Editor’s note: Michael Lowenstein is senior director, EX consulting, at marketing research software firm InMoment. 

Every successful business outcome benefits from having a reliable, flexible, actionable and amply proven template and improvement guide. This is as true for employee experience (EX) as customer experience (CX).

There is a clear path to greater, more progressive employee experience, insights and greater stakeholder centricity for any organization, and it begins with understanding the concept of experience improvement (XI) as it proceeds and matures.

The most basic definition of employee experience often has to do with overall happiness on the job (or what is generally understood as employee satisfaction). Subsequent stages in EX maturity build upon that first step. Exploring that progression, and how it will lead to experience improvement for everyone in your organization’s universe, is the focus of this discussion.

Employee satisfaction typically encompasses basic job functions like compensation, workload, flexibility, teamwork, resource availability and so forth. It’s built on the basic premise that if employees are happy, they will be productive and remain with their employer. Satisfied employees, then, are generally not aspirational and remain positive if things stay pretty much the same. Much like customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction is largely attitudinal and tactical.

A major challenge with employee satisfaction, though, was identified some time ago. Companies want to keep employees happy and reduce turnover, of course, but it was found that programs and strategies that support improved satisfaction can often result in demoralized staff – especially among employees who either want to perform at higher levels or are unmotivated to contribute more.

Even consultants and professional HR associations like the Society for Human Resource Management have determi...