For several years now, there has been an increased focus on meaningful work. Sometimes attributed to the number of millennials in the workplace, people are now looking for more than just a wage in return for their commitment and loyalty.
Collectively, our needs have become known as ‘employee experience’ and a 2019 survey by Deloitte showed that 84% of respondents rated this as an important issue, with 28% saying it was one of the three most urgent issues facing their organisation.
So why has employee experience become so important and how can you prioritise it as we continue to embrace the new normal?
1. The New Differentiator
Market sectors are becoming more competitive and our always-on world makes it harder for brands to stand out from the crowd. The things that move an organisation from good to great are becoming more niche. Research has shown that enterprises with the best employee experiences achieve twice the innovation, double the customer satisfaction and 25% higher profits than those with poor employee experience scores.
But it is still a new concept and very few businesses feel ready and able to address it.
If burnout and wellbeing were issues before 2020, then surely our focus on them must be a priority in 2021 and beyond. The coronavirus pandemic has added a whole new layer of stress into people’s lives, put extra pressure on us at home and at work and even removed some of the basic needs we have as humans, such as a sense of belonging.
To continue to evolve, businesses need to be able to cope with increased responsibility in terms of managing employees’ physical and mental health. There is a real need for regular dialogue to bridge remote working situations and a requirement to train everyone within the organisation in how to support themselves and others.
For your business to thrive, your people must thrive, so investing in solutions to help you manage employee experience is critical.
2. What Does Your Brand Stand For?
Just as our increased adoption of technology can help businesses to implement seamless onboarding, staff development and performance management, so the plethora of public platforms mean our brands are always in the public eye.
Your employees will all be using social media regularly and this is where a positive employee experience can really pay off. We know that prospective customers look at content before deciding on a vendor, and that they prefer authentic content rather than brand broadcasts. Your employees will speak out about their experience of work and can become fantastic brand ambassadors if this content is positive.
These ‘internal influencers’ also help when it comes to recruitment, with referral-based hires increasing which reportedly convert 55% more quickly, cost less to recruit, are quicker to onboard and stay longer in the organisation, according to research by Jobvite.
Add to this the proven statistic that organisations with connected employees enjoy 20-25% greater productivity (McKinsey) and investing in improving your employee experience starts to look as though it will pay for itself.
3. Sustainability Means Success
Another focus for forward-thinking businesses is the idea of building a culture of sustainability. Described as a business which has minimal negative impact – or even a positive impact – on their global or local environment, community, society or economy, a sustainable business strives to achieve so much more than simply delivering profit.
Contributing to a healthier future for our planet, as well as our people, is no longer a choice. Putting this goal at the heart of your business will certainly help attract and retain customers but it will also mean the best talent wants to work for you.
There is a strong school of thought that the sustainability route is the only one available for any businesses who want to remain competitive.
According to HSBC’s Made for the Future Report 66% of business say they will be improving their internal practices, recognising that a huge part of becoming sustainable is down to having healthier employees. Investment in systems and solutions that allow greater visibility of everything from employee wellbeing to supply chain credentials is therefore an early necessity.
Achieving a highly positive employee experience – and maintaining or growing it in the future – is clearly a priority for any business with their sights set on continued success. The pandemic has illustrated the need to adapt and adopt when it comes to technology and AI, resulting in a definite uptick in implementation across all market sectors.
Now is the time for strategic planning to include the technology solutions that will enable competitive growth, in-depth analysis of data and a better understanding of how your business and your people are performing.
If you’d like to find out how technology like SAP SuccessFactors can help you achieve your employee experience goals, let’s talk.
In the meantime, check out our latest guide on the crucial role that HR technology plays in today’s new normal.
Find out about the crucial role HR technology plays in today’s new normal with our Free Guide to HR Technology and Employee Experience