Employee Engagement vs Employee Experience

Corporate life loves trends. In fact, a situation that has always existed and that we are all aware of suddenly appears as a concept in quotes. Or when some concepts become trendy, they are considered to have surpassed others. An example of this can be the inference that it is no longer necessary to focus on employee engagement, but on employee experience. But can these two concepts be interchangeable? Isn’t the difference very clear? Let’s take a closer look at the concepts of employee engagement and employee experience and reach the result together.


Experience that creates engagement

In the shortest definition, we can say that the employee experience is the sum of the perceptions and feelings of the employees about their job.  All perceptions and emotions, starting from the moment they see the job posting, covering the entire working process, and including the moment of job leave… Engagement is the ideal point where these feelings and perceptions come from. The employee’s company experience moves to such a good point that the result is engagement.

It is also a little strange to discuss whether employee experience is necessary or unnecessary. Because whether or not you call the employees’ relationship with your company “experience” does not change the fact that their perceptions and feelings exist.  At this point, we can talk about whether the experience will be improved or not, not about necessity.

Your efforts to improve the employee experience prove that you care about your employees. A good employee experience starts with a fair and equitable recruitment process, continues with a healthy orientation process, is strengthened by a learning and development environment, recognition and appreciation mechanisms, and reaches a level where the employee feels engaged with your investments (physical, emotional, mental, financial…) in the well-being of the employee. Employees with a high level of engagement work more efficiently, take responsibility and initiative, and are also effective in improving the experience of their teammates.  The tendency to leave work is low. When it comes to leaving the job, the process is healthy for both parties and the relationships do not wear out.  An engaged employee who has left work is a very valuable spokesperson for the company/brand.  

The fact that a valuable employee leaves the job for any reason and then returns to work is shown as an example of the company’s success in employee experience. In short, the employee experience may not end with a job leave interview. The healthy functioning of the process, the respect shown by both parties for each other’s rights and choices, and the on-going communication – such as alumni activities – are proof that the employee experience is, in a sense, everlasting.


Where does engagement start?

The nature of your work on employee experience can increase or decrease your employees’ engagement to their work and their workplace. Employee experience is important because it can influence employee commitment levels, i.e. their engagement. Employee engagement is critical because it directly impacts productivity and turnover rates.

Positive experiences create engaged employees. Engaged employees have a natural effect of increasing positive experiences. Imagine someone who starts working after an all-round successful recruitment process. If he or she interacts with someone who is engaged to the job and the workplace, positive perceptions will last. On the contrary, they will be negatively affected. No matter how perfect your employee experience design is, disengaged employees affect others and harm the process.

That is why employee engagement and employee experience should be considered both separately and as complementary concepts.


To summarise:

  • All components related to the employee experience come together and create an emotion. This feeling is engagement.
  • In other words, employee engagement is an outcome. It is a sign of how much employees adopt their company, how much they identify with it, and how much they find a place for themselves in the work and its future.
  • If you want to create a great employee experience, you should set yourself the goal of creating employee engagement.
  • Employee experience creates the conditions that unlock high employee engagement. It shapes employees’ perception of the daily work environment, culture and sense of purpose, which in turn influences their level of engagement.
  • Employee experience is the input and employee engagement is the output.
  • The better experience you provide to your employees, the more you will increase engagement levels.
  • Employee experience is how you make employees feel at work. Employee engagement is how the employee responds to your efforts.