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Unlocking the Value of Employee Engagement & Maximizing Employee Experience

Luke Kreitner
6/8/23 9:00 AM

Employee engagement is a crucial element of any company's success. 

However, it's important to track the Return on Investment (ROI) of employee engagement to justify the investment and ensure executive buy-in. 

By measuring the Return on Experience (ROX), you can identify weaknesses in the employee experience, which is the first step in improving communication and engagement across your enterprise. 

This guide will help you find answers to important questions about employee ROI and ROX, and discover key metrics to consider.


What does Return on Experience (ROX) mean?

Return on Employee Experience (ROX) is a relatively new metric that explores different aspects of a company that have a direct impact - such as employee experience. Organizations that invest in the experience of their employees often have better organizational culture, which elevates the workplace atmosphere.

While traditional success metrics focus primarily on monetary factors, ROX acknowledges that employee experience is just as crucial. Thus, investing in measuring employee satisfaction and experience can be just as critical to a company's overall success as traditional ROI.

Employers need a proper employee experience management strategy to improve their employee journey effectively. Implementing a comprehensive employee engagement plan can play a crucial role in achieving this goal. Research shows that companies with high employee experience have a 142% higher employer Net Promoter Score, 28% higher productivity, 37% lower turnover rates, and 59% higher job satisfaction.


The Value of Measuring the Returns on Employee Experience

Calculating returns on employee experience involves gathering insights on employee engagement, work performance, and satisfaction to determine the experience that drives results. It cannot be measured through Net Promoter Score or surveys alone. To calculate the Return on Experience (ROX), companies should use both ROX and Return on Investment (ROI) to form a controlled, more effective experience for company success.

In the post-pandemic era, providing a positive work environment and experience for employees is crucial. With remote work becoming essential for many companies, it's important to acknowledge the challenges and issues employees face while working from home. Forbes reports that 40% of people experience mental exhaustion from attending video calls while working remotely, while a Buffer report in 2019 showed that 19% of employees agree that loneliness is the biggest challenge. By measuring employee engagement, culture, and challenges, companies can provide better employee experience digitally and calculate returns accordingly.

Investing in employee experience not only benefits the employees' mental health but also leads to tangible profits in the future. A recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reveals that almost 41% of employees in the US feel burnt out from work, with another 23% feeling depressed. This is another reason organizations should focus on improving their employee experience.

Given these circumstances, improving the overall employee experience has become more critical than ever. By investing in employee experience, companies can expect profitable returns in the future.


Measuring ROX

Measuring ROI is a popular task for brands as it helps to calculate the profits of their investments. However, to gain a broader perspective, it is also important to consider the returns on experience (ROX), which come with different influencing factors. Focusing on employee experience, the returns can be measured using a simple formula:

ROX(%) = Net value of benefits to experience / cost of investment X 100

PwC developed a model in The Consumer Insight Survey, 2019, including five factors for measuring the returns on experience:

Pride: This factor helps to learn how much your employees are engaged with your company's strategy and purpose.

Influencers: This factor suggests recognizing things or people that have a crucial influence on your company's employee experience.

Behavior: This factor relates to your company's and employees' actions. Positive actions from your employees ensure that your company has a positive work culture.

Value Drivers: This factor will help you to identify the value drivers of your organization, such as understanding at what point you delivered value to your employees.

Outcome: Outcome lets you recognize the bottom line or the returns of your company's employee experience. For instance, if your company invests in a technology that increases the employee experience and improves their productivity, the outcome could be a higher ROI.

By using these five elements, you can create a framework to understand what experiences you provide to your employees and what can be expected in return for these experiences. By utilizing this information, you can make informed decisions on changes to improve employee engagement and increase overall profits in your organization.


3 Key Metrics to Measure Employee Experience 

Here are three essential employee experience KPIs that provide valuable insights into how team members feel at work:

Satisfaction levels: This metric gathers qualitative data on overall employee satisfaction levels. Specifically, it measures satisfaction levels related to an employee's role in the organization, compensation, and the workplace environment.

Internal referrals: An often-overlooked KPI that showcases employee ambassadorship in practice, not just in theory. This metric tracks the number of referrals employees send HR's way. A high number of referrals usually correlates with a positive employee experience, as employees tend to refer others only when they feel good about their workplace.

Moreover, a good referral program can shape an organization's employee experience positively, as employees who successfully refer others often stay longer in their roles.

Recognition frequency: Relationships and human interactions are critical components of company culture. To measure this aspect of employee experience, we recommend tracking the recognition frequency KPI. This metric provides insights into how frequently employees acknowledge each other's hard work and contributions.

Recognizing peers contributes to a positive employee experience and benefits everyone. It's crucial to track and identify trends in recognition frequency over time, thereby allowing leaders and managers to maintain or improve these levels.


What Returns Can You Get from Investing in Employee Experience?

Measuring employee experience returns involves investing in a comprehensive employee experience plan beforehand and carefully analyzing the benefits it offers. From better employee retention rates to increased profitability, investing in employee experience can yield multiple advantages for an organization.

High turnover rates can be costly, and research by the Catalyst estimates the US will lose nearly $430 billion by 2030 because of low talent retention. In 2019, the US national turnover rate was 36.4%, while in 2018 it was 27%. However, investing in employee experience by improving the overall employee experience allows employers to engage better with their employees and improve retention rates.

Increased profitability is one of the most significant returns on employee experience investment. For instance, tech company Nvidia focused on strengthening their work culture and saw a boost in their stock price of about $33. This highlights the credibility of employee experience as investing in employees can result in an increase in overall profits.

Employee satisfaction leads to enhanced customer satisfaction, a critical aspect of any organization's growth. When employees are satisfied with their work, roles, and responsibilities, they are more likely to put in extra effort, leading to customer satisfaction. Research shows that when employees engage in their work and feel excited about it, their productivity increases, which also leads to better customer service, work engagement, and ultimately profits.

However, many companies fail to get a good return on their investment because they invest in short-term programs rather than focusing on long-term programs like employee experience. Measuring the return on investment on employee experience and investing in long-term employee benefit programs is crucial to boosting employee productivity, engagement, satisfaction, and ultimately an organization's profits.



The evolution of the modern business world has shifted employee and customer priorities. Today, employees value work-life balance over promotions while customers prioritize brand relationships over products. To achieve success, businesses must prioritize delivering exceptional experiences over strictly selling a product.

Investing in employee experience can provide several benefits, including enhancing organizational growth. By measuring the returns on employee experience, businesses can focus their resources on necessary investments, such as new technology, reward & recognition programs, training programs, and loyalty programs, to increase profits.

If your company is resistant to improving the employee experience, a detailed plan can drive them to prioritize the changes necessary for success. With a solid employee experience plan in place, your business can overcome future challenges and foster a thriving workplace culture.


Check out our recognition and rewards platform which provides organizations of all sizes with simple, customizable solutions to engage and inspire employees to perform their best.

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