The HR Trend to Watch: Reshaping the Employee Experience
If you can remember a time before Covid-19, when we travelled for business, dined out for meetings, and cross-commuted for meetings, it may seem like a lifetime ago. And even with an end in sight, many experts agree that the ‘new normal’ has paved the way for a new employee experience for us all.
Fast-forward to 2021, and the new employee experience today involves daily Zoom calls, remote team catch ups, and virtual ‘team bonding’ activities. In short, our daily lives have migrated into an online contactless experience.
New starters have joined teams they’ve never met, while leavers host goodbye parties from the comfort of their sofas, never quite getting the send-off they deserve. We know it won’t be forever, but we also know things won’t go back to how they were either. So then, what does the future hold for the workplace culture and why is employee experience important anyway?
Why is Employee Experience Important?
Every organisation has an employee experience framework reflecting its values and business needs. The employee experience is an all-encompassing term the sums up every employee touchpoint from the equipment provided to work interactions and all that’s in between. Since it forms part of the employee culture and workplace environment, it can unpin how a company operates, and sets the tone for how we act, behave and are perceived as an organisation.
With a growing millennial workforce opting for employment in companies that share their values, the time is upon us to review the employee experience and bring it into the current era.
The Future of the Employee Experience
Looking to the future, there’s already a number of practices in place to support the evolution of the employee experience framework. Some of these, which you can expect to see more of in the year ahead, are as follows:
Continuing to invest in technology
Providing the right tools may be one of the greatest priorities, especially given the necessity for remote working. Companies should not take for granted that all members have access to WiFi, or even laptops or a comfortable space to work.
Proven to increase productivity by 25 per cent, having the right tools is something that can no longer be ignored. It was even named one of the greatest barriers to productivity in a recent survey, which found that 11 per cent of home workers don’t have the right tools for carrying out their jobs remotely.
Putting employees first
Say goodbye to the nine-to-five, because experts predict a shift in the way we work, with less focus on working hours and greater emphasis on achieving goals. It’s likely that ‘working hours’ will be replaced by other measurable objectives, and the view that ‘getting the job done’ will be more important than clocking in and out at certain times. In other words, progress.
AI will come into its own
Rather than replace people, experts predict that artificial intelligence (AI) will come into its own this year, helping us better achieve our goals. This may be helping to implement social distance measures or undertaken administration on our behalf. In any case, it will add value to the employee experience.
Not to forget the role that wellbeing plays in all of this. With a shift to home working, employers have grown to recognise the importance of supporting colleagues in their personal lives, be it through better childcare, flexible working, or time-off to pursue other interests. Undoubtedly, it’s an area of great focus for the year ahead. Read about The Focus On Wellbeing In The Age of Covid.
At a time when we’ve never been more apart, coming together will become a high priority for businesses, with a greater emphasis on the employee experience in the months ahead.
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