How to Measure the Employee Experience (and Get Leadership to Care)

“With early stage startups, the vast majority of their spend is on people.” 

Andy Gauthier is the founder of Mighty Financial, a services firm helping companies tighten up their accounting and bookkeeping.

With unique insights into his clients’ spending habits, he’s able to see where companies are investing and why.

But, the vast majority of spend on people? 

Andy recently joined the Getting Personal with Compt podcast to discuss.

“I think in any organization, employees ultimately determine whether the business is successful or not, one way or the other. So, that alone proves that keeping employees happy––there’s got to be something meaningful and profound there.”  

But, how do you measure it? 

How do you put a price on company culture?

Who Owns the Employee Experience?

Employee experience is every interaction and perception, big or small, that a candidate or employee has with your company, from the minute they apply for a job at your company to their final day at the company. 

Given the importance of the employee experience, this begs the question: who is responsible for it? 

Andy says, “If it's up to leadership to make it a priority and if it's just brought up by HR in passing or brought up by finance in passing or an individual department head, it's not really going to ever be a priority. It really comes with the leadership team coming together and agreeing that it's something that they care about that they understand will create a lasting impact and massive success for the company.”

To get leadership to truly care about the employee experience, it's essential to measure it.

Why is Measuring Employee Experience Important?

It’s easy to understand that there’s a non-zero value add to keeping employees happy.

And countless studies back this up too. For instance, one Oxford University study found that happy employees were 13% more productive. Another study by Culture Amp found that “more engaged employees perform 15-20% better on average than those employees that are less engaged.” 

But, if you are going to build a compelling business case and get buy-in for employee experiences from your CEO and CFO, you need to measure it against business performance. Measuring employee experience allows organizations to identify areas of improvement, enhance employee engagement, reduce turnover rates, and ultimately boost organizational performance.

Andy adds, “It just boils down to providing a business use case that it's hard to say no to. It needs to be a compelling purpose. And if it's well crafted and if they're confident you or someone else on the team is going to be able to own it, they won't have to think about it or worry about it too much and they're likely to be in favor of it.”

He suggests highlighting the benefits of increased employee morale when making a business case for further investment: "If you have really happy employees, everyone they interact with is going to have a better experience. So better experience for your customers, for your vendors." 

7 Different Ways of Measuring Employee Experience

Measuring the employee experience requires a tailored approach.

But before you create a process around measurement, Andy recommends getting aligned on objectives first by asking questions like “What are we trying to accomplish with this program? Where we are today versus where are we trying to go?” 

Once you’ve answered those questions, you can start to consider various methods like the ones listed below.

Candidate Experience Surveys

The employee experience starts with recruiting and how you treat applicants.

That’s because first impressions matter. If you regularly ghost applicants or have extremely drawn-out interview processes, this negative candidate experience can (and does) translate into the experience of your actual employees.

One way to mitigate this is through candidate experience surveys. This helps you understand how effective your recruitment process is and how you can improve in moving forward. 

Here are some questions to ask in this survey:

  • How did you first learn about the job opening at our company?
  • How clear and informative was the job description?
  • How would you rate the communication from our recruiters? 
  • Were all your questions regarding the position answered to your satisfaction?
  • Did the recruitment process meet your expectations in terms of speed and feedback?
  • How professional was the interaction with our recruiters and hiring managers?
  • How well do you feel the interview process assessed your skills and potential?
  • Was there anything about the interview process that could be improved?
  • If you received a job offer, how satisfied were you with the offer process?
  • Overall, how likely are you to recommend our company to others based on your experience as a candidate?
  • Do you have any additional feedback or suggestions for improving our recruitment process?

New Hire Candidate Surveys

Gathering feedback during a new hire’s first 90 days is crucial. These first 90 days sets the stage for how they perceive the company for the duration of their tenure.

New hire candidate surveys are a way to gauge their initial impressions of your company culture. If you spot any worrying trends, you can correct them before it snowballs into a poor employee experience across their team or the entire organization. 

However, in order to get the most meaningful feedback, it is best to conduct these in-person or over Zoom as part of your 30-day and 90-day check-ins with HR. This way, you can practice active listening and ask follow-up questions. 

Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

Your customer success team likely uses NPS surveys to measure how happy your customers are. eNPS surveys do the same thing but for your employees.

eNPS measures how likely employees are to recommend their workplace to friends or family. This one-question survey is, “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend a friend to work here?”

  • 9s and 10s are promoters. 
  • 7s and 8s are neutral. 
  • And 0-6s are your detractors.

Then, you subtract your detractors from your promoters to get your overall score. 

This score can be a quick and powerful indicator of overall employee satisfaction. For instance, if you have a “0” or negative eNPS score, you know you have some work to do to improve overall team morale and employee experience. Then, you can implement some changes and send out the survey again in 6 months or a year and see how much process you’ve made. 

This is a helpful metric to keep track of overtime. But if you really want to take your survey to the next level, always include the follow-up question, “What is your reason for giving this score?” That qualitative data might take a bit to sift through, but this is where you can get ideas for new programs or initiatives to add, changes to make, and truly find out what is on the mind of your people.

This is a helpful metric to keep track of overtime. But if you really want to take your survey to the next level, always include the follow-up question, “What is your reason for giving this score?” That qualitative data might take a bit to sift through, but this is where you can get ideas for new programs or initiatives to add, changes to make, and truly find out what is on the mind of your people.

Employee Engagement Surveys

Employee engagement surveys are longer than eNPS surveys and assess how engaged employees are with their work. These surveys cover a range of questions around everything from employee productivity and alignment with the organizational culture to if employee expectations are being met and the state of employee well-being.  

Just like eNPS surveys, these surveys are done one to two times a year and can help you get a deeper understanding of everything from alignment with company values to overall job satisfaction. Here are some typical questions you may want to ask in this survey:

  • How satisfied are you with your current role and responsibilities?
  • How well do you think your values align with the company’s values?
  • How frequently does your manager give you feedback that helps you improve?
  • Do you feel comfortable providing feedback to your managers and executives?
  • Do you feel properly compensated and recognized for your contributions at work?
  • Are the criteria for rewards and recognition clear and fair to all employees?
  • Are there sufficient development opportunities for professional growth within the company?
  • Do you have access to the training you need to do your job well?
  • Do you feel that your team collaborates effectively?
  • Does your job allow for flexible working conditions when necessary?
  • How likely are you to continue working for this company for the next two years?
  • How confident are you in the leadership of this company?
  • Do you believe that leadership's internal communications are transparent about the direction of the company?
  • Do you feel that your opinions and ideas are considered in decision-making processes?

Pulse Surveys

One measurement tactic that is particularly helpful for startups is regular pulse surveys. These are short, frequent surveys that provide quick insights into the health of the company. In a startup or fast-moving industry, this is a way to maintain a better purpose on employee sentiment.

Here are some typical questions that get asked in these surveys: 

  • Do you feel motivated by your current projects and tasks?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your work-life balance this week?
  • Do you feel you have the tools and resources needed to do your job effectively right now?
  • Have you received any recognition from your peers or managers recently?
  • Is there anything specific that is hindering your productivity right now?
  • How clear are the expectations of your role this week? 

These questions are designed to be direct and easy to answer. So you can quickly gauge employee sentiment.  

Offboarding Employee Surveys

While it might be too late to save an employee from leaving, exit surveys can still be impactful for learning about why they left the company and identifying areas to improve for your current team.

Running this as an offboarding survey is also less of an ask than an exit interview. In order to encourage more responses, you should keep this survey short and include more multiple-choice questions. And any open-ended questions you ask should be optional.  

Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask:

  • What is your primary reason for leaving the company?
  • How supportive was your manager during your tenure with the company?
  • Did the job meet your expectations set during the hiring process?
  • Did you feel you had the necessary resources and support to perform your job effectively?
  • How would you rate the opportunities for professional growth and development in the company?
  • How would you describe the company culture? 
  • Were your achievements and contributions adequately recognized by the company?
  • How effective was the communication within your team and across the company?
  • What, if anything, could have been done differently to improve your experience with us?
  • What improvements would you suggest for the role or team you were part of?
  • Do you have any other comments or feedback that you would like to share?

Exit Interviews

Another way to collect feedback from departing employees is through an in-depth exit interview. These interviews can range from 15-60 minutes, allowing you to get more detailed insights into their experiences.

5 KPIs to Track Employee Experience

Implementing a mix of these employee experience surveys can be an effective way to gauge workplace culture sentiment across the entire employee lifecycle. 

However, you shouldn’t rely only on survey feedback without some additional data and key performance indicators (KPIs). For starters, survey fatigue is real. Not to mention, even the most anonymous survey will draw skepticism from all but the most naive employees. They’ll likely water down their feedback or hesitate to share critiques for fear of repercussions.

Here are five types of employee experience KPIs that HR pros are tracking to quantify the impact of a positive experience. 

Satisfaction Score

Employee satisfaction score is a survey-based metric that is similar to CSAT but for employees. This score reflects how satisfied employees are with various aspects of their job and environment.

It is the primary byproduct of an employee engagement survey. 


If you are sending out eNPS surveys quarterly, twice a year, or annually, you should track how your score evolves over time. This will help you gauge employee sentiment.

For instance, if you noticed your score increased by 5 points in 6 months, you may want to make a note of the employee experience initiatives that you ran during that time. This way, you can make a business case for doing them more often. 

Internal Referrals

While eNPS measures an employee’s willingness to refer their friends, actual internal referrals better quantify this. 

After all, it is one thing to say something and another to do it. So, tracking both eNPS and internal referral numbers works hand in hand. The rate of internal referrals is a gut check for your ENPS score.

Employee Retention Rates

While it is unrealistic to expect someone to stay at your company for their entire career, having the majority of people only stay for short tenures (under two years) can be a big drain on money, time, and productivity levels. 

The true cost of employee turnover can be two times the person’s salary.  

Andy says, “I was part of an interesting study years and years ago, and I just remember being astonished at the true cost of turnover in an organization. And, it is something that people have trouble quantifying, but when you take the time to dig into the details and really think through it, it's easier to put numbers to certain things than you might think.

You can quantify employee turnover or categorize it as planned turnover that we're okay with because it falls within reasonable turnover rates or is it unplanned, and if it's unplanned, is it good turnover because they weren't a good fit or weren't producing or is it bad turnover because they were a star employee and we just couldn't make them happy? And then constantly going back and reviewing that information so you can continuously tweak things and get things dialed in terms of your employee engagement and satisfaction. And even if it's good turnover because they weren't performers, it's still not really good turnover. There was probably an issue somewhere along in the hiring process that could be investigated and fixed.” 

Even though 100% retention rates are unrealistic, it pays to do everything you can to get your retention rate as low as possible. Because even if you have the best training materials and SOPs, it takes time to get someone up to speed and be 100% productive. 

How you go about keeping retention rates low will look different for every company and individual. However, this always starts with treating your team members well and having defined career growth paths.

Looking for a free and easy tool to calculate employee retention rate at your company? Check out our Employee Retention Rate Calculator. 

Employee Praise

People want to feel valued and appreciated at work. 

When we are all busy and asked to do more with less, it’s easy to neglect employee appreciation initiatives.

Building a company culture that normalizes praising team members when they hit their goals or go above and beyond is not only the right thing to do, but it is also good for business. 

People who receive praise in the manner they like to receive it in are far more likely to be productive and keep delivering great results for the company.  

So, monitoring the frequency and content of praise or positive employee feedback across the entire company.

Monitoring the frequency and context of positive feedback among employees can be another way to gauge individual morale and engagement levels.  

How Compt can help you improve employee experience 

Taking the time to put real thought into delivering an exceptional employee experience can go a long way toward creating a work environment with energized employees who are motivated to do the best work for your company.

Andy adds, “While it is almost impossible to directly correlate this employee program translated into us boosting company profit, there's certainly, without a doubt, an indirect correlation to improving the lives of your employees and the company's performance. There are specific numbers that can be directly attributable, like the cost of training and new employees that might not have needed to be hired if you didn't lose an employee.”

At Compt, we offer a customizable reimbursement system for lifestyle benefits, rewards, and expenses, all wrapped up in a sophisticated but easy-to-use, tax-compliant platform.

Want to learn how we can help you improve your company's employee experience? Request your demo here.

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