Employee experience is more important than ever as organizations continue to climb back from the pandemic’s impact.
The notion of the employee experience, however, has expanded from longtime staples such as strong salaries and office perks to creating meaningful moments that make employees feel valued and connected to their company’s culture.
In the 2020 HR Sentiment Survey by Future Workplace, 50% of respondents ranked Employee Experience as their top initiative. This is followed closely by using technology to automate routine tasks and improve performance management.
What this shows us is there is a direct link between HR technologies and the employee experience. If organizations can better shape the employee experience by capitalizing on emerging HR tech, they will create a pipeline to attract and retain motivated talent for years to come.
Part of the renewed focus on the employee experience stems from the aftereffects of the pandemic. Remote employees are said to be working three more hours per day and increasing productivity levels. This is happening in addition to other home life responsibilities they are managing.
The result of this intense working environment is twofold. Some employees are experiencing burnout and depression but trying to stick it out, while others are actively seeking to jump ship. A recent survey shows 52% of employees plan to job hunt this year, up from 35% in 2020. Other data from SHRM reveals 46% of employees now feel less connected to their current employer, and 42% say company culture has dwindled during the pandemic.
At the nucleus of this turnover tsunami is a newfound push among employees to seek out companies that provide compelling employee experiences. The companies who are doing it best – L’Oreal and Humu come to mind – are leveraging technology to support their workforce.
In L’Oreal’s case, the beauty firm doubled down on its Learning Management System. It created a branded learning initiative that includes a range of spot-on classes that address employee needs like wellness, upskilling, and remote team management. The LMS upgrades work because they specifically meet employees with where they are at. For example, managers new to a work-from-home team environment could learn some of the basics needed to keep their team up and running and be prepared to assist their employees if an issue arose. And employees concerned about job security could help themselves by taking an upskill class that would make them more desirable to L’Oreal or a potential new employer.
At Humu, leadership recognized the importance of having HR technologies that don’t saddle managers with unforeseen and unnecessary tasks or complicated dashboards. Instead, they created a performance management system that facilitates work and transforms employee behavior, without becoming extra work itself. The company has seen as much as 10% to 15% improvements in productivity and 10% to 40% improvements in attrition through its simplified, yet targeted, performance management system.
Recruiting teams are leveraging artificial intelligence to help streamline the candidate experience. If organizations truly want to seize top talent during this turnover tsunami (or prevent top talent from leaving), AI is an imperative investment in your recruiting process. Screening capabilities allow you to customize questions to attract the right talent. Automated tools can aggregate and score applicants. Chatbots can schedule interviews, answer questions, and even deliver videos. In some cases, these AI recruiting tools can integrate with widely established Applicant Tracking System vendors, speeding up the inbound/outbound candidate experience even more.
As we move beyond the pandemic, ensuring employee safety will be critical to attracting skilled talent. Companies must work to make permanent the temporary measures they used to boost safety confidence in employees and customers while combining proven best practices in process, technology, and data to mitigate risk in the future. Investing in an end-to-end health and safety solution that accounts for virus protection now and provides tools to keep employees safe in the future, demonstrates the value your organization places on employee wellness. It’s an actionable way to rebuild connections with existing employees, retain your corporate culture, and recruit new talent.
Human resources has arguably seen more change than it has in the past 20 years combined during this pandemic. Navigating the impact of COVID-19 and the resulting remote work landscape has involved extraordinary effort on everyone’s part, but perhaps mostly for HR leadership and team members.
Human resources manages the very foundation your business is built upon. HR professionals have spent countless hours trying to maintain your company’s culture, even if all your employees have been working remotely. HR has been delivering much of the bad news to staff. Most importantly, though, HR is key to rebuilding your staff’s confidence in the “new normal,” whatever that may be for your business. In many cases, HR is the new link between department leaders, finding innovative solutions to bridge corporate culture and company policy with information technology and new safety solutions. Supporting your HR team by investing in available technologies helps them improve the employee experience, and in the end, protect your business’s bottom line.
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Writer. Digital marketer. Storyteller. An award-winning writer and editor, Tricia O'Connor is the Marketing Content Manager at EBI. Tricia worked as a broadcast and print journalist for nearly two decades writing and producing programming for high-profile networks like ESPN Radio, History Channel, and Hallmark Channel, as well as contributing editorial work to publications nationwide. Tricia joined the EBI marketing team in 2019 and is responsible for content strategy, development, and engagement. Tricia earned a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and is a proud undergraduate alumna of Wheaton College in Massachusetts.