New State of EX Research:

Recognition of the value of EX management is spreading, but coordinating everyone involved in EX work across the organization is proving challenging

I’m very pleased to announce that the 5th Annual State of EX 2023-2024 report is now available.  

The survey was fielded from July 24 to September 29, 2023, and released in January 2024. A total of 165 global respondents of various organization sizes and industries participated. They included: EX leaders and team members; C-suite, corporate function, and business leaders; HR business partners and managers from HR.

The theme of our report this year is “So many stakeholders, so little time” – reflective of the willingness and need to involve more people across organizations to drive change on EX and of the associated struggle to drive more improvements, faster as more stakeholders are involved.

Indeed, while focused on the #1 priority of “redesigning experiences”, a top challenge (#2) faced by respondents is “coordinating everyone involved in EX work across the organization”, closely tied to the #1 overall challenge of “taking as much action to improve experiences as employees expect” and the #1 and #2 agility related challenge of “moving from discussion to action” and “meeting business partner demands for speed.”

As EX teams attempt to meet the demands of various stakeholders, we also see the risk of them compromising what is at the very core of the EX revolution: employee co-creation. Only 31% of respondents say their experience redesigns are cocreated with employees and 61% of respondents think it’s more important to redesign experiences with the help of senior leaders, non-HR program leads, HR program leads, or managers than with employees themselves.

In a nutshell: while good intentions are there when it comes to improving EX, organizational inertia, barriers (including ‘stakeholdering’) and old ways of working are proving difficult to overcome.

Other key findings include: 

  • A clear majority of respondents (63%) said their organization’s senior leaders view EX as equal to or even more important than other corporate priorities, and almost exactly as many (64%) said the portion of their organizations that currently prioritize EX treat that mission as a permanent change in how they operate.
  • EX teams are increasingly taking root: just over 50% of EX teams have a mandate solely to improve EX and a budget of their own, and the median number of FTEs on EX teams in 2023 is 5 (up 1 from last year).
  • EX and HR are distinctly different, but still conflated: in total, fewer than 10% of responding organizations have an EX-specific strategy.
  • The people believed to most influence EX bear little responsibility for it: respondents identified the #1 EX influencer as employees’ managers, but only 29% of respondents say accountability for the quality of EX sits primarily with senior leaders/ employees’ managers.
  • Respondents identify “measuring an EX improvement’s business/ financial impact” as a continued challenge – it is their #1 measurement challenge.

The report is filled with many more data points and charts describing the realities organizations face in attempting to proactively manage EX, while also providing tips for how to overcome common challenges.

I encourage anyone interested in accelerating their organization’s EX efforts to take a moment to review and share the report with peers.

You can download a copy of the research here.