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Turnover is a monster: Who’s in charge of retaining top talent in your organization?


If you didn’t consider employee experience and retention important before reading this article, you sure will afterward.

At Collabo XD, we help organizations keep their top talent by designing a culture and employee experience that works for everyone.

But who owns the employee experience? Who’s in charge of monitoring, gauging and improving it?

3 schools of thought exist:

1. Leadership & executives own the responsibility of employee experience

Some companies have enough resources to spin out a whole position dedicated to optimizing the employee experience and keeping their team happy and productive. Work Design calls it the CxO.

They’re in charge of designing a culture that drives the brand – just as much as the customer experience does.

That’d be great – if you had the resources to allocate to a whole new executive position. Does yours?

Instead, most companies centrally plan the employee experience from the foundation. With a mission, vision and values. Leaders then role model the company culture and keep everyone accountable to it.

A human resources team manages everything related to individual employees. Which makes sense – HR already handles payroll, onboarding, benefits, etc.

But that’s a heck of a lot of work.


When everyone is responsible, no one is responsible.

— Albert Bandura

A centralized employee experience strategy shares responsibility across the most number of individuals – mostly HR and company leaders. All-but guaranteeing no one takes it upon themselves to improve the culture over time.

Will your culture die a slow, painful death? Perhaps.

2. Managers own their teams’ employee experience

Leaders set the tone and expectations for the company. Human resources creates and enforces policies. And managers implement those policies on a day-to-day basis.

Team managers and directors interact with employees more than any other role in the company. In far more diverse settings than company leaders – where most interactions are formal.

  • Team meetings and standups
  • One-on-one performance reviews
  • Casual interaction online or in the office

GetApp says 69% of Gen Z wants their manager to mentor them and give regular feedback. That’s a close relationship responsible for much of the employee experience.

Therefore, manager relationships have the power to make the most impact on a team member. In and out of the office.

And that impact can make a huge difference on an employee’s career.


Most managers aren’t equipped to handle employee experience. Just the term sounds like a big job!

In addition to leading a team and doing their own work, overwhelm may set in. And performance in one of the three areas drops off.

No bueno.

3. Employees themselves own their experience

Leaders and managers can do what they want, but no one drives more of the employee experience than – well, the employee themselves.

The question is – Is it their responsibility to do so?

In an ideal world, this is how that responsibility would look:

  • Not enjoying their work experience? They can either ask leaders or their manager for changes. Or seek a better opportunity elsewhere. Not everyone is a perfect fit.
  • Loving their job? Great. They’ll keep doing what they’re doing to rise up the ranks.

Yet we don’t live in an ideal world. As much as we love self-determinism and individualism here in the U.S.A., the office is a little different.

75% of employees think it’s their employers’ job to watch over their well-being. Work-life balance is in. And people need their companies’ help.


In an age where adult loneliness is rampant, it’s a bit isolating to put the onus on employees themselves. Helping them integrate their life and work likely provides the best chance to retain them.

A major benefit of an organization is the togetherness and community it provides. Especially in such a virtual world.

So who owns the employee experience?

We’ve seen the best results in a shared responsibility between the three camps: Company leaders, managers and employees.

But you can only control two of those factors. Ultimately, it’s up to your leaders to determine how to and who designs the employee experience.

So it’s critical you get your leadership and managers on the same page. And hopefully, your employees will follow suit.

Remember – Employee experience doesn’t just happen. Someone must take responsibility and design a thoughtful culture.

Want to learn more about providing a remarkable employee experience and dropping your talent acquisition costs? We’ve helped several national corporations and small teams do so.

Contact the Collabo XD team here.



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