Both terms are used to describe the nature of the relationship between an organization and its employees. The term “employee engagement” was commonly used to describe management practices in the 1990s and 2000s, but the term “employee experience” is gaining momentum as a more modern approach. There are different schools of thought on whether EX will replace employee engagement, or whether employee engagement should be described as a component of EX.
The basic difference is that EX is often viewed as a more holistic way and innovative way to transform the employee’s day to day experience as opposed to minor changes to traditional employee benefits. Jacob Morgan, author of The Employee Experience Advantage, describes employee experience as a way of “designing an organization where people want to show up by focusing on the cultural, technological, and physical environments.” I use the term Workplace Experience to describe the physical environment.
According to Google Trends, the search term “employee engagement” is 4x as popular as “employee experience” today, but the number of news articles and blogs focused on employee experience are trending upward.