Enhancing Employee Experience a Top Priority for Post-Pandemic Success

Enhancing the employee experience has become an imperative for employers, and it’s one that will take time and present challenges many are not currently prepared to meet.

As companies transition to new ways of work, the number of U.S. organizations making improvement of the employee experience a top priority has surged, according to a new survey by Willis Towers Watson.

A total of 1,550 employers around the world participated in the 2021 Employee Experience Survey, conducted between March 29 and April 23, 2021. U.S. respondents employ more than 3.6 million workers.

A MATRIX blog stated the problem succinctly. “If you think about it, customer service is one of the most difficult things to maintain when almost everyone and everything is virtual. There are no personal visits or meetings to help build rapport, earn trust, or smooth over problems. In 2020, it was all done via Zoom or phone calls.”

The 2021 Employee Experience Survey found more than nine in 10 employers (94%) said enhancing the employee experience will be an important priority at their organization over the next three years compared with just 54% that indicated it was important to their organization prior to the pandemic.

Other highlights include:

Most respondents believe a positive employee experience is a:

  • key driver of engagement (82%),

  • employee wellbeing (79%),

  • productivity (79%),

  • and ability to attract and retain talent (80%).

Many respondents believe it will take time to adapt fully to a post-pandemic world.

  • Only 13% say the pandemic has receded enough to end temporary pandemic-related policies and programs.

  • 59% indicate they will be ready to do so during the second half of this year, while 28% say 2022 or beyond.

  • Employers expect the proportion of their employees working primarily remotely will drop from 53% now to 20% in three years.

  • They expect one in four workers (25%) will be working in a mix between onsite and remotely in three years, triple the current number (8%).

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of organizations intend to focus on digitalization to transform the employee experience fundamentally over the next three years.

When asked to identify the areas needed to improve the employee experience, respondents said they are looking to improve their offering or change aspects of their programs to address the needs in inclusion and diversity (82%), manager training (61%), learning and development (59%), leadership competencies (54%), and identified flexible work arrangement as a priority to boost the employee experience (63%).

“As organizations look ahead to a post-pandemic era, their ability to move the needle on the employee experience will be critical. To succeed, they must start with a bold employee experience strategy that supports their business strategy and is based on a consistent model. Then, they can turn to execution,” said Suzanne McAndrew, global head of Talent Advisory, Data and Software, Willis Towers Watson.

Source: Willis Towers Watson