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The Agile Employee Experience Genome Project

Everything you need to start talking about squad experience and engagement


This book is for any organisation with an established Agile structure or those currently undergoing an Agile transformation.

We've designed the questions and conversation starters in this guide specifically to suit Agile working environments. The conversation flow is based on our EX Genome project, which has been tried and tested with a wide range of enterprise organizations.

The content in this guide is open source, so your are free to use the questions and modify as you wish, whether you are a Joyous customer or not.

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The Agile EX Genome Model

Scientifically structured conversations


The link between experience and engagement is simple. People's engagement levels are the outcome of their experiences at work, and more engaged people put in more effort. Employers care about engagement because it predicts future organizational performance, so designing a great employee experience is worthwhile. It drives results and creates a more happy and productive squad.

The Agile EX Genome project breaks Agile Employee Experience into three categories. These categories group the experiences that most impact a person's engagement. They are Culture and Environment, Fairness and Inclusion, and Well-being. Each of these categories has three topics, and each of those has a set of conversations that help people at work talk about their related experiences.

Engagement is in its own category outside of Employee Experience; it also has three topics that each have related conversations. The final area we look at is eNPS, which is specifically concerned with how likely people are to recommend their workplace.

Culture & Environment

Culture is your work community’s norms, practices and behaviours. It gives people a sense of your business’ purpose, values, expectations, and goals.

Environment is the combination of the physical workspaces, materials, systems, processes and even the other people that your squad uses throughout their work day.

Fairness & Inclusion

Fairness (also called organizational
justice) is the extent to which people think procedures, rewards and interactions at work are unbiased. Inclusion is how valued people feel at work, based on the way others treat them.

Fairness and Inclusion are comparative. At work, we compare how we are treated and what we experience with how others (in a similar position) are treated and what they experience.


Well-being refers to the psychological functioning of people in the workplace and is best described as a spectrum. Languishing people are on the left or negative end of the spectrum and flourishing on the right or positive end.

To enable people to flourish, you must provide them with health-protecting resources such as support, feedback, flexibility, safety, and security.

What’s different in the Agile version of the EX Genome Project

New Conversations

You’ll see that some of the questions in the Agile EX Genome have been tweaked to incorporate Agile terms while others remain unchanged. Although some of the terms and phrases are different, the questions still measure key aspects of employee experience within their associated categories and topics.

Email subject line and conversation updates

The email subjects and free-text conversation starters have been updated where required.

Some of the conversation starters now ask people questions about different aspects of working in a squad with the focus always on continuous improvement. This allows people to draw upon their personal Agile experiences and offer advice, raise concerns, ask questions, or propose solutions they may have.

Email subject lines have been updated so they align with the new Agile content.

Here’s an example. The term ‘team’ has been replaced with ‘squad’; however, both questions allow working people to have conversations about the same underlying topic: belonging.



Using this document

The Agile EX Genome Project shows you how to unlock each of the three key categories of employee experience: Culture & Environment, Fairness & Inclusion and Well-being, along with Employee Engagement and eNPS.

It is designed as a reference guide that:

  • Introduces each category and its relationship to employee experience

  • Explains each category’s importance to people at work

  • Breaks the categories into measurable parts, each with associated conversations

  • Gives managers and leaders practical tips for improving employee experience

    You don’t have to use Joyous to start these conversations: your squad communication or survey tool of choice will also work. Just make sure you collect insights and take action based on the feedback you collect!

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