2018 is finally upon us, and businesses have changed. Focuses have shifted and processes have adjusted to fit the new consumer mindset. According to a report from Forbes, more than 90% of businesses now focus on the customer experience, or the CX, for short. And now that so many companies are fighting for customers on this basis, industry experts believe that a new trend will rise; companies will shift their attention away from CX and now focus on something more important: employee experience, or EX.

Firstly, you may be asking yourself, “what is the employee experience?” Well, put very simply, it is an employee’s day-to-day interaction with an organization. It is not, necessarily, how much fun an employee has at work. Many companies seem to be focusing on open-floor offices and implementing fun events and parties and adding ping-pong tables to the break room in order to increase employee morale. While this does affect the employee experience to an extent, it is not the core of the EX. The EX offers an employee something that benefits his or her career in a meaningful way. Companies that are improving the career of an employee, as well as our society, in a meaningful way, are doing EX right.

So why is EX important? Well, it can mean the difference between a thriving company and a dying company. Today, prospective employees are always looking for the next big move in their career. Decades ago, employees would usually find a position and stick with it, for better or worse, for the majority of their career. Now, employees look for new and challenging experiences in an effort to increase their skill set. Loyalty is hard to come by these days. If a company can offer a truly special EX, then they have the opportunity to not only attract top-quality talent, but retain said talent as well.

Prospective employees can also utilize their digital devices when looking for a job. Websites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor allow job seekers to feel out a company’s atmosphere, culture and tone. That makes it crucial for companies to offer great EX’s in order to avoid negative reviews and to attract talented individuals.

2018 will be the year of the employee experience. For business owners and entrepreneurs out there, make sure that you’ve done what you need to in order to ensure a conducive and satisfying employee experience. If not, you may see less than stellar results in the New Year.