The Workplace Experience Revolution: Unearthing the Real Drivers of Employee Sentiment

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Eleanor Forster
Eleanor Forster
Eleanor is Managing Director of North America for Leesman - The world's foremost employee experience and workplace effectiveness benchmark.

Research from global employee experience think tank, Leesman, reveals a series of mission critical drivers organizations need to deliver if they are to foster outstanding workplace experience.

We are in the midst of a revolution, fueled by an elite group of brands that are resetting our value expectations. This societal swing is changing what we expect of the products, services and spaces we use—including our workplaces. This is the ‘experience revolution’, and our latest research at Leesman has revealed the components needed to respond to that shift.

The research report, ‘The Workplace Experience Revolution’, is the result of analysis across 401,362 global employees’ workplace experiences. Drawn from 3,100+ workplaces across 458 organizations in 90 countries, it is the largest global study of its kind ever undertaken. The unprecedented findings reveal a series of factors on which employee sentiment hinges and the elements behind what drive them – making it an important read for executive leadership teams, as well those in real estate, workplace design and management of employee experience.

The report examines the business to consumer societal shift that has reset employees’ expectations of the Employer to Employee (E2E) relationship and how employee expectancies of workplace infrastructure and services is being impacted. The study uncovers what this expectation shift means for organizations trying to get the best out of their employees and their real estate and thus maximize organizational performance at a time when many global economies are flatlining.

An interdependent set of employee sentiments have been constructed, that map how these emotional responses cluster in distinct groups: ‘seeing’, ‘feeling’ and ‘doing’. Further analysis reveals a core group of five critical work activities and eight workplace features that determine the sentiment expressed in each of these clusters. These ‘sentiment super-driver’ components are the key actuators of outstanding employee experience. An outstanding workplace delivers on all three sentiment clusters and failure in any one was shown to limit or undermine overall employee sentiment.


This relates to whether the workplace supports getting the work done – and if the workplace provides an enjoyable environment to work in, makes it possible to share information and knowledge with one’s colleagues and enables employees to feel productive.


Does the workplace have a positive impact on corporate image and sustainability? Corporate image is one of an organization’s most important assets. What people think of and how they see the organization not only impacts its attractiveness towards potential customers, clients and collaboration partners, but is also crucial in attracting and retaining the best talent.


This comes down to whether the workplace supports pride and the culture of the organization. Culture is important, and an employer’s approach to workplace strategy will reflect the extent to which the organization values its employees. This is undoubtedly why in employees’ eyes, pride sits together with culture – a workplace that employees are proud to welcome visitors to will certainly mirror pride in the organization itself.

Aligned to these groupings is a ‘workplace experience framework’ that we have developed to identify the prime factors that affect overall employee sentiment. This includes: the workplace, expectations, needs, requirements and preferences, behaviors, processes and organizational structure and dynamics.

The identification of these three distinct sentiment clusters gives leadership teams an incredible opportunity to focus attentions on the mission critical components of employee experience. In turn, it should allow workplace design and management teams to highlight to clients the areas in which careful and considered investment will deliver maximum return. The findings of our recent research reaffirms that the best workplaces in the world consistently offer a specific type of workplace experience – a participatory space where infrastructures are crafted, immersive and user-centric. And in a time when employers are being bombarded with the latest must-have workplace strategies, this research isolates the employee signal from industry noise to reveal a non-negotiable list of employee experience components which leadership teams should ignore at their peril.

Read the full report here.


 About Leesman

Leesman is the world’s leading measure of employee workplace experience. Founded in 2010 by CEO Tim Oldman, Leesman provides quarterly insights into the world of workplace and business intelligence via the Leesman Review, based on a global reach database of 3,250 workplaces across 90 countries and more than 425,000 respondents internationally. In addition to this, Leesman regularly publishes research reports on key topics and areas of focus led by Director of Insights, Dr. Peggie Rothe

Leesman measures employee experience via the Leesman Index – a global business intelligence tool that captures employee feedback on how effectively the workplace supports them and their work. The consequent findings provide organizations with critical insight into how a building is performing. Performance is then benchmarked against the world’s largest statistically robust employee experience database.

Leesman does not offer any consultancy, strategy, design or management services and as such the survey is entirely independent. Leesman helps organizations create better workplaces by arming them with the exact data that tells them where to invest time and resource.

Eleanor Forster
Eleanor Forster
Eleanor is Managing Director of North America for Leesman - The world's foremost employee experience and workplace effectiveness benchmark.
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