Top Three Takeaways from eX Summit

Companies must begin thinking of themselves as employment brands if they hope to attract and retain talent. This is the founding message of eX Summit, a conference that looks beyond HR to improve the employee experience. eX Summit made a stop in Cincinnati last week to share why the employee experience is on the rise and what companies can do to begin creating better experiences. The attendees were innovative HR leaders who recognize the importance of the employee experience and are looking for tools are guidance on the best ways to impact it. Here are our top three takeaways from the event:


1. HR leaders need to stop playing checkers and start playing chess. – Steve Browne, Executive Director of HR at LaRosa’s

HR leaders tend to think of their jobs as getting employees in the door, but they need to start thinking of it in terms of watching after the entire lifecycle of the employee, says Browne. Worrying about getting things done is a checkers strategy; thinking big picture is chess strategy. The challenge is for HR leaders to stop simply being doers, and to start seeing the larger picture. Browne gave eX Summit attendees four tips for how to deconstruct the current HR landscape:

  • Give people permission to do their jobs. As HR leaders, we expect people to do their jobs, but are we really providing the opportunities for them to do their jobs efficiently?
  • Remove obstacles. Browne says this is often how he spends the majority of his days.
  • Start following the rule of “it depends.” HR often looks at things as black and white, without seeing if the rules and policies in place are beneficial to the task at hand.
  • Practice HR individually in order to improve the whole. If you take care of every person, the whole will improve itself.  


2. You’re no longer just competing with other companies for the best employee experience, you’re competing with people who don’t go into work at all. – Jeb Banner, CEO at SmallBox

Banner began his eX Summit presentation by declaring that work is broken. Employees go into work like a charged battery and then leave work completely drained, he says.

The rise of the gig economy is affording many the option to freelance rather than work for an organization full-time. A meaningful employee experience is the only thing that can compete with someone who has the option to not go into an office at all. “Work should be a vehicle for people to improve themselves,” says Banner. “If you create an environment where people get the nourishment they need to do the work they love to do, they produce a product that your customers love.” The key to this is creating this type of workplace is by focusing on wellbeing, belonging, engagement, and transformation. The workplace must be energizing, fulfilling, and people-centered.


3. Companies need to focus on employee retention as much as customer retention. – Stephan Vincent, Founder of eX Summit

Businesses have spent the last 10-15 years focusing on the customer experience, however, Vincent predicts that the next 10-15 years will be spent focusing on the employee experience. Leaders know that engaged employees are good for business, yet according to Gallup, only 30% of employees feel engaged in the workplace. Rather than only having tools to measure customer engagement, organizations must begin investing in tools that measure employee engagement. “If you think a good EX framework is expensive, try a bad EX framework,” Vincent says.

In the Gallup report, 20% of employees reported that they were non-engaged, but 50% of employees reported that they were neutral. The opportunity is for businesses to sway the 50% from neutral to engaged by creating positive employee experiences. This will foster better customer service as well as increased innovation, creativity, and production.



What does your employer brand stand for? What’s your employee value proposition? What does your employee experience look like? Vincent challenged eX Cincy attendees to answer these questions at the end of the Summit, and we’re challenging you to do the same. If you have any questions about how you can better measure and improve your employee experience, Talmetrix is here to help.


Talmetrix is an employee feedback and insights solution that helps organizations better attract and retain talent to achieve business goals. Our solution makes it easy for organizations to capture employee feedback (feelings) and organizational data (facts) to discover actionable insights. With a unique combination of software, content, data, and advisory support we can help you measure and improve your employee experience.


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