Measuring Arsenal’s Employee Experience

Is Arsenal’s Employee Experience Premier League quality?

There are a couple of big football tournaments happening right now, and whilst football may not be your thing, employee experience probably is.


We tried to apply our methodology to Taylor Swift’s Eras tour… but without talking to her directly, it was impossible. And we just simply can’t get hold of her.

Sporting organisations are well known for their reliance on data and insight, and football (or soccer if you’re not from round our way), and so we’ve taken our data-led methodology to see what to value of the employee experience is like at Arsenal.

As all limited companies (over a certain size) have to publish their financial information, this gives us the information we need to assess their Employee Experience.

How do you value an Employee Experience?

We believe that there has to be a balance between how much value a business gets from its people, and how much value it gives back to its people.  We call this Mutual Lifetime Value. It’s a measure of the equitable relationship, and when we combine it with data that isn’t publically available, gives an incredible snapshot of the impact of Employee Experience.

So as a bit of fun, we thought we would run Arsenal Holdings data through our model, to see what the commercial value of their Employee Experience is.

So…. what’s Arsenal’s Mutual Lifetime Value?

In 2022/2023, Arsenal got £1.99 of lifetime value for every £1 they spent on lifetime value for their people.

This means their Mutual Lifetime Value is 1:1.99

This chart shows how much Arsenal made for every £1 spent over their people since 2018/19.

What this shows us is that there was a dip during the Covid-19 pandemic, understandably as the football club still had to pay salaries and maintenance (even with the furlough scheme), but were unable to get their normal revenue from matches and events. It’s worth pointing out that at their lowest, they had 634 staff, compared to 724 before the pandemic and 723 most recently.

It’s well known that (male) footballers get paid ludicrous money. Arsenal will be pleased to know that despite the high salaries, they get a higher return on investment from their players in comparison to the rest of their employees (£2.22 as opposed to £1.68).

As Arsenal is spending more on their people, their league position is improving. Now we know correlation doesn’t equal causation, but we’ll just leave this one here, next to their Mutual Lifetime Value…

This all sounds good… doesn’t it?

There’s certainly some good news for Arsenal here in that their league position is advancing, and they’re generally making higher turnover each year.

But there are a few things that might make them stop and pause.

1:2 isn’t an ideal ratio for Mutual Lifetime Value. We’ve worked with companies with an excellent Employee Experience who have a Mutual Lifetime Value of 1:3 – for every £1 they spend on their people they make £3 back.

1:2 isn’t even the real ratio, because it doesn’t take into account all the other value that Arsenal gives its employees outside of salary, for example, benefits or professional development. We could only take publicly available data, so unfortunately these aren’t captured.

We would expect the Mutual Lifetime Value of a good Employee Experience to be higher.

This could be indicative of a few things:

  1. Maybe there’s a lot of people not doing a lot at Arsenal. Productivity could be low for multiple reasons and usually, we’d pair this commercial data with engagement data, to explore any correlations.
  2. Arsenal have some incredibly high salaries that are skewing the data, even excluding the player salaries. The average (mean) lifetime salary excluding the data is £246,000. When we work with clients we take the median salary, to paint a truer picture.

How to improve employee engagement?

Naturally, the next step with any company is to a deeper dive into their finances and the human impact they are having on their employees. Only then are we able to draw definitive conclusions about their Employee Experience.

Do you want us to take this approach for your company, and provide you with an ongoing measurement framework to define and design your Employee Experience strategy? Then get in touch!

A great place to start is to gather the data together to work out if your employees are engaged.

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