Why These Global Employee Experience Trends Are So Important
Over the past year and a half, the world of work has gone through massive changes. Companies have had to attempt to navigate previously uncharted territory mapped out by the pandemic.
Although a lot has changed in just over a year, the importance of the employee experience hasn’t. Ensuring that employees’ needs are being met has been shown to boost engagement and productivity and a host of other benefits for companies. Read on to find out what the latest global employee experience trends are and why they are so important as well as how businesses can implement them.
5 Global Employee Experience Trends
1) Focus on Employee Well-being
The Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on healthcare systems worldwide, but it has also impacted the mental health of workers on the frontline of the pandemic.
For this reason, promoting employee well-being is essential. In a survey of 1099 employees, it was found that people living with a member of a vulnerable workforce during the pandemic, such as a healthcare worker, were most affected by symptoms of depression. These symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, burnout and exhaustion.
According to the study, it is the employers’ responsibility to “double down against stigmas [associated with mental health] and guarantee employees know of the resources, benefits and accommodations available”.
Businesses can do this by offering mental health resources like webinars or wellness surveys that employees can access on their mobile devices. This way, these resources can more easily reach non-desk employees. Companies can also use technology to make employees aware of licensed counsellors and perhaps even offer a mental health-related rebate.
2) Ask for Feedback and Implement It
During times where there is a lot of stress and upheaval, employees want to feel like they are being heard. Knowing that they have an outlet to discuss their grievances and concerns can significantly reduce stress levels and make employees feel valued. But listening to employees’ feedback and failing to take action can be just as bad for employee morale as not doing anything at all.
According to one study, one of the top 2020 global employee experience trends was for companies to “ask for feedback, often, listen, and take action”.
According to the study, two out of three employees who had the opportunity to give feedback indicated that it was “very important” for their employers to listen. However, only 35% of these employees indicated that their feedback was actioned.
The study’s results showed that feedback programs that implemented employee suggestions dramatically improved employee engagement.
3) Gain data-driven insights
It can be difficult for large organisations to keep track of their workforce, even without the added complications of the pandemic. This is why companies are increasingly investing in tools that assess the engagement of their employees, particularly when it comes to frontline staff.
According to a report by Gartner, 16% of the over 800 companies that were surveyed said that they were using technology to “help them monitor internal communications and enable employees to virtually clock in and out”.
This real-time data-driven feedback is an invaluable way to understand employee engagement and help to improve the company’s internal communications strategy. Using multiple monitoring tools, companies can gather data-backed insights and turn them into actionable steps for improvement.
4) Digitising the Frontline Workforce
Frontline staff are distributed across multiple locations and even timezones; because of this, they are frequently left out of internal communications. In fact, only 1% of the $300 billion spent annually on workplace software goes toward technology for frontline workers. The paradox is that these workers are often the most dependent on internal communications.
Changing from a traditional top-down communication strategy to a more cross-functional approach is essential to ensure that relevant and helpful information reaches frontline employees. It can also boost productivity by cutting down on time spent relaying or searching for information.
This is why having a dedicated app where employees can communicate with each other and their managers, and have access to critical company policies, is imperative for the success of any business with widely dispersed frontline workers.
5) Invest in Employees at All Levels
Companies often make the mistake of investing in senior-level employees while ignoring employees further down the hierarchical structures. This not only contributes to a less engaged workforce but a higher staff turnover rate too.
Staff turnover is a considerable expense for organisations. According to Gallup, “the cost of replacing an employee can range from one and a half to two times the employee’s annual salary – and that’s a conservative estimate”. But, high staff turnover is not only bad for a company’s bottom line, it also affects employee morale.
One way to reduce staff turnover is by ensuring employees at all levels feel valued. If companies invest in their staff by providing opportunities for upskilling, it not only ensures that employees are more knowledgeable and capable of performing their roles but also increases motivation. It is a mutually beneficial investment for all.
So, how can companies start implementing these employee experience trends?
Companies need to invest in their employees, not just with short-term engagement efforts like pay raises and bonuses, but by focusing on employee mental health, encouraging development, and improving lines of communication. When these long-term efforts are focused on, employee retention has also been shown to increase.
Identifying the relevant employee experience trends to invest in and implementing them can be done in phases. Start small and schedule frequent check-ins and feedback sessions to make sure everything is on track.