Generations now entering the workplace expect a consumer-grade experience at work. We know through research by KPMG on Connected Enterprise that employee experience can directly influence customer experience and centricity. It’s about “walking the customer talk.”

The employee as customer

HR executives rank employee experience design among their top three current initiatives and continuing over the next 2–3 years. 93% of Pathfinding HR* organizations believe that employee experience design is a strategic priority for the entire organization (and 64 percent of their counterparts). It’s on everyone’s agenda.

In many labor markets, demand for specialized skills exceeds supply. And with record low unemployment rates in many countries, workers have greater leverage than ever before. They want meaningful, rewarding work, on-demand customer service, simplified transactions, and instant access to information.

Jane Gunn quote

Pathfinding HR organizations are generally confident in their ability to attract, retain, and develop top talent — with 72 percent of this population reporting feeling confident across all three areas. We suspect that Pathfinding HR organizations have really grasped that, in order to create a positive customer experience, the employee experience must be equally on point. 75% report they have a strategy in place where employee experience mirrors the customer experience they aim to deliver.

Employee retention

HR and design thinking

The need for a frictionless, connected employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) is increasingly driving HR organizations to focus on the capability of design thinking; a human-centric, structured, and creative approach to problem solving. 38% of HR executives cited design thinking within the top three skills required by the HR function to add value to their organizations.

Marta Machicot

Measuring the employee experience

When it comes to understanding the drivers of employee engagement and employee experience pain points, the predominant measures among survey respondents continue to be traditional engagement surveys (65 percent), with a move toward pulse surveys (52 percent) and quantitative analysis of workforce data (such as retention rates) (50 percent) over the next 2–3 years.

Advanced approaches for measuring EX are expected to increase over the next 2-3 years, particularly in Pathfinding HR organizations.

Measuring EX

Source: Future of HR 2020: Which path are you taking? KPMG International

Five ways Pathfinding HR organizations are redefining the EX:

  • Recognizing the role HR can play in clarifying and designing a unified EX/CX
  • Understanding that EX is not the same for all
  • Understanding that EX is composed of more than just the digital experience. It embraces environmental, social, and leadership dimensions
  • Building a design thinking capability into the HR function
  • Taking the lead in defining the requirements for the overall EX design, regardless of which function owns a stage in the process


* Pathfinding HR: A small subset of the survey sample (approximately 10%) who are simultaneously focusing on four discrete, yet interconnected capabilities: workforce shaping, purpose and culture, employee experience, and workforce analytics. Their ‘counterparts’ refers to the remainder of the survey population.

Throughout this site, “we”, “KPMG”, “us” and “our” refer to the network of independent member firms operating under the KPMG name and affiliated with KPMG International or to one or more of these firms or to KPMG International.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewees and survey respondents and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG International or any KPMG member firm.  KPMG’s involvement is not an endorsement, sponsorship or implied backing of any company’s products or services.