Best Employee Experience Books to Read in 2023

Woman sitting on a couch and reading a book

Transform your workplace with the best employee experience books to discover strategies to enhance engagement and productivity while attracting top talent.

Understanding and optimizing employee experience (EX) is a competitive advantage for brands, especially as recent trends of quiet quitting and rage applying continue amid market uncertainty.

Employees want to feel an organization values their talent and feedback, and investing in employee experience means you’re actively listening to and engaging with your workforce to make better decisions. By keeping a close watch on employee feedback, as well as satisfaction and sentiment, you’ll reduce burnout and turnover.

So, where should you begin? Maybe you’re building an employee experience program from scratch, or perhaps you just want to enrich what you know about EX. In either case, it’s time to read the best employee experience books.

Professionals throughout human resources (HR) and other areas of a business — including people operations, for example — can use the best EX books from management and operational leaders, industry experts, and award-winning academics to shape a fresh perspective on employee experience.

10 Must-Read Employee Experience Books to Add to Your Reading List

Offering the latest insights from top EX thought leaders, this list of books helps you and your team reap the benefits of employee experience, including achieving gains in productivity, engagement, and loyalty.

Here are the must-read EX books of 2023 to enhance your knowledge of employee experience.

Built for People: Transform Your Employee Experience Using Product Management Principles

Book cover for "Built for People"

Jessica Zwaan, Chief Operating Officer at Whereby, uses Built for People to walk HR professionals and business leaders through the process of transforming employee experience with a mindset rooted in product management. She explores employee listening and how to attract, engage, and retain top talent that drives business performance and outcomes.

In the book, Zwaan dives into the need for all organizations to develop “people-centered ways of working, evidence-based decision making, and a culture of continuous feedback and iteration.” Employee experience is an always-on effort just like product management, and Zwaan proves how true that is in Built for People.

Employee Engagement Survey: Busting the Survey Myths That Are Undermining Your Results

Book cover of "Employee Engagement Survey"

Looking for ways to make your company’s employee engagement surveys more effective? In Employee Engagement Survey, Leadership IQ’s Mark Murphy uses his background in leadership training and research to reveal survey questions companies should and shouldn’t be asking. He then explains how to translate survey results into actionable insights that can be used to improve employee engagement.

Irresistible: The Seven Secrets of the World’s Most Enduring, Employee-Focused Organizations

Book cover of "Irresistible"

Irresistible, written by legendary employee experience expert Josh Bersin, shares compelling answers to this question: What sets organizations with standout employee engagement apart from the rest?

Drawing upon decades of research on corporate talent, leadership, HR practices, and more than 100 studies involving thousands of employers, this book on our list of the best employee experience books to read explains how business leaders can create irresistible brands that achieve increases in customer satisfaction (CSAT), employee retention, and business agility.

Experience, Inc.: Why Companies That Uncover Purpose, Create Connection, and Celebrate Their People Will Triumph

Book cover of "Experience Inc."

Jill Popelka, an executive at Snap, has over 25 years of experience leading large, global organizations through change. In addition to Snap, she’s had stints at SAP and Accenture. It’s safe to say Popelka knows what it takes to guide an organization’s people and culture to succeed.

In Experience, Inc., Popelka draws upon her experience as well as insights from other global thought leaders to walk readers through the process of laying the foundation for a great employee experience, one that delivers growth across employee well-being, productivity, and effectiveness as well as adaptability, resilience, and growth.

Remote Not Distant: Design a Company Culture That Will Help You Thrive in a Hybrid Workplace

Book cover for "Remote Not Distant"

Hybrid workplaces are here to stay as organizations around the world balance the flexibility of remote work and maintain an in-office element for face-to-face interactions.

Wondering how to navigate this? Here’s a roadmap from Gustavo Razzette, the mastermind behind culture design consultancy firm Fearless Culture, who’s worked with global brands including Merck, Mars, and the American Medical Association.

Remote Not Distant explores the steps leaders need to take to build psychological safety, create a culture of feedback, and drive engagement throughout a hybrid workplace.

Employee Experience by Design: How to Create an Effective EX for Competitive Advantage

Book cover for "Employee Experience by Design"

Thought leaders throughout employee experience are picking up Employee Experience by Design from Emma Bridger and Belinda Gannaway. It’s a near-universal pick as one of the best employee experience books available today.

In their book, Bridger — an award-winning employee engagement specialist and Managing Director at People Lab — and Gannaway — an award-winning employee experience design practitioner and Director of Strategy (Culture Change) at Fathom XP — provide insider tips for making the case for EX. It also covers how to effectively measure employee experience outcomes and insights on the future of employee experience.

I Love It Here: How Great Leaders Create Organizations Their People Never Want to Leave

Book cover for "I Love it Here"

Employees should love where they work, right?

Emmy Award-winning speaker Clint Kulver was “The Undercover Millennial” for several years, working with brands such as AT&T, HP, and Keller Williams to improve their cultures and decrease turnover. He conducted thousands of undercover interviews with employees across industries and is uncovering the key factors that shape employee retention in I Love It Here.

According to the book’s listing, “Your company can be a place where people don’t just survive, but thrive. I Love It Here shows you how.”

The Inclusive Organization: Real Solutions, Impactful Change, and Meaningful Diversity

Book cover for "The Inclusive Organization"

Establishing a foundation of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) is key to an EX program, and that’s why Netta Jenkins’s The Inclusive Organization is a must-read that needs to be on your reading list.

Jenkins, who leads platform Aerodei, has earned strong praise for her book from Marc Lore, who co-founded and led Walmart’s ecommerce division for several years, as well as from senior leaders at and Sista Circle: Black Women in Tech.

The Inclusive Organization provides DEIB framework executives and professionals can use to strengthen their initiatives and create the kinds of meaningful changes workers are demanding (and deserve).

Employees First!: Inspire, Engage, and Focus on the Heart of Your Organization

Book cover of "Employee's First!"

Part of what makes customer experience (CX) successful is top-notch employee experience, and this book on our list of the best EX books to read packs plenty of powerful suggestions to achieve success on the EX side.

Employees First!, from Red Carpet Learning Systems CEO Donna Cutting, uses the author’s experience with clients including Thermo Fisher Scientific and PwC to reveal the steps organizations need to take to truly empower employees and create a culture in which everyone is welcome.

In the book, Cutting “shares many tried and true ideas for rolling out the red carpet for your new hires and keeping it out for the long term.”

The Deadly Sins of Employee Retention: New Edition to Solve the Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting, Burnout, and More

Book cover of "The Deadly Sins of Employee Retention: New Edition to Solve the Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting, Burnout, and More"

Mark Murphy appears twice on this list of the best employee experience books to read, and this time he’s with licensed clinical psychologist Andrea Burgio-Murphy for The Deadly Sins of Employee Retention.

In the book, Murphy and Burgio-Murphy use their findings from studying more than 1 million leaders to identify the seven mistakes — including not listening deeply and applying a one-size-fits-all approach — that can ruin a company’s employee retention efforts. The Deadly Sins of Employee Retention also covers solutions to keep and inspire top talent.

Why You Should Read the Best Employee Experience Books

We’ve curated a list of the best employee experience books to create a positive and engaging workplace culture. Each book offers valuable insights, strategies, and real-life examples to enhance employee engagement, boost productivity, and attract (and retain) top talent.

Whether you’re a leader, HR professional, or aspiring to improve employee experience in another type of role, this list is a go-to resource for transforming your workplace into a thriving environment where all employees succeed.

In 2023, read the best employee experience books for the following reasons:

1. Insight into best practices: Employee experience is a crucial aspect of any organization’s success. The best employee experience books provide valuable insights into the strategies, techniques, and best practices that can enhance the overall employee experience. They often feature case studies, real-life examples, and expert advice, allowing readers to learn from successful organizations and apply those principles in their own workplace.

2. Increased engagement and productivity: A positive employee experience fosters higher levels of engagement and productivity among employees. By reading the best employee experience books, you can gain knowledge on how to create an environment where employees feel valued, empowered, and motivated. Implementing the concepts and ideas from these books can lead to increased employee satisfaction, which in turn positively impacts overall productivity and organizational success.

3. Retention and talent attraction: A strong employee experience is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent. When employees have a positive experience in the workplace, they are more likely to stay with the organization, reducing turnover rates. The best employee experience books provide guidance on creating a supportive culture, effective leadership, and opportunities for growth and development, all of which contribute to attracting and retaining top performers.

4. Enhanced employee well-being: Employee experience encompasses not only the work environment but also the overall well-being of employees. The best employee experience books often address topics such as work-life balance, mental health, and creating a healthy and inclusive workplace culture. By reading these books, you can gain insights and ideas on how to prioritize employee well-being and create a work environment that promotes overall health and happiness.

5. Continuous learning and improvement: The field of employee experience is constantly evolving, and reading the best employee experience books allows you to stay updated with the latest trends, research, and ideas. These books provide opportunities for continuous learning and personal development, enabling you to enhance your skills as a leader or HR professional. By staying informed and adapting to new approaches, you can continuously improve the employee experience in your organization.

Reading the best employee experience books is essential for gaining insights, implementing best practices, enhancing engagement and productivity, attracting and retaining talent, prioritizing employee well-being, and staying updated with the latest trends. By investing time in reading these must-read employee experience books, you’ll make a positive impact on your organization’s employee experience and overall success.

Schedule a demo with a Medallia expert — we’ll share where your employee experience is today and what our award-winning platform does to accelerate its impact on the workforce and business as a whole.