Employers Know They Have Work to Do With Experience

Modern Office

The Covid-19 pandemic has sharpened employers’ focus on employee experience, with more than nine in 10 of them (94%) saying improving experience will be a top priority over the next three years. That’s up from 54% before the virus struck, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson.

The numbers hint that bosses and workers are of like minds when it comes experience—to a degree. A separate study by Eagle Hill Consulting said that 64% of American workers believe employee experience directly impacts their ability to serve customers. However, just 38% say their organization places a great deal of importance on employee experience and satisfaction.

The pandemic sharpened employers’ focus on employee experience, with most saying improving it will be a top priority over the next three years. #HR #HRTech Click To Tweet

Most employees said their feelings about their day-to-day work experience impacts their productivity (70%) and their ability to do meaningful work (69%). Willis Towers Watson found that most employers believe a positive employee experience drives engagement (82%), well-being (79%) and the ability to attract and retain talent (80%).

The Experience Ahead

Many companies believe adapting to the world after Covid will take time, and just 13% said the pandemic has receded enough to wind down related policies and programs. The remaining employers said they’ll be ready to get back to normal during 2021’s second half (59%) or later (28%).

While companies expect the proportion of employees working mostly remote will drop from 53% now to 20% in three years, they expect one in four workers to take advantage of hybrid work arrangements, up from the current 8%. 

“The pandemic exposed shortfalls in the employee experience at many organizations,” said Andy Walker, a WTW managing director. “Enhancing the employee experience has therefore become an imperative for employers, and it’s one that will take time and [addressing] present challenges many are not currently prepared to meet.”

Nearly eight in 10 employers (78%) recognize that new realities in the labor market will require a hybrid approach for many roles. However, only 52% are flexible about where or when work gets done. About half (49%) are in the process of reimagining careers to align with changes in the way work is accomplished, and only 31% are segmenting total rewards to account for a different workforce profile.  

Nearly three-quarters of organizations (73%) intend to focus on digitalization to fundamentally transform the employee experience over the next three years, WTW found. When asked to identify the areas that needed to improve, respondents cited diversity and inclusion (82%), manager training (61%), learning and development (59%) and leadership competencies (54%).

Suzanne McAndrew, WTW’s global head of talent advisory, data and software, said employers need to develop an employee experience strategy that supports their business strategy. “Then, they can turn to execution.”


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