Employee experience is coming into focus for many organizations and is emerging as a major priority for HR teams who want to build a better and more sustainable working experience for the future. However, there is still some confusion about exactly what employee experience is, and what needs to be done to improve it.
Building on our exceptional session with Simon Sinek, we wanted to find out exactly where we are with employee experience in 2021, so we commissioned a survey to gather the thoughts of over 7,000 employees around the world. In this post, we explore findings from the first global LiveTiles employee experience survey, with insights drawn from our free to download report.
Employee experience refers to the strength of emotional connection an individual feels towards the organization they work for, emerging from the experience that person has across all the touchpoints with their employer. It’s an exceptionally important topic, impacting everything from talent attraction and retention, to productivity, to customer experience. Employee experience is integral to the long-term success of any organization.
As the pandemic is hopefully entering its latter stages, there is an unprecedented opportunity to look at employee experience and make the kind of changes that will make work better in the long-term. Working patterns have been disrupted and fundamentally changed, and we have seen some degree of re-evaluation both from organizations and individuals. For employees, the result is a record number of voluntary resignations. For HR functions, this means new policies introducing hybrid working on a formal basis, an increased focus on wellbeing and more emphasis on listening. Anecdotally, we’re seeing this across multiple organizations – a trend which we find highly encouraging.
While any move to improve employee experience is positive, we wanted to get a sense of the scale of the task at hand. How do employees feel about their employers right now? What is their sense of connection? How has the pandemic impacted their experience of work?
Our survey consulted over 7,000 employees across seven major economies: Australia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, the UK and the USA, answering a detailed set of questions. Overall, the survey results make for sobering reading, and show that, collectively, we have a lot of work to do within employee experience. We believe having high-value data like this will help start conversations and trigger actions, encouraging organizations to embark on their employee experience journey.
In our survey report, we have identified five key trends:
1. We need to transform the experience of work
Employee experience is in a fragile and uncertain state, with results consistently showing high proportions of employees are stressed, disconnected and dissatisfied. For example, nearly half of all staff told us they are “fed up”, “stressed” and “exhausted”, while a further 43% have issues with felling ignored and invisible. The message is loud and clear – we need to transform the experience of work.
2. The pandemic has broken employee experience, and ‘the great resignation’ is the result
The pandemic has brought matters to a head. Employee experience has been badly bruised, resulting in record numbers of employees voluntarily leaving their posts. Our survey shows 37% of employees are now actively looking for a new job. The results also show that COVID-19 is very likely a contributing factor: compared to a year ago, over a third (34%) of employees are working more hours, while 28% agree that their job has become harder.
3. We’re collectively failing the frontline
We segmented our survey’s results by multiple factors including age, salary, sector and role. Our analysis reveals that frontline workers in sectors such as hospitality, retail, healthcare and mining are consistently more dissatisfied across multiple aspects of employee experience including stress, pay, flexibility and the digital workplace. We need a change in mindset to support our frontline employees.
4. Welcome to Generation Excluded
The survey also reveals another key demographic who are feeling disenchanted and disengaged – younger employees. Only 18% of 24- to 35-year-olds fully agree they feel valued at work, and 80% are not satisfied with their connection to their workplace’s organizational culture. Urgent action is needed to stop a generation feeling excluded from work.
5. The inhospitable sector
The confluence of all these trends can be seen in industries such as the hospitality sector. Here, 45% of staff report being either “stressed” or “exhausted”. 85% feel they are underpaid, and 77% think more could be done to improve work-life balance. A comprehensive rethink is needed here.
These findings only really scratch the surface. Digging deeper into the data, the report features detailed analysis across four areas – Day-to-day engagement, Connection & culture, Health & wellbeing and Pay & job security – and reveals multiple trends and eyebrow-raising results, including:
The LiveTiles global employee experience survey report is now available for free download.