An Employee Experience Agency +27 10 591 5512


We’re so excited that you’ve taken the time to find out more about our 4-EX Formula! It has been years in the making, and if used correctly, can create a great employee experience (EX) that benefits all of your employees, and ultimately, your customers and business.


The past couple of years have highlighted massive changes in the human condition. These changes have filtered through the global population in a way that has not been seen or heard in recent decades, redirecting power back to the grassroots of society in an effort to mobilise those in power to be held to account for the communities in which they serve.

Some of the big topics that we have been paying attention to include:

  • The ongoing conversations about hybrid working
  • Mandatory vaccination programmes
  • The Great Resignation
  • Mindfulness and mental health
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Belonging
  • Digital onboarding and re-onboarding
  • Equity and fairness between roles

The shifts have resulted in upheavals in the workplace that have indicated the need for a solid and robust guidelines for managing the employee’s experience.

At Torque, we’ve stayed abreast with developing trends and have formulated a model that has shown exceptional success in delivering employee with the best experience possible, and people leaders with quantifiable return that is motivating the business case for EX investment. 

The Torque 4 EX Formula has been tried and tested, and has performed exceptionally in the first years of its inception. Here, we have put together and introduction to the thinking behind the Torque 4 EX Formula, insights that we have noticed, and tips that you can implement these strategies into your business’s people function today. We have included thoughts and recommendations fitting the Torque 4 EX Formula, guided by the 4 pillars that we have identified which lead to a successful employee experience.

We remain cognisant of the fact that different roles require different solutions, for example office-based versus factory-based staff. Here we are guided by our unofficial motto: Inclusion and accessibility for ALL.

If you are interested to find out how we could apply the Torque 4 EX Formula to your organisation, please contact us today.

As we saw in 2020-2021 employee engagement ratings increased in organisations that were able to successfully transition to a remote or hybrid working environments. In the same breath,  ratings plummeted amongst front-line and essential workers, who were required to be physically present at a place of work. Ultimately, your customised EX strategy needs to cater for your whole organisation, in all of its uniqueness.

At Torque, we are driven by our belief that employee experience must be inclusive, so a significant focus of this page is how you can make sure that EVERYONE at your organisation has an excellent experience, from “hire to retire”.

We hope you find these points practical and helpful to plan your future strategy. As always, our experienced team of consultant, developers, designers and content creators are here to help. We collaborate with you to envision and implement your strategy to make it a huge success.

And, proverbially speaking, the proof is in the pudding. In 2021, we won a silver medal at Inspiring Workplaces in the Inspiring Workplace of the Year category. But enough about us, let’s get down to the science of it all!



Torque 4 EX Formula

From a Torque perspective, when an EX system is a success, there is a balance between all four pillars, so that we are serving the needs of the employee and allowing them to bring their best self to work and be empowered to do their job to the best of their ability.

The 4 Pillars of EX Success


The conversation pillar replaces a conversational employee-employer relationship with the more common broadcast or top-down communication style. The specific inclusion of “active listening” requires leaders to not only ask for feedback, but respond to employees. In recent times, we understand that business leaders have found themselves confused and, sometime, at a loss for words, in the conversational model, leaders expressing their lack of answers and human vulnerability has been enough to galvanise a workforce. Businesses that are moving from a broadcast mentality to a 2-way, conversational approach are streaking ahead and we believe responding to the employees is the pivotal element of EX success.


Rewards are a fundamental pillar in the 4 EX Formula. Rewards, when done correctly, can add value to the lives of your employees by enhancing their skills, giving the well-deserved recognition and making their day just a little bit sweeter. It’s important to recognise that rewards don’t always equal cash and can be experiential or in the way off skills-development. Effective rewards can encourage employees to gain the necessary skills to help them grow within the organisation and offer more value within their teams. Highly valuable employees contribute to highly valuable workplaces.


The community pillar is an extension of the omnipresence of social media into the workspace. Employees bring the expectation that they should be able to share with their colleagues for the purpose of culture building and collaboration. A strong sense of community makes people feel they can bring their whole selves to their work. Leaders can utilise the force of this positive momentum to inspire and engage their people and employees who feel invested in, will invest themselves fully in the leadership mission.


Function is possibly the most obvious of all the pillars, and also happens to be the best way of keeping your employees engaged on a daily basis. By giving employees easy access to important, role-specific documents and job-related tools in a single, unified space can improve efficiency and reduce friction in day-to-day work. A positive employee experience considers the employee at the heart of the EX strategy, and mapping the employee journey to offer them what they need, when they need it.

Keep reading to dive deeper into each of the pillars, pick up some top tactical tips, gather some trends and explore some recommendations on how to apply these insights to your business case. 


Tips on Driving and Applying CONVERSATIONS with your Employees

Keeping communication frequent, natural, and honest and setting a common language from leadership throughout the organisation helps build a robust and inclusive culture. Businesses leading in this space embrace openness and vulnerability and are learning that communicating this way – even when the response reflects the genuine uncertainty of the situation – is reaping dividends in terms of the employee’s experience and engagement levels.

Tips on Driving and Applying REWARDS with your Employees
Companies that reconsider their view on what is beneficial to the employee leads to improved engagement and increased productivity. Work flexibility, enhanced culture, open access to career development are some of the new hygiene factors we should be paying attention to. Businesses are seeing the value of co-creating with their employees; opening collaborative and innovative initiatives excite and delight employees whilst including them in broader strategic business conversations.
Tips on Driving and Applying a sense of COMMUNITY amongst your Employees

As work moves towards a more remote and hybrid model, businesses still struggle to keep employees engaged. Companies that are winning in this space are utilising online tools to build employee communities and making sure to use their data to tailor this experience at scale. Online communities pay dividends for your EX strategy in the new world of work.

Tips on Driving and Applying FUNCTION for your Employees

The functional aspect of the employee experience should form the backbone of all employee strategies. When choosing a digital tool to enhance the experience it is imperative to place usefulness at the centre of the experience. The chosen tool can go a long way in addressing accessibility, especially for workers who don’t necessarily sit at a desk or have an email address. User stories and hallway testing are part of the agile approach that refines digital solutions to make them incrementally better and drive ongoing business value.

Formula to Great EX Success


Employee conversation with the business is key to success!

To promote a good employee experience, you need to provide the tools, environment, and culture for employees to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. A great EX starts with excellent communication, so your employees clearly understand the organisation’s vision and goals, and can clearly see their role in its success.

Communication is key, however we prefer to use the word conversation because it focuses on the two-way nature of the ideal communication for proper engagement.

The employee’s voice can be heard via pulses, surveys and direct messaging, allowing them to be more involved and share their expertise, insights and ideas back with the business.

Current trends in this space:

  • Really caring: Shorter, more frequent check-ins with employees to find out how they’re doing in a space that helps them to share honestly and openly.
  • Get is from the grass roots: This involves bottom-up communication and engagement based on the needs of the employees, rather than seeing them on the receiving end of a top-down approach.
  • #jargonmustfall: Keep communication natural, frequent and straightforward with little or no barriers to entry.
  • Language matters: During lockdown, many employees were referred to as ‘essential’. This trends involves helping all to feel valued and appreciated, not only when the going gets tough.

What should you be thinking about:

  • Keeping messaging from top leadership about what goals need to be achieved and how it is being done front and centre.
  • Consider making news pulses, monthly business updates or short clips from Town Halls data free.
  • What matters to your front-line employees differs from what matters to your hybrid employees – customise your messaging appropriately.

Pro tip: Segmenting messaging by role, division and location also allows for conversations that are specific to an individuals needs.


Imagine you have no option but to go to work. Your risks are higher. Your options are less, and you’re at a higher risk. Reading comms about your colleagues wearing slippers to work and getting more time with their kids is unlikely to foster feelings of inclusion and belonging.

  • Communicate to your employees based on what they tell you. Start by asking what matters to them?
  • Use your employee data set effectively to target communication and response channels such as pulses, surveys and feedback mechanisms to the appropriate employee group. Nothing is more frustrating than scrolling through messaging that is irrelevant.

Areas that need careful monitoring under this pillar:

  • Make sure it is a conversation. If you do not give feedback about results and what you plan to do next, your engagement will dry up. That is not a conversation; that is broadcasting. Ie. YOU SPOKE. WE LISTENED. Even if there isn’t an answer yet, that IS an answer for now.
  • The opinions and recommendations from your customer facing employees is always critical. Make time to listen, thank them and give them feedback.
  • Do not talk “at” people and assume you know their reality – talk to them. Listen and commit to feeding back.


  • Checking in with different groups at different frequencies based on areas of concerns.
  • Shorter, more direct pulses.
  • Making the pulses data free to increase engagement.
  • Offering pulses on multiple channels – app / USSD / email / web. Remember, not everyone has a smartphone!
  • Activate using numerous methods – SMS / email / printed aids / daily stand-ups / WhatsApp groups.
  • Inform leadership tiers of the campaigns and allow them time to get access to the tools to amplify your messages.


Rewards don’t necessarily equal cash.

Reward systems serve several purposes in organisations. Understanding who, what, where and when to reward an employee can improve their performance by motivating the right action . Effective rewards can encourage employees to gain the necessary skills to help them grow (which also provides more value to the organisation!).

There are a couple of essential types:

  • Extrinsic rewards
    • Monetary rewards
    • Non-monetary rewards such as points, badges or recognition on a leaderboard
    • Performance-based rewards
  • Intrinsic rewards
    • Access to self-improvement
    • Access to benefits for family
    • Learning content
    • Fun – if there is no fun, there is burnout

Current trends in this space:

  • Additional benefits or flexible scheduling to create more equity between front-line and office-based employees.
  • Retention bonuses for good performers and those who are able to positively impact morale.

What should you be thinking about:

  • How are you giving recognition and reward?
  • Can others see and engage with it?
  • Are the rewards fair?
  • Are you keeping programs achievable for all employees?
  • Are smaller, quicker games more effective?
  • How are you supporting your employee as a whole? Ie. Job openings for a family member that has been retrenched, budgeting tools, home fitness, nutrition guidelines.

Areas that need careful monitoring under this pillar

  • Keeping competitions to a minimum and instead reward collaboration or behaviours that enhance the culture.
  • Making sure all initiatives are available to EVERYONE.
  • Keeping prizes and terms of competition fair and transparent. Ie. Don’t award a prize that not everyone can use or consider doing many smaller prizes.
  • Making sure that learning and tools are accessible and available to those that want to use them.


  • Innovation and suggestion programs are a great way to harness bubbling up trends, that not only solve business problems but also provide recognition to employees.
  • Celebrate the value that your employees bring to your organisation.
  • Establish a network of champions and advocates.
  • Share stories of impact from your CUSTOMERS to your employees. How did they change customers’ world for the better? This give work a tangible meaning.
  • Create elements of FUN!


Community is the lifeblood of a successful organisation.

It makes people feel they can bring their whole selves to their work, and it makes employees want to work for and further the company’s mission.

Using online tools to build employee communities where everyone can be a welcome and participating member. By connecting employees beyond the boundaries of their geographies or departments, a digital community empowers employees to direct their efforts from the bottom up. It allows them to build communities of interest, share ideas, solve problems and collaborate in ways that make sense to them, all while delivering measurable business value.

Of course, there are also the functional elements of community – quickly identifying who is who, giving recognition and kudos and highlighting specific functions within the business to increase further knowledge of areas of the company in a fun way.

Current trends in this space:

  • Communication: Using narrative to bridge divides between front-line, home and office-based employees.
  • Connection: Investing in the tools that will allow everyone to have access to the business artefacts, processes and communities.
  • Collaboration: Understanding the value of your employees perspective and co-create solutions for business problem with them.

What should you be thinking about:

  • Allowing people to showcase their role and why they love it.
  • How can we take suggestions on the remote working experience?
  • Sending messages of appreciation between front-line and other employees.

Areas that need careful monitoring under this pillar

  • Support for those that are remote.
  • Encouraging leaders to be seen in factories, depots and in-store to promote solidarity.
  • Affinity and support groups from the perspective of inclusion.
  • How to have courageous conversations.


  • One-on-ones that prioritise personal check-ins and relationship building.
  • Daily stand-ups via communication channels for remote staff.
  • Sharing personal stories from all parts of the business to allow for more insight into the people (behind the roles) and what they do.
  • Onboard tools to allow everyone to unlock their motivation and energy.
  • Offer tips on how to manage setbacks and difficulties.


As strange as it sounds, some organisations make it difficult for people to complete their work.

Out of date tools, working in silos, poor communication, and hard-to-find information can lead to employee frustration and poor productivity.
A positive employee experience requires removing friction from day-to-day work, and digital technology has a big part to play, making it easier for employees to find what they need, when they need it!

Without a solid functional element adding daily value to your employees, any system will be reduced to a campaign rather than a lasting experience!

Current trends in this space:

  • Audit your EX: Reviews of systems and workflows that support the hybrid environment.
  • DEI matters: Consider inclusivity and belonging in respect of different ways of working.

What should you be thinking about:

  • Checking in on mental health and automating access to information based on the needs of the individual.
  • Keeping EAP, health care, and benefits packages front and centre for your employees (and don’t make them have to look for it!)
  • Coaching to help customer-facing employees deal with angry customers.

Areas that need careful monitoring under this pillar

  • Employees are handling a lot and are at a high risk of burnout. Reduce the effort they need to perform their jobs by ensuring they have all the tools and tech they need to do their jobs with more ease.
  • Accessibility, are you considering the needs of ALL your employees? Are you measuring access?
  • Constant reinforcement of safe and healthy working environments.


  • Tech and tools for everyone must be available and data free.
  • Constantly running campaigns that encourage employees to update their details to ensure you have all the data that you need when you need it (think targeted communications during a crisis).
  • Constantly test the UX of any solution/training or campaign with different employee sets – bias plays a huge role that skews our interpretation.


Things have changed multiple times over the last few years; make sure that policies and procedures are up to date in these are unchartered waters. If something isn’t working, be open to changing it.

Leaders need to be supported and coached to handle conversations. Not everyone can be remote, so exploring ways to find equity becomes a keystone to EX success.

Consider having volunteer feedback groups that are cross-sections of your organisation that give feedback on ideas and employee surveys – create a community of conversation, intent and impact!


Although giving credit to the Employee Experience is still in its early stages, some businesses have used the upheaval of “business-as-usual” to remodel their strategy, processes and tools to be more employee-centric. The 4 EX Formula offers a helpful guide to consider new business tactics, engagement tools and mechanisms for employee engagement.

Businesses leading in this space have taken a fundamentally different and more organic view of the employee as a co-creator in the process. This change of mind opens up a world of innovation as businesses work with individual contributors to create meaning, success and value and streak ahead of their competitors.


Sally Acton

Sanaa Wellman