One of the few things you can count on in the business world is change.
Markets change, technologies change, and consumer tastes change. Once upon a time, Amazon started as an online bookseller, 8-track players were considered cutting edge, and AOL’s dial-up Internet access was the coolest thing.
But the most successful companies have always been the ones that could adapt and change to better serve their customers. (See Amazon.)
Today, the best companies stay competitive by placing as much importance on serving employees as they do customers. Employee experience is the next frontier in business innovation, and companies that can create the best, most attractive workplace culture will garner the top talent and out-perform their competition.
For much of American history, business culture has followed the lead of a now obscure German sociologist Max Weber – whether or not organizations even realized it. Weber published studies at the turn of the 20th century arguing that highly organized bureaucracies with clear hierarchies were the most optimal way to run businesses. Weber’s influence is still being felt more than100 years later. And that was fine when organizations held the upper hand and managed labor that performed repetitive factory work.
But that was then, this is now.
Today’s employees are more educated, mobile and connected than at any other time in history. The rise of “deskless workers” means that they don’t even have to show up to an office every day. “Going to work” can mean just sitting down at the coffee shop or the kitchen table. Much of the power has shifted to the workers in the modern economy.
Top companies have recognized this. They know that to succeed, they now need to work just as hard to attract and retain top talent as they do to meet their quarterly goals. This is because the world has changed, and workers now have more employment choices.
Here are five reasons why.
1. 89 percent of Employers Think Employees Leave Because Of Money, But Only 12 percent Actually Do.
Workers today want more than just an employer that grants two weeks of paid vacation and maybe an annual raise. They’re looking for an organization that can provide emotional gratification as well as a paycheck. Just look at this graph showing the rising trend in Google searches for “work-life balance.”
In fact, 92 percent of employees say employer empathy is a factor in the length of employment. According to a study released by businessolver.com, 80 percent would work more hours, and 60 percent would take a pay cut to work for a more empathetic employer
What constitutes empathetic behavior? It goes beyond casual Fridays, dog-friendly workplaces, or free snacks. Employees are looking for flexible work schedules, such as opportunities to work from home, and personalized communication methods. Women, who now make up the majority of bachelor’s degree graduates, said that making time for one-on-one talks about work challenges made for a more empathetic workplace and overall better employee experience.
2. In 2017, Nearly One in Five Employees, Especially Millennials, Reported Leaving Their Jobs Due to Poor Employee Experience
Between 10 and 25 percent of new hires leave within six months.
“Especially for Millennials, company culture is key to job satisfaction, and companies must ensure they are correctly portraying the culture during the recruiting and onboarding processes,” said Tim Powell, managing director, ANZ, in a recent survey conducted by the Futurestep division of Korn Ferry. Communication was a major issue. Nearly all respondents agreed that communication channels between new and existing employees helped new employees learn about the organization as well as give the existing employees different viewpoints.
Millennials will make up the majority of the workforce in just a few years. Losing a significant chunk of the workforce every six months puts an enormous strain on a company’s resources. U.S. companies alone are losing an $11 billion annually due to employee turnover. And unless employers step up their engagement efforts, including their approach to internal communication, that number will only go up.
3. 90 Percent of Companies Are Seeing More Competition for Job Seekers
According to a report by Mercer, 90 percent of companies are reporting an increase in competition for skilled workers – especially in the North American technology sector. Since compensation can only go so high, and perks like gym memberships and snack delivery can only go so far, companies now are competing on employee experience. In fact, 83 percent are reporting that employee experience factors into their success. Titles like “Head of Employee Experience” or “Employee Experience Manager” are becoming more common and companies step up efforts in recruiting and retaining top performing employees.
4. 73 percent of Internet Traffic Will Come from Mobile Phones by 2020. Only 33 Percent of Employees Visit the Company Intranet.
Improved communication is one fundamental way to enhance the employee experience. But many companies are still stuck using outdated methods. BYOD (bring your own device) policies are becoming more and more popular with Millennial-aged workers because they expect to have the “latest and greatest” technology on the job. More agile companies are taking notice. They are investing in mobile communication apps and programs. These apps serve as an extension of the traditional corporate intranet – or replace it. They deliver timely, personalized communication that helps employees feel more engaged and connected to their organization and colleagues.
5. A Great Employee Experience Creates Engaged Employees. Companies with Engaged Employees Outperform Competitors by More Than 200 Percent
The most compelling reason to invest in employee experience is the extraordinary impact it has on the bottom line. According to Gallup, companies with engaged employees outperform others by 202 percent. Engaged employees – who feel like their personal goals, skills, and ambitions align with the company – is the ultimate goal for crafting a great employee experience. When employees are happy on the job, they are more emotionally invested in their work. It’s not hard to imagine how focusing on creating great experiences for employees makes good business sense, too.
Employee Experience is becoming more important in 2019 – and beyond.
Employee experience and employee experience design are more than just Human Resource buzzwords. They are a way for companies to create a win-win situation for their organization and their employees. By crafting a workplace where employees feel heard, valued, and appreciated, they become more productive.
One common theme in creating an employee experience framework is more open and effective communication. When management can better communicate with employees, and teams can better connect with each other, clear goals and guidelines can be set.
Employees expect a more personalized mode of communication that’s relevant to their daily jobs. Millennials expect their companies to communicate with them using their mobile devices. This is why investing in a mobile communication platform should be a central part of an employee experience strategy that keeps the modern worker happy and engaged.