New research demonstrates that fostering trust, opportunities for growth, and employee well-being are the keys to increased workforce retention and satisfaction. A surprising additional benefit? It turns out that an empowered workforce increases brand engagement and customer loyalty as well. 

“The fastest way to get your customers to love your brand is to get employees to love their jobs.” 

Tiffani Bova, Global Customer Growth & Innovation at Salesforce

Workforce experience (WX) defined

In the context of a dynamic labor market, and amid ongoing economic uncertainty, workers gravitate toward modern employers offering an elevated workforce experience. Organizations must not only address the table stakes (i.e., customizable technology, modern compensation and benefits, and team trust) but also provide workers with growth and development opportunities, prioritize their physical and mental well-being, and foster trust between workers and leadership.

We define the workforce experience (WX) as the sum of a person’s lived experiences at work and how they feel about their organization.

The CX + WX connection

Elevating the workforce experience (WX) elevates the customer experience (CX). WX and CX are more connected than ever, as our recent research makes abundantly clear. 
Worker Customer Venn diagram

Workers with an excellent employee experience were found to be 3x more likely to say their organization is customer-focused and 1.5x more likely to enjoy working directly with their organization’s customers and clients.

Customers and workers are both human—and their desires, needs, and pain points should be used to drive organizational change and the Human Experience™.

Employers have more potential than ever before to evolve into social enterprises that promote trust, growth, and the well-being of everyone in their ecosystem: workers, customers, even partners.

Introduction to our latest WX research

In a recent Deloitte study, 4,000+ US-based workers—across industries and roles—were surveyed to determine which factors are most impactful to the workforce experience.

To that end, a WX North Star—a composite score based on five key metrics—was established to measure the relative impact of different factors on workforce experience.

The five key metrics:

  • Employee experience
  • Job satisfaction
  • Employer satisfaction
  • Retention
  • eNPS (employee net promoter score)

A baseline across the worker population was then established (below), showing that, generally, workers are satisfied with their employer and role (though this varies by organization type and industry). But surprisingly, nearly a quarter of workers said they are likely to quit their job in the next 12 months, and less than half of workers said they would recommend their organization as a place of work.

Workforce Experience by Design teal and white infographic
So, what’s causing the disconnect?

Demystifying the disconnect

While workers are mostly satisfied (>60%) with the foundational elements of their employee experience (i.e., compensation and benefits, technology, team and colleagues), differences among organizations begin to emerge around a few specific factors.

In short, organizations most aligned to the WX North Star are seen by workers as meeting and exceeding expectations when it comes to growth, well-being, and leadership.


the education, experiences, and exposure I receive that support my ability to upskill and grow


  • Only 52% of workers are confident that they are growing their careers with their current organization.
  • Workers confident in their growth path are 3.3x more likely to stay at their current employer for the next 12 months.
  • Workers who do not feel like they are growing at their current employer are 2.5x more likely to quit in the next 12 months.


the feeling that my organization cares for my overall well-being, along with how I am recognized for my contributions


  • Only 61% of workers think that their organization cares about their well-being, and only half feel that their job is good for their mental health.
  • Only 3 out of 5 of employees feel that their organization cares about their well-being.
  • Workers that don’t think their organization cares about their well-being are 2x more likely to quit.

Manager and leadership

the trust I have in my managers and leaders, how they communicate and respond to feedback, and the respect they show toward me


  • Only 59% of workers trust their organization’s senior leadership team.
  • Workers that report a good working relationship with their manager are 3.4x more likely to stay at their current employer for the next 12 months.
  • Now more than ever, workers are placing a greater emphasis on their growth, well-being, and trust in their managers and leadership when deciding where to work.

Overall, organizations that fall short across these three WX factors are more likely to see:

  • A higher likelihood that their workers will quit (for another employer) within the next year
  • A lower employee net promoter score (eNPS)
  • Lower satisfaction with their specific job/role within the organization
  • Lower satisfaction with their employer overall

The big(ger) picture and the Nine Factors of WX


While growth, well-being, and manager and leadership were shown to have the greatest impact on WX, our research also pointed to six other important WX factors.

That’s why we developed the Nine Factors of WX to help organizations keep pace with their workers and achieve the WX North Star to drive engagement, retention, and recruitment.

Workforce Experience by Design circular infographic

In this framework, the Nine Factors of WX should be viewed as escalating tiers of impact on WX. While foundational factors (beginning with My Technology) are important to “get right,” each subsequent factor (going clockwise) has an incrementally greater impact on the WX North Star.

The Nine Factors of WX provide a prioritization framework for organizations to formulate a more comprehensive WX strategy. However, WX is not static, and it’s important to consider the unique needs and desires of the humans that make up your workforce.

For more information on the Nine Factors of WX, check out our 2022 WX research study.

Where to go from here

Our research suggests that a positive overall experience with an organization alone is not sufficient to retain workers, much less motivate them to be employer brand promoters.

So, what can your organization do to differentiate itself, retain engaged, top talent, and ensure your WX factors are aligned with the unique needs of your workers?

  • Ensure you have made the necessary investment(s) in technology to support your WX ambitions and empower your workers to do their jobs.
  • Ensure your organization is delivering on foundational WX factors first—it is important to get these “right” before or in tandem with higher-tier factors.
  • Build trust by listening to your workforce and developing sensing capabilities to keep your WX priorities in step with your workers’ evolving needs and desires.
  • Develop an iterative WX approach through the co-creation and piloting of WX initiatives with different segments of your workforce.
  • Identify and develop clear growth opportunities and ensure adequate recognition and mental health support—key components of well-being—for your workers.

To effectively execute the Nine Factors of WX, employers should ensure they have the proper mechanisms to measure the WX North Star (and underlying metrics). This can be accomplished through a comprehensive human capital and workforce experience strategy supported by an experience management (XM) technology platform.

These technology-enabled workforce experience solutions will help your business attract and retain a more engaged workforce, ultimately leading to more satisfying customer experiences as well.

Answering these important questions

Our Workforce Experience by Design (WXD) team uncovers workforce needs, desires, tensions, and pain points, utilizing our full suite of design and research methods. We co-create concepts, deliver solutions, and redesign organizations to solve the root cause of our clients’ employee experience issues and allow them to differentiate themselves in the struggle for retention and recruiting.

Workforce Experience by Design aims to help organizations understand the needs of their workforce, define their workforce ambition, and meet that ambition through strategic capabilities development.

To learn more about this new research, DOWNLOAD THE REPORT >

Courtney Sherman, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLC, is a co-founder of Deloitte’s Workforce Experience by Design practice. Using a human-centered design approach, Courtney develops experiences for the modern-day customer and workforce, helping organizations drive engagement and retention by focusing on the end user.