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  • Katica Roy

Want To Make Your Employee Experience More Equitable? Add These 5 Elements

Updated: Dec 14, 2020


Welcome to my weekly Q&A roundup. (Scroll down to find the Q&A.)

If this is your first time here, welcome. I spend a fair amount of time speaking at events and conferences. At the end of my presentations, I leave space for audience members to ask questions—tough questions, brave questions, you name it.

The level of candor and curiosity always inspires me, and I want to share that sentiment with you. So each week, I pick one question that I believe others would find most instructive and publish my response to it here.

The purpose of this weekly tradition is transparency and inclusivity.

Transparency: a behind-the-scenes look at my day-to-day.

Inclusivity: bringing others along in the journey.

Be Brave™


Improve Your Employee Experience By Making It More Equitable


As part of my company’s “COVID-19 response strategy,” I’m responsible for improving the employee experience. What’s your recommendation for this and where does racial justice fit in?


Being tasked with improving the employee experience (EX) is no small undertaking.

HR and business leaders ranked EX as their top initiative for 2020. And when asked where they would allocate additional funding if the HR budget was doubled, leaders put improving EX as their top choice.

These EX priorities are right on the money.

Organizations that score in the top 25% on EX enjoy nearly three times the return on assets and double the return on sales as organizations that score in the bottom quartile.

Improving EX is right on the economic pulse, too.

In the world’s largest study of business performance and employee engagement (the end goal of EX), researchers found that highly engaged teams were more resilient than their peers during the 2001-02 and 2008-09 recessions. And if there’s one thing on CEOs’ minds right now, it’s resilience.

Most importantly, better EX is what our employees want.

Nearly 90% of people are less likely to consider working for a company that treats employees poorly during the pandemic. So let’s put our people first. Here are five data-driven* recommendations to equitably and effectively improve EX.

*I say data-driven because we need to ensure our EX efforts pay off for both employees and the companies they work for. In 2019, companies invested $2,420 per employee (on average) to boost EX but only 13% of employees say they were fully satisfied with the “improvements.”

Five Components of an Equitable & Effective Employee Experience:

1. Promote from within.

Companies with high rates of internal hiring increase employee retention by an average of 41% compared to companies with low rates of internal hiring.

2. Promote equity by promoting equitably.

Committing to internal promotions is not only a $mart business strategy, it’s also an effective means of closing intersectional promotion gaps. For every 100 men promoted from entry-level to managerial roles, 58 Black women and 68 Latinas are promoted.

3. Pay equitable wages.

It is past time to close intersectional gender pay gaps. Fully 72% of women say they would not apply to work at a company where a gender pay gap exists and 89% of Black workers say companies should pay employees a living wage.

4. Return power & voice to employees by removing binding arbitration clauses.

Eighty-eight percent of Black Americans want companies to provide accessible grievance mechanisms when harassment or bias occurs in the workplace. The use of binding arbitration clauses in employee agreements makes this nearly impossible. Arbitration clauses effectively silence employees from reporting harassment and promote a culture of silence. This, in turn, reduces an employee’s’ psychological safety—a key ingredient in team efficacy.

5. Use advanced technology to streamline the process.

You can hardwire intersectional gender equity into your people-decisions (which are plagued with subjective decision-making and human bias) with AI and machine learning. With the help of advanced technology, your organization is able to detect, mitigate, and overcome bias in the employee lifecycle. If you haven’t yet, now is the time to accelerate your company’s digital adoption or risk getting left behind.


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