While HR has become more indispensable than ever over the last 18 months, a significant challenge - and opportunity - awaits people leaders and teams in 2022. That is, keeping their seat at the leadership table.
2020 was a watershed year for work, work-life, and workers. And still today, many organisations are confronting the question of exactly what their employee experience needs to look like– now & in the future. It means there is a significant need to refine and enhance employee experience programs to meet employees’ rapidly evolving and diverse needs.
The new world of work offers an opportunity for HR leaders to design and continually improve the employee experience in ways that respect individual differences—home lives, skills and capabilities, mindsets, personal characteristics, and other factors—while also adapting to rapidly changing circumstances. The good news is that with advances in listening techniques, behavioural science, advanced analytics, two-way communication channels, and other technologies, leaders can now address employee experience in a more targeted and dynamic way. While drilling down on which employees need more and varied types of support, they can also tailor actions that create widely shared feelings of well-being and cohesion across the workforce.
However, the challenge lies in not just about asking for feedback and capturing the employees’ pulse but taking action on the results. And the value of doing so is far-reaching. According to Qualtrics research, it was found that companies who act well on feedback have twice the engagement score than those that don’t — 80% vs. 40%.
EX is critical to business priorities, and to increase overall organisational performance.
The other challenge that HR teams need to immediately focus on is the Great Resignation. Businesses are facing a staggeringly high quit rate and a record-high number of unfilled positions. According to a report, workers in all job categories, from customer-facing service roles to highly professional positions, are actively or passively job hunting at roughly the same rate. According to Gallup, it's not an industry, role or pay issue. It's a workplace issue because the highest quit rate is among not engaged and actively disengaged workers. Considering that most of the currently employed are not engaged, each new hire is liable to land on a less-than-engaging team and probably won't stay long. That's a self-defeating cycle, but it can be interrupted and the most effective interrupter is the local manager.
Another challenge that we see merging in the space of creating the right EX for your employees is getting them back to the office and ensuring their safety. With the recent news of FDA vaccine approval, many companies, governments and schools are creating new policies around vaccinations, masks and testing. However, most organizations do not have systems in place to securely capture and organize this kind of information. Regardless of how organizations decide to enact new policies—whether it’s vaccination mandates, mandatory masks, or others—it is critical for leaders to be aware of the status of COVID-19 among employees so proper protective measures can be put in place.
Here is a blueprint that you can follow to improve your EX by notches:
Building your EX Blueprint
For 18 months, employees worldwide have been working from home, but not everyone has shifted to remote work. The workforce – and business model – is in flux. As per a study, with a shift in a hybrid workplace, most employees are experiencing isolation, burnout, and disengagement. Hence, it becomes imperative for organizations to prioritize regularly listening across the entire organization.
So, the first & foremost step is to capture the right pulse of employees:
Developed by Qualtrics I/O psychology experts, the Remote + On-site Work Pulse XM Solution provides two methods for pulsing the workforce:
The Quick Check-In
If you are looking for a simple, quick way to assess how your employees are feeling overall, take a Quick Check-In approach which is a short two-question pulse to help you quickly assess workforce morale and well-being.
The Full Remote + On-site Evaluation
The Full Remote + On-site Evaluation helps you understand employee needs as they adapt to changing work environments whether remote or on-site. The evaluation includes about 30 questions on the key topics that matter for employees right now– workforce support & balance, leadership, communication, remote work enablement, on-site safety.
The second key area while working on your EX strategy is focusing on taking action on the feedback. According to the 2021 Employee Experience Trends by Qualtrics, it was found that 92% of the respondents believe it’s important their company listens to feedback but only 7% said that their company acts on feedback really well.
Whether the results of your pulse are outstanding, or mediocre, or appalling, your team has an opportunity to take the right actions. Through employee discussions, validate the feedback and ensure that employees see that their feedback is being listened to and, where possible, addressed. If issues cannot be actioned, acknowledge them and be open about what is – and is not – possible.
Managers’ effectiveness & belongingness
Managers continue to play a pivotal role in organizations – this is especially the case during the pandemic where the role of managers is even more critical to support and help their team members adapt quickly and overcome challenges. Feeling valued as part of a team and having open communication matter a lot too – both qualities that managers can embody in their behaviour and reward in their teams.
These were just a few areas you can focus on to prioritize the EX in your organization. To maximise the success of the experience transformations it’s critical HR and people leaders align their programs with business priorities. This will help demonstrate the full impact of the work undertaken to ensure HR maintains its critical position at the leadership table.
To help you build a world-class employee experience program that helps increase employee loyalty, productivity, wellbeing, and inclusion, Qualtrics has created a dedicated two-hour masterclass that equips you with the tools to create a blueprint for a world-class employee experience program. Be sure to secure your place today as these masterclasses will not be available on-demand. Click here to register.