6 New Year’s Predictions From Our Employee Experience Experts
What do employees want, expect and value most from employers?
That’s the question every employee experience expert is determining as we approach 2023. What employees look for in their daily experiences has evolved quickly in the past few years. Savvy organizations are re-evaluating talent offerings beyond functional benefits (e.g., salary, bonuses, etc.) to create more engaging experiences.
We asked six ITA Group experts to predict the top 2023 trends in employee experience strategy. They analyzed industry data and considered what they’re hearing from clients to compile a list of predictions for the new year.
1. Acting on Employee Survey Results
If you’re like many of our clients, you’ve sent out three times as many surveys this year than the previous two years combined. Why is that?
We believe it’s because of shifts in what employees want from their employers and the velocity of that change. Organizations tried to keep up with changing desires, but couldn’t fully know what employees wanted until they asked—so more surveys were sent out. But that was last year.
This year, the simple act of “asking” might not be enough. Organizations that prove they listened to employee feedback through provable action, changes and investments in the employee experience will foster stronger purpose and alignment to the organization’s mission.
At ITA Group, we often say we can be the PR for HR. Here’s a potentially sobering question to consider as you create communications and plans for 2023: Have you thought about and formalized the PR of your listening efforts?
Related: The data from employee surveys provides invaluable insights. Discover 6 ways to analyze survey results quickly and use the findings to improve employee engagement.
2. Connecting Initiatives Through Meaningful Communications
Right now in the employee experience space, conversations are buzzing on many topics—on everything from evolving benefit offerings to formalizing ESG policies to navigating how employees are increasingly seeking organizations whose values connect to their personal senses of purpose.
At first glance, these initiatives might feel separate, but they have common ties. The most successful employee experience programs connect the dots for team members so they can see how the whole strategy comes together.
Employees want to understand their organization’s mission, be engaged with their daily work and advocate for their organization to others. Streamlined communications that simplify these complex topics and are readily available no matter where employees work enable employees to do all that and more.
3. Engaging Employees in an Increasingly Hybrid Workforce
After the pandemic shifted how we work and with Gen Z emerging in the workforce, hybrid work is here to stay. According to ADP Research Institute, 64% of the workforce would consider looking for a new job if they were required to work in the office full time.
It’s more important than ever for organizations to use technology to keep employees connected with each other and the organizational culture. Research from McKinsey & Company supports that personal relationships still matter for employees, and organizations were able to achieve a 55% improvement in employee engagement by recognizing employees through nonfinancial means. Dedicated technology and employee experience platforms can remove proximity bias and help drive engagement in the hybrid workforce through personalized nudges and recognitions where they’re needed most.
4. Balancing Employee & Employer Needs Through Behavioral Reinforcement
Employees currently have the upper hand in the employment contract, and it’s creating a competitive talent marketplace. Many employees want work/life freedom (including flexible work hours and remote work), which some organizations see as harmful to productivity and results.
How do you engage employees while allowing flexibility? Start by clearly identifying and educating employees on the cultural and business behaviors needed to succeed. Wherever possible, use data to track key business behaviors and align those behaviors to goals and incentives. If there are behaviors that need to be engrained in how employees do their work, reinforce those behaviors through recognition.
The magic happens when leaders and employees all know what matters. Align incentives and recognition to reinforce key behaviors and drive the success and organizational culture both employees and employers crave.
5. Increasing Personalization
Mirroring how consumers are increasingly accustomed to highly personalized experiences, team members now expect personalized employee experiences. Homepage layouts, communication cadences, awards that meet their personal preferences, engagement messaging and dashboard data are all being segmented by employee role, down to the individual employee.
Taking a hyper-personalized approach to employee experience strengthens program outcomes and keeps employees engaged because they perceive the information provided to them as relevant and tailored only to them.
6. Growing Employee Experience Interest in Europe & APAC
In 2023, we're predicting more interest for in-region employee experience programs in Europe and Asia-Pacific. Traditionally, programs are pushed from North America outward, sometimes even being forced upon the global workforce for international organizations. Now, we're seeing organic growth in employee engagement initiatives in Europe, the Middle East and APAC.
Based on what we're hearing from partners and prospects, the growth is being driven by the fact that employees from these regions—especially younger employees—have the same engagement concerns as those in North America (turnover, remote work, need for advancement opportunity, work/life balance, etc.).
There isn’t one simple global answer to what will attract and retain talent. With workforces more diverse than ever, the key to retention is knowing employees, listening to them and personalizing touchpoints to ensure they feel valued. As an organization, it’s critical to have a clear employer brand and employee value proposition. It should articulate to potential talent and existing employees alike why they should choose and stay with your organization.
The Key to Success in 2023 & Beyond: Understand the Needs of Employees
One key feature ties together all the trends—listening to employees and acting on their feedback. Employees across the globe want employers to support them as they restructure their relationship with work. In today’s market, you must be employee centric to be a top employer of choice and create the strongest employer value proposition possible for your organization.
When creating your action plan, it’s critical to communicate to employees that you heard their feedback, and explain why you’re bringing new benefits, resources and policies to the table to support them. And don’t stop at launch! Communicate year-round through learning opportunities, personalized messages, and helpful nudges to improve employee engagement and build trust in your employer brand.
Looking for ways to bolster your employer brand throughout 2023? Implement the four key elements to support ongoing branding efforts, and you’ll be off to a good start.