All aboard! Getting leadership buy-in for the digital employee experience

leadership buy in employee experience
Picture of David Quilty
David Quilty

Looking to retain your best employees or recruit great talent so your company can continue growing? The employee experience is the key to all those goals—and today, much of that experience is happening digitally. 

The employee experience is how your workforce interacts with the tools and information in your digital workplace. When this user experience is positive, employees are more engaged with technology, company content, roles, and organizations. 

But how do you get corporate buy-in on an employee experience program at your company when the ROI can be elusive?

It takes time to implement, the internal impact can take time to measure, and the effects can take months or even years to realize. With dozens of external priorities, how can you build a business case to convince your leadership that an investment in employee engagement is a must? 

147% of companies with engaged workforces outperform competitors in earnings per share

Building a business case for the digital employee experience

If you know your company’s digital experience is outdated but aren’t sure how to put together your change plan, we’ve created a free comprehensive guide with tips—including real-world do’s and don’ts—for convincing the C-suite on a vision for the employee experience that benefits employees departments across an organization, from internal communications to human resources to IT. 

Here’s just some of the information you’ll learn in this guide.

Doing nothing costs more

To get executive buy-in, you need employee engagement data to prove that the digital employee experience at work is vital to the organization’s success. But gathering that data will take some time, so what can you discuss while waiting for the “proof in the pudding”?

  • Positive employee experience leads to positive customer experience, but it pays to remind leadership that the opposite is true. Research of 12 organizations over 11 years showed that companies with high employee engagement grew revenue by 682%, while the companies with less engaged workforces only grew revenue by 166%. Those are numbers anyone in the C-Suite will pay attention to!
  • Gallup studied 1.8 million employees at 230 organizations and found that employers with higher engagement scores have 70% fewer safety incidents than organizations with low engagement scores. 
  • Employees gain institutional knowledge and more advanced skills while working at your company. When they leave, they take those skills and knowledge with them, costing your company in terms of recruitment and training and lost productivity while new employees get up to speed. Gallup found the overall percentage of engaged workers during 2022 is only 34%; that’s a lot of potentially disengaged employees who may be eyeing the exit.

According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report, disengaged employees cost the world $7.8 trillion in lost productivity.

How to prove the value of employee engagement

Facts and statistics go a long way toward convincing others of an end goal. Consider sharing these important ones from Forbes and Gartner:

  • Highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability
  • Companies in the top 20% for employee engagement have 41% less absenteeism, and 59% less turnover
  • Employees who feel heard are 4.6x more likely to feel empowered to do their best work (See Making sure your employees feel heard for more)
  • Workers satisfied with digital workplace applications say they’re twice as inclined to stay with their current organization

What to do if you have trouble calculating ROI

The potential ROI of investment is key to inspiring buy-in, but it isn’t easy to tie internal initiatives like improving employee experience to metrics like year-over-year revenue growth. 

We suggest that internal comms and HR leaders show PIO (process, impact, outcome) instead, including how the process will change, how that will impact employees, and what ultimate business outcome leaders can expect.


The employee experience affects everything from employee engagement and productivity to the customer experience. By planning the digital employee experience in a way supported by employee data and showing how these improvements will impact your organization, you’ll be able to persuade leaders and workers alike to embrace a modern program. 

In this free guide, you’ll learn real-world advice from business leaders who transformed their digital employee experience by gaining executive buy-in at every step. Learn how they leveraged employee data and built support across the company to achieve their goal, and view a six-step roadmap to transforming the digital employee experience at your organization.

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