One of the best ways to increase business performance isn’t to push for more sales—it’s to invest in your employees. Companies that focus on employee experience tend to see greater improvement in business performance. Stock prices of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list rose 14% per year from 1998 to 2005, while companies not on the list increased their stock price by an average of just 6%. Another study found that companies that improve their employee-written Glassdoor ratings significantly outperform companies with declining ratings. Clearly, there is a connection between investing in employee experience and increasing stock price and revenue.
Here are 10 examples of the positive impact of employee experience on business performance.
Cloud solutions company Workday is regularly included on lists of best places to work, including Best Workplaces for Millennials for 2019. Workday emphasizes personalization and collaboration at work while creating a challenging but inclusive environment. The company first appeared on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list in 2013, when its stock price hovered around $53. After years of being recognized for a great workspace and a top CEO, the company’s stock is currently at $161 a share.
In 2000, the classic soup company had lost more than half of its market value and had rock-bottom employee engagement scores. A new CEO prioritized employee experience for years by listening to employees and creating an environment where they were engaged and excited to work. After a slump of the stock price dropping to around $25 in 2000, the current price is $46. Even more telling, in the first decade of the engagement focus, Campbell’s Soup stock increased by 30% while other S&P 500 stocks lost 10% of their value.
The popular grocery store chain is known for its great customer service, which comes from strong employee engagement. Wegmans invests $50 million in employee development each year and continually trains its employees to be their best professionally and personally. Wegmans is regularly named a top place to work. With increased recognition and engagement comes increased sales. The privately held Wegmans has seen its annual revenue increase from $7.9 billion in 2015 to $9.2 billion in 2018.
Tech company Nvidia’s stock traded for just $15 a share when it first landed on the Great Places to Work list in 2012. The company’s efforts to strengthen its people-focused culture with transparency, collaboration and inclusion have paid off. Its stock price grew slightly for a few years before jumping to a high of nearly $33 when the company was again recognized in 2015. Nvidia has been highlighted as a top workplace for the last three years and now has a stock price of $211 per share.
In 2012, Arby’s was struggling with morale and profits. Employee retention was dropping, and the stock price was around $4.50 a share. With a new CEO, the company tried to turn things around by focusing on employee engagement and improving the experience for front-line workers. The Arby’s Brand Champ program trains thousands of employees on how to better communicate with customers. Since starting the renewed engagement efforts, the stock has increased steadily to its current rate of around $21. Arby’s has also been recognized as a great place to work and seen its engagement scores hit new highs.
Enterprise software company SAP appeared on the Best Places to Work list in 2013 before not making the list for three years. Its stock price grew steadily from 2013-2017, from $80 to around $100. SAP prioritizes employee experience by championing innovation and diversity and providing employees freedom and development opportunities. Since landing back on the Best Places to Work list in 2017 and staying there, the stock price has increased much more rapidly, growing to a current price of around $133.
The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory is the only restaurant on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list and has been there for six years in a row, largely because of the continually updated training and recognition programs. An emphasis on employee experience has contributed to a 93% CEO approval rating. Before The Cheesecake Factory focused on employee experience, its stock price hovered around $31. Since championing employees and being recognized as a great place to work, the company’s stock price has grown steadily, peaking at $64 in 2017 before settling to its current level of $42.
Hilton Hotels has long been recognized for its great employee experience, but it took things to the next level in 2018 with upgrades for staff, including renovated cafeterias and locker rooms and improved benefits. The company ended 2017 with a stock price around $80 a share, but thanks to renewed engagement efforts and recognition as a great place to work, Hilton’s stock has been on a steady growth pattern to its current level of $100 a share.
The auto parts retailer experienced stock growth in 2013 that coincided with a boost in employee experience. The company recommitted itself to providing growth and development opportunities for employees. AutoZone’s overall employer rating increased by 0.8 on a scale of five stars in a single quarter, which simultaneously saw the company’s sales increase 12% in the same quarter and 12.6% in the following quarter.
Computer giant HP landed on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work For list for the first time in 2019. The company has placed a renewed emphasis on employee engagement by increasing training and growth opportunities and adding new benefits like updated employee healthcare centers. HP’s stock price increased by around $10 in 2016 to a high of around $26 in late 2018.
Employee experience has a huge impact on overall business performance. These 10 companies show that organizations that are dedicated to providing an engaging environment for their employees can reap the benefits of increased revenue and shareholder returns.
Blake Morgan is a keynote speaker, customer experience futurist and the author of two books including her new "The Customer Of The Future." Stay in touch with her weekly on her newsletter.