In the face of a growing cost-of-living crisis, over a third of Brits will switch jobs in 2024. Yet, as companies tighten their budgeting belts, offering pay rises and bonuses is generally not an option. With tightening budgets, traditional employee experience models in the ‘hire to retire’ mould are seen as outdated and missing the mark.

Today’s employees seek a more holistic experience that encompasses their entire journey within the company. This goes beyond simply fulfilling job duties; it’s about creating an environment that fosters wellbeing, engagement and a sense of purpose.

A holistic approach to employee experience and wellbeing

When we talk to HR teams about their approach to employee experience and the wellbeing of their people, we ask them to think holistically about how they design their employee experiences. At its core, employee experience can be categorised into five employee lifecycle stages:

  1. Attract and recruit me: The initial impression an organisation makes during the recruitment process sets the tone for the entire relationship.
  2. Welcome me: A smooth onboarding experience and opportunities for continuous learning and development are crucial for employee engagement and retention.
  3. Enable me: Employees thrive when they feel empowered to make decisions, have access to the right tools and resources, and receive ongoing support from leaders and colleagues.
  4. Help me perform and grow: Feeling valued and appreciated is fundamental to employee wellbeing. Employees need to feel recognised and rewarded fairly and receive constructive performance and development feedback to progress in their roles and careers.
  5. Wish me well: Organisations should prioritise a smooth transition for employees who leave the company, whether through retirement, redundancy, or a new opportunity.

There are also a number of other major factors that drive our experience at work. Human, digital and physical experiences also shape an employee’s wellbeing and happiness, along with broader factors such as alignment to purpose, culture and leadership.

Beyond the employee lifecycle model

Employee experience and delivering on your organisation’s employee value proposition and ‘the deal’ that you provide to your people cannot be viewed solely through the prism of one particular facet of employee experience; you don’t solve your employee experiences just by embedding shiny new tech into your business. Instead, understanding how an employee’s experience unfolds across three key dimensions – human, digital and physical – is key to being able to deliver an amazing experience. So, whenever organisations are looking at driving better experiences, and therefore improving engagement and wellbeing, we ask them to consider these key questions:

  • Human: What is the quality of relationships with colleagues, leaders, and the broader company culture that significantly impacts the wellbeing of our people?
  • Digital: What are the tools and technology employees use to perform their jobs? Do they make life easier rather than hinder their productivity levels?
  • Physical: How does their physical work environment, whether an office, remote workspace, or manufacturing site, play a critical role in shaping our employee’s wellbeing?

The influence of an organisation’s brand and leadership on employee experience cannot be underestimated. Employees who feel connected to the company’s purpose, values, culture, and leaders are more likely to be engaged and productive.

The EX equation

Let’s talk about an ‘EX equation’, which highlights the link between an employee value proposition and how it is enabled through experience. If the experience your employees have matches or exceeds the promises you’ve made to them, they are more engaged and their productivity increases, which also has a knock-on positive effect on their own wellbeing, too. Research from Gallup has shown that engaged teams are 18% more productive than disengaged ones, and the organisations they work for have higher levels of customer loyalty and productivity, too. Highly engaged employees not only have a greater sense of wellbeing but they also deliver to the bottom line as well.

By measuring and tracking employee experience data, organisations can gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions to improve workplace wellbeing and overall business performance. It can be difficult to measure employee experience data, but it is not impossible. In our experience looking at data points across the employee life cycle can help identify a value chain for organisations to demonstrate both financial and non-financial levers. For example, through better wellbeing, you can reduce stress-related absenteeism, which can be correlated against employee engagement and overall employee productivity.

But the fundamental question to ask is “What are we trying to measure, and why is it important for our business?”


Creating a successful employee experience is not about implementing a single programme or perk. It’s about building a holistic framework that considers every stage of the employee journey and addresses the human, digital, and physical aspects of work. By prioritising wellbeing, fostering positive relationships, and aligning employee values with the company’s vision, organisations can cultivate a thriving work environment that attracts, retains, and empowers top talent.

Cathy Acratopulo
Cathy Acratopulo
Co-founder at LACE Partners | + posts

Cathy Acratopulo, co-founder at LACE Partners, is a leading expert in employee experience. Cathy is passionate about helping clients to achieve their HR goals through transforming the HR function. Her specialisms include developing people strategies, designing future HR operating models and delivering long-term adoption of HR systems and new ways of working. As a Director of LACE, Cathy also manages key client relationships and drives the operational performance of the business.