We ignore employee experience at our peril

Organisations should treat their 'Generation Me' employees as well as they treat customers... or risk losing them.

by MT Staff
Last Updated: 17 Jan 2018

More than half of chief executives and directors admit that their organisations care less about employee experience than the quality of service they give to their customers, according to new research by Management Today and Sopra Steria.

Since companies like AirBnB, Harrods and Virgin began retitling the chief HR officer as head of employee experience, the term employee experience has gone beyond the lexicon of HR conferences and become an agenda item of strategic importance in a growing number of organisations. Early adopters of employee experience projects and initiatives are seeking to build corporate cultures that are not only customer-focused but also employee-focused.

Yet two thirds of the UK CEOs and directors surveyed in the MT/Sopra Steria poll confess that they have not appointed a head of employee experience or someone with specific accountability for it, and more than half admit they don’t have a clear employee experience strategy in place – squandering the opportunities to have a more engaged, energised and productive workforce.

With the economic uncertainty of Brexit and possible talent crunches and skill shortages ahead, employers ignore at their peril Generation Me employees who demand the same quality of experience as customers. Indeed, separate research published this month confirms that it is workers under the age of 35 who are the most likely to leave their job in the annual January ‘job exodus’.

The MT/Sopra Steria survey also found that greater flexible working and career development are the factors most likely to enhance employee experience – yet employers appear slow to understand and implement the automation, analytics and other technologies that can facilitate these improvements.

CEOs and directors are setting their sights on first achieving fully connected and operationally mobile employees (44%) but they don’t necessarily equate this with enabling the end of the 9-5 working day. Just 34% believe the end of 9-5 working is likely to occur in this time.

The greatest strides in improving employee experience are likely to lie in cloud-based platforms that enable employees to manage and personalise their working environment. Yet half of all managers and non managerial staff tell us that they have zero access to HR processes on their mobile devices.

Only 4 in 10 non-managers – largely millennials – believe that employees will be fully connected and operationally mobile in the next three years, and predict the end of 9-5 working time. Despite living in an otherwise always-on, anytime, anywhere world, it seems we have learned to expect our employers to move at a slower pace.

‘Not all organisations are ready to move to cloud-based HR systems, and as a result, they remain on heavily bespoke legacy systems,’ comments Claudia Quinton, Head of Workplace Transformation, Sopra Steria. ‘There is another way through redesigning processes that put the employee at the centre and by embracing technology.

‘By overlaying tools on top, they can improve the employee experience, free up time for employees and managers alike, reduce short-term absence, improve productivity and help HR functions to re-focus their efforts in more value-add areas, such as talent management and career planning.’

You can read the full report here.

Image credit: Tzido Sun/Shutterstock


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