Employees and HR have different views of the employee experience. For long-term success, organizations will need to close this gap.
People still make the world go around. Despite the major advances in automation over the past decade, our workforce is certainly far from mechanized, and real value still flows from the heartbeat of the world’s flesh-and-bone employees. We are experiential beings, and what happens to us and around us deeply affects our performance and motivation.
Yet it’s not just automation that’s advanced massively in the world of work over the last decade. Thanks to other incredible tech breakthroughs and the changes they’ve made to working realities, employees are interacting with their colleagues and their company in countless innovative new ways, whether that’s holding meetings via Microsoft Teams, staffing shifts through WhatsApp, or fitting working hours flexibly around childcare.
When the working world was turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic this year, that shift was further accelerated. Employers now realize the need to reimagine work – from recruitment and job evaluations to collaboration, perks, and the workplace itself – not just to reflect employees’ changing expectations, but to capitalize on them.
This sits at the heart of the employee experience, or EX. It’s something that those companies achieving exponential value and outperforming their competitors recognize and act on: putting humans at the center of the organization is key. When people come to work with purpose, when their voices are heard, when they feel invested in the work they are doing, then the entire organization performs better and respond to changes in the market more quickly. Match this with the ability to deploy technology at speed and scale innovation and you have the makings of a truly agile and transformative organization.
The importance of EX is something that HR and business leaders are increasingly acknowledging. A report titled: Is the employee experience you're delivering the one your people want? commissioned by EY, SAP SuccessFactors and Qualtrics and undertaken by Forrester evaluates the shifting EX landscape. The findings show that two years ago, a mere 9% of global HR decision-makers rated EX as the most important factor in their organization’s HR strategy. However, 35% said it will be the most important factor in two years’ time.
As further evidence of the rise of EX, our research indicates budgets are being re-allocated to support EX. Two years ago, 6% of HR budgets went toward EX initiatives, but within two years, that share is set to soar to 16%
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