In this article we examine the meaning of employee experience and how a high level of employee experience can affect the workplace, quality of output, and overall productivity. As you read on, think of how important employee experience is and what factors could potentially affect or be affected by this concept. But before we do, there is a real war for talent - take a look at the insights taken from the 2021 Work Trends Report.
To help organizations through the transition, the 2021 Work Trend Index outlines findings from a study of more than 30,000 people in 31 countries and analyses of trillions of productivity and labor signals across Microsoft 365 and LinkedIn.
“When you lose connections, you stop innovating. There are no new ideas getting in and groupthink becomes a serious possibility.” Dr. Nancy Baym, Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft
Here are a few of the findings and insights:
- Remote work has created new job opportunities for some, offered more family time, and provided options for whether or when to commute
- Over 40 percent of the global workforce is considering leaving their employer this year
- 46 percent planning to make a major pivot or career transition
- Remote job postings on LinkedIn increased more than five times during the pandemic
- Forty-six percent of remote workers we surveyed are planning to move to a new location this year because they can now work remotely
- People no longer have to leave their desks, house, or community to expand their careers, and it will have profound impacts on the talent landscape.
- Extreme flexibility and hybrid work will define the post-pandemic workplace. Employees want control of where, when, and how they work, and expect businesses to provide options
- 73 percent of workers surveyed want flexible remote work options to continue
- 67 percent are craving more in-person time with their teams
- Sixty-one percent of leaders say they’re “thriving” right now
- High productivity is masking an exhausted workforce (I think as companies roll out Teams, usage increases, and some of the data points below are skewed)
- Time spent in Microsoft Teams meetings has more than doubled (2.5X) globally
- The average Teams meeting is 10 minutes longer, up from 35 to 45 minutes year-over-year
- The average Teams user is sending 45 percent more chats per week and 42 percent more chats per person after hours
- 62 percent of Teams calls and meetings unscheduled or conducted ad hoc
- For Gen Z and people just starting in their careers, this has been a very disruptive time
- Collaboration trends in Microsoft Teams and Outlook show that interactions with our immediate team, or close networks, increased with the move to remote work. However, our interactions outside of that team, or distant networks, have diminished.
- Coworkers leaned on each other in new ways to get through the last year
- Talent is everywhere in a hybrid work world
- Remote opportunities are more attractive to diverse applicants
The way forward
- Create a plan to empower people for extreme flexibility
- Invest in space and technology to bridge the physical and digital worlds
- Combat digital exhaustion from the top
- Rebuilding social capital is a business imperative
- Rethink employee experience to compete for the best and most diverse talent
Conclusion - If we embrace extreme flexibility, follow data insights, and continue listening closely to employee needs, together we can create a better future of work for everyone.
Access the full report here
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Imagine that you are an employer or business owner of one of the most profitable companies globally. What do you envision your workplace to feel like? Is the employee experience unique, different from other organizations? Would key officers and human resources engage with employees to meet their needs and preferences? Do the working conditions, tools provided, job roles, and responsibilities ignite innovation, stimulate energy, cultivate community and reward your employees?
These are the thoughts of people who want to make sure that their business has set itself and its operations up for long-term success. This thought process begs the question: Does employee experience truly matter?
Yes, employee experience matters. The lifeblood of the organization is the people that work day-in and day-out to drive the business forward. Employers and management who understand this hold employee experience in high regard. Good employee experience yields good results. Great employee experience yields great output.
Others have even argued that the employee experience is much more important in this post-pandemic era than before. The almost instantaneous pivot to the work-from-home or remote work set-up has been an imposing challenge for employers and employees.
Travel and safety restrictions and reduced work capacity have made it more difficult for individuals to retain, or even find, jobs. COVID-19 has made it extremely vital for companies to know where they are going, and employee experience should be a major consideration. Non more so than the war for talent.
The phrase “employee experience” has been thrown around so frequently these days, but what does the term actually mean?
Employee experience has three key interpretations:
Employee experience refers to an employee’s observations and perceptions about his/her employment at a particular organization. The company’s physical workspace or work designation, the work-life balance the role allows, and the tools and technology needed to get the jobs done typically influence this experience.
The employee experience encapsulates what people encounter, observe, or feel throughout their working journey at any given organization. This experience is an expansive view of the relationship between the individual and the organization as a whole. However, the experience does not end when the employee resigns. The experience begins from onboarding up to post-resignation. After leaving, the employee becomes an alumnus of the company.
The concept of employee experience is the combination of three important factors, regardless of the company's scale or location. These are the organization’s culture, the physical environment, and the technological environment. Individually, these factors need to be enhanced or optimized. Together, they should have good synergy to enable employees to have a high level of job satisfaction and an even better level of employee productivity.
Check out - 50 Lessons Learned During 2020
In one of our videos over on our YouTube channel, what seems like a lifetime ago, I discussed the value of establishing a great employee experience, acknowledging employee contributions (both big and small), and simply recognizing employees' efforts and sacrifices.
I teamed up with our very good friend and channel regular, Alek Dincoff, an entrepreneur, expert project manager, and experienced voice actor. In this discussion, we talked about many things, including these three golden nuggets:
● Tip: Self-imposed deadlines can make or break your level of productivity for the day
● Establishing the organization’s mission and vision and carving these in the hearts and minds of employees
● Rapid developments in work tools and technology and how they are maximized by employers today
Visit our channel and watch the related video below for a deeper understanding of the employee experience, metrics and tools of measurement, and increasing job satisfaction and employee productivity:
Now for your thinking time - Take five minutes with pen and paper and answer the following questions:
Is employee experience truly relevant?
How important is it these days as compared to before?
In your line of work, do you think your company or industry has guidelines or protocols established to ensure value and reward systems for jobs that are done well?
What other topics or issues can you think of that are related to the employee experience?
Join our discussion on our Discord server via the following link: https://discord.gg/gbJ9Ta78JG
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