New survey reveals businesses need to work on their employee experience

Only a minority of employees would give their workplace an exceptional rating regarding employee experience.

Only 17% of employees would give their company an exceptional rating for employee experience, says a new Adapt or Lose the War for Talent survey carried out by HR tech company Topia.

The research, comprised of 1,000 enterprise organisations, found that non-HR employees are twice as likely to rate their company poorly compared to those on the HR team. The disconnect means employers aren’t delivering the experience that they think they are, and work is needed to improve the employee experience.

Employee experience

When it comes to driving innovation and creativity, diversity and inclusion are an important part of company culture. The study, however, suggests that employees still feel uncomfortable bringing their authentic selves to work, fearing if managers and colleagues knew the truth about them, it could hinder their career growth.

One in four employees feels that if their manager or colleagues knew their political beliefs, it would limit their career potential. The concern is even greater among HR, with 44% who say they feel the need to keep their personal beliefs private. Over 40% of employees age 18-38 say companies should prioritise diversity over experience and capabilities when it comes to making hiring decisions; and, one in four employees say they have to hide parts of who they are to fit in at work.

Unnecessary perks

The survey found that amazing office space and perks rank last among employees’ priorities. Instead, over half (58%) of employees define a ‘great employee experience’ as being empowered and trusted; 48% say it is about training, job rotation, or international assignments; 38% mentioned the right technology, while office space and perks are at the bottom of the list at 19%. Only 16% of non-HR employees say a cool space, food and games matter, while 25% of HR professionals think this is a priority.

By contrast, bad managers are the bane of good employee experience, with more than half of respondents citing a bad manager as the top contributor to a toxic culture, with one interesting exception: those in the 18-to-38 age bracket say the lack of career growth and development is even worse.

Meghan M. Biro, CEO and Founder of TalentCulture, said: “These results demonstrate there’s so much that goes into a great experience—like opportunity, diversity, global assignments and trust—and many employees just aren’t getting that from their employers

“HR teams must recognise and adapt to the reality that free lunches and foosball tables aren’t enough anymore, especially in a challenging year like 2020. Employees want genuine opportunities, authenticity and empathy from their employers.”

Lost productivity

The inefficiencies of performing even the simplest HR tasks make getting things done feel like pulling teeth—literally. About one in three employees say they’d rather go to the dentist, do the dishes, wait on hold or sit in traffic than complete HR tasks like submitting and approving time-off requests. The problems that subpar technologies that get in the way of getting work done.

The time employees waste on completing HR-related tasks adds up to a whopping 40 million hours wasted each month and about $8.15 billion in lost productivity across large companies in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Nearly 60% say their HR tools are disjointed, difficult, outdated and glitchy or provide poor user experience, and 70% of HR employees use three to six apps to complete a single task. Only 8% of HR professionals are able to get the right data and insights from their tools to make smart decisions, and 37% find HR requests more annoying than doing the dishes.

As many experts have predicted, the distributed and flexible work environments seen during the pandemic are just a preview of what’s to come. Employees overwhelmingly agree that five years from now, teams will be increasingly spread across multiple locations and many different time zones, as well as made up of people with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise. Three quarters (76%) agree teams in the future will be more agile, and location will become irrelevant. Fifty-seven per cent agree that the notion of 9-to-5 office hours will be a thing of the past. Nearly 60% say international experiences are critical to career growth and mobility, and 36% say they’d consider moving abroad, including one in four who would do so for a long-term assignment.

Unmet expectations

Topia CEO Shawn Farshchi commented: “The results of this survey prove that while companies might think they’re doing a great job with employee experience, there are still a lot of unmet expectations, particularly when it comes to ‘ease of use’ of the tools required to do one’s job

 “To attract and retain top talent, organisations will need integrated technology solutions that automate mundane tasks and connect disjointed systems that allow them to operate with the efficiency, global mindset and broader perspective today’s employees expect.”
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