supports employee wellness clearly reduces absenteeism and improves productivity. There’s even evidence that specific workplace design elements—like air quality and natural light—can have a measurable impact on the bottom line.

How much of an impact?

According to research from HOK Forward, Kay Sargent’s 2018 workplace trend report:

  • Improving access to natural light increases productivity by 15%
  • Improving air quality increases productivity by 11%
  • Improving temperature control can increase productivity by at least 10%

3. Employee Engagement

Employees who are the most highly engaged in your workplace are 21 percent more productive and call in sick 37 percent less than those who are least engaged, Lister said, citing Gallup research.

Unfortunately, Gallup’s most recent research shows only about a third of U.S. employees are engaged. That means two-thirds are either unengaged (basically showing up to collect a paycheck) or actively disengaged (negatively influencing the employees who do want to be there.)

Tracking this employee experience metric can help you determine how factors like workplace design and wellness initiatives are impacting your bottom line. Conducting regular employee engagement surveys is one way to measure your progress.

4. Employee Retention

On average, it costs 30-200 percent of an employee’s annual salary to replace them, depending on their position.

That means reducing employee turnover can have a substantial impact.

Lister calculated the potential savings of improving retention by just 1 percent on a team of 1,000 people where the average annual employee turnover is 27 percent.

Assuming 37 percent of your team are high performers (and replacing them costs 200 percent of their salary) and 50 percent are average performers (costing 75 percent of their salary), reducing turnover by just 1 percent can result in a savings of nearly $1.4 million.

5. Employee Recruitment

Your workplace clearly impacts the productivity of your current employees—but what about attracting potential employees?

A well-designed workplace is an important recruiting tool, especially in a tight labor market.

While you won’t be able to draw a direct correlation between changes in your workplace and recruitment, you can look at accepted positions versus offered positions year over year to determine if you’re heading in the right direction.

If you notice a downward trend, that might just be the ammunition you need to build a case for a new workplace design.

Quantifying the Employee Experience (EX)

Given the substantial costs of attracting and retaining top talent, it makes sense that more organizations are making the employee experience (EX) a top priority.

But these initiatives can be a tough sell to your leadership team if you don’t have the numbers to back up the conversation.

Fortunately, researchers like Lister have done a lot of the math for you. On the Global Workplace Analytics website, you can find an extensive library of resources to measure employee experience metrics like these. There are calculators that can help you assess the impact of implementing a remote work policy or a workplace wellness program, for instance.

To hear more of Kate Lister’s insights, including how to create an intelligent workplace and measure the impact of employee productivity improvements, download our whitepaper, In Search of Intelligent Space


Glenn Hicks

A member of the Business Development team, Glenn has years of experience with business process improvement on the Commercial Real Estate and Facilities Management sides.

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