Company leaders are beginning to recognise that celebrating employees’ accomplishments and valuing their feedback are essential in managing and supporting engaged and productive staff, maintaining morale and motivation, and reducing the risk of burnout.
However, there remains a significant percentage of employees who still feel undervalued and unheard in their workplace.
As many as 75% of employees feel that they would choose to work for an employer who regularly asked for feedback over those who did not, reveals findings of the second annual Workforce Experience Gap study by workforce management system WorkForce Software.
While 61% of employees reported regular feedback loops ranging from every three months to anytime in the moment via mobile device, 33% reported they provided feedback either once a year or never, indicating some organisations are still isolating their employees through outdated processes.
The study indicates organisations are more aware of their employees’ needs, but still lag in taking action to address them.
Employee experience starts and ends with company leaders and it’s essential for employees to be given the proper tools to be successful. To create moments that matter at work every day, company leaders must remember to:
- Enable better work/life balance with flexible schedules and rosters, streamlined time-off request and approval processes, and make sure employees’ voices are heard.
- Set employees up for success with streamlined communication, knowledge sharing, and clear expectations before they arrive for work each day.
- Create consistently meaningful moments at work by getting employee feedback, ensuring they have all the tools they need to do their jobs, and recognising when they are at risk of burnout and need a break.
Closer alignment in employer-employee views was found in areas such as job training, pay rates, schedule flexibility, and employee recognition.
The key finding in this year’s report is that most of the reduction in perception gaps was due to employers reducing their scores, indicating a recognition that they were fulfilling employee expectations.
Managers and employees value shift-scheduling, flexibility
Most managers and employees agree that schedule flexibility is essential to job satisfaction. However, many reported that their companies do not offer a flexible, predictable, and accessible scheduling process - making it difficult for these employees to feel they have control in their personal and professional lives.
- 79% of employees surveyed say they would prefer an organisation that offered more flexibility over one that did not.
- 39% of employees and 43% of managers report that their companies do not offer flexible scheduling.
- 55% of employees experience changes in shift patterns weekly.
- Only 25% report that their organisations utilise online scheduling software.
- The reduction in the gap in employer and employee perceptions on flexible scheduling was due to 82% of employers reporting they offered flexible scheduling in 2021 versus only 56% reporting they did in 2022.
Organisations underestimate importance of digital, mobile training options
There is a clear disconnect in how organisations provide job training information compared to their employees’ preferences when it comes to receiving it. Despite the growing number of digital natives in the workforce, organisations are under-utilising mobile technology to support their employees.
- 18% of employees report that they rely on fellow team members’ knowledge on how to complete work tasks, and 21% must still locate physical employee-only areas like employee break rooms to access documents and guides.
- 46% of employees say they would prefer to receive training and information via mobile phone, yet only 20% receive this training option from their organisations.
- New to this year's study, employees and employers were asked for feedback on workplace communication, revealing a need for mobile solutions. While 45% of employees prefer to use a single mobile app for workplace communications, only 14% reported having access to an integrated mobile solution.
The dramatic changes in work following the pandemic and the current labour market have had a major impact on the importance of workplace experience, forcing company leaders to shift their HR strategies to address new requirements from employees.
Some of these business pivots have created a disconnect among employers and their staff. This disconnect is especially true for deskless/shift workers who make up 80% of the global workforce and play an essential role in nearly every industry.
Company initiatives continually overlook these workers, despite their significance, and underscores the importance of keeping a pulse on essential workers in order to implement modern, meaningful ways to bolster both employee experience and operational excellence.
“As the workplace continues to evolve, it’s imperative that employees and employers grow closer in meeting expectations when it comes to the workplace experience. Understanding your employees’ needs and addressing them in a way that supports business requirements will result in a more productive and motivated workforce and will help retain and recruit top talent across all levels and job roles,” said Mike Morini, CEO of WorkForce Software.
Morini added that organisations that continue to work towards closing the experience gap will benefit immensely. “A company’s greatest asset is the employees, so ensuring you are on the same page as they are and working towards a common goal is extremely important in today’s competitive market.”
This global survey was conducted by Pollfish on behalf of WorkForce Software in Q2 2022 and includes responses by 1,684 employees and 1,701 employers from a wide range of industries across eight countries.