Employers that put their people first are winning the current highly competitive war for talent – dubbed the ‘Great Resignation’.
Workers have shown that they are no longer willing to work for companies that don’t care about them as individuals – they want better wellbeing provisions, more career development opportunities, and genuine flexible working options.
While many organizations see themselves as people-first, are they genuinely practicing what they preach?
A study of 2,100 business leaders from 15 countries by Avanade found that while 98% had taken steps to improve employee experience – and 99% planned to focus on employee experience in the next three years – they were failing to provide the right tech tools to enable workplace productivity.
62% told Avanade they hadn’t taken steps to streamline tech tools, 60% said they had no seamless communication or collaboration tools for all employees (in the office or on the frontline), and 67% had no automation or artificial intelligence (AI) to help simplify employee workflows.
55% are also not using data and analytics to drive their employee experience – this means they don’t know whether what they are providing is what workers actually want.
Organizations are also not delivering what employees need around hybrid or remote working. This is a major concern given that a lack of flexible working options is a major cause of the ‘Great Resignation’.
Although 85% told Avanade they were either embracing or piloting remote or hybrid work, 60% had still not given employees the flexibility to choose where and when they worked.
How to be people-first
Avanade identified a few reasons why employees are struggling to be genuinely people-first. A major one is that teams are siloed, this means that HR and IT are struggling to get buy-in from other parts of the business.
HR teams are also struggling to figure out how much to spend on digital transformation in order to upgrade their tools to drive better employee experience.
To correct this, Avanade recommends that companies become highly data-driven and use that to support business cases for investment into better, more streamlined tech tools.
This is also the view of Elizabeth Sandler, founder and CEO of Juliette Works. She shares with UNLEASH that to get leadership buy-in, HR teams need to ensure their proposals are “heavily data-informed. That doesn’t mean the data is perfect, it needs to be supplemented with logic, anecdotal information and strategy.”
Avanade’s Modern Workplace lead Veit Siegenheim added: “Taking a holistic approach to the workplace experience is critical and benefits both businesses and their most important asset—their employees.”
When Avanade talks about holistic workplace experience – it means looking broadly at people, processes, location, and tech, and doing this cross-departmentally.
In doing this, it is crucial that employers don’t see their employees as a homogenous group – frontline workers and white-collar employees have very different needs from technology.
Often the frontline gets overlooked – this may explain why these types of workers are leading the ‘Great Resignation’ – but hourly workers are crucial to the smooth running of businesses.
“The longer leaders delay taking action, the further they’ll fall behind and risk losing out, financially and in the war for talent,” concluded Siegenheim.
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