Get the latest on global employee experience trends from Qualtrics 2022 research.
Understand how workforce attitudes and expectations are changing – and what that means for your own talent agenda.
Hear how remote, hybrid, the future of work, and the pandemic have shifted engagement and experience paradigms and what you should be doing in this area.
Coming up to the halfway mark of 2022 and HR leaders are taking stock of how plans for the year are panning out. As well as having a quarter’s worth of engagement data to review there is also a clearer view of flight-risk employees. It means there’s a lot to pour over for HR, and they must come up with appropriate strategies for the second half of the year.
This is why, in conjunction with Dr. Ben Granger, Head of EX Advisory Services at Qualtrics, Jon Kennard, Editorial content manager at UNLEASH leads a Qualtrics-partnered webinar on engagement trends, retention, and advocacy, giving viewers insight into whether they need to change their plans or continue as they are.
Watch on-demand to:
- Find out why employees are increasingly calling for flexibility in their work and demanding to be measured on outcomes as well as being assisted in the right way, too
- Get into the importance of belonging in people practice and why it can drive great organizational outcomes
- Hear about four key actionable takeaways which can help HR solve many experience and engagement issue
A third of the employees we surveyed said if my company forces me to go back to the office ‘I’m out, I’m gonna’ quit.’
Dr. Ben Granger, Head of EX Advisory Services at Qualtrics
Global employee experience trends in 2022
Having undertaken a cross-industry global study of over 14,000 respondents, Qualtric’s Dr. Ben Granger was well placed to talk about where employee experience is. For HR, there’s a lot to take in. Firstly, the research found that organizational leaders are primed to head for the door – with female senior leaders most likely to exodus first. Both metrics have gotten worse since 2021. It led to hypotheses about why this was happening. Childcare burdens in heteronormative relationships, as well as other family caring responsibilities, are likely to be leading factors, here. It means HR has to think holistically when it comes to managing this issue, as this could hurt DE&I agendas as well as representation.
Additionally, there is greater demand for better physical and digital workspaces as most employees have come to expect hybrid work. Here, there is work to be done. Qualtrics data found that less than a quarter of office spaces exceeded employee expectations whilst only 30% said their company’s technology exceeded their expectations. However, if companies invest and make improvements in this area, by getting hold of productivity-enabling technology, whether that is communication technology or better systems, there are clear benefits, with a higher engagement rate chief among them. It’s not just technology that employees are asking for, though; they want increased flexibility, in the broadest sense possible, better collaboration opportunities, more transparency, and reimagined office space, too.
For HR, that’s not all they must focus on. Although many organizations did a phenomenal job in adapting to the challenges of the pandemic and delivering for the employees, especially on inclusivity and wellbeing metrics, the long tail of the pandemic is seeing a disconnect between employers and employees. It’s something that needs more work. However, most employees do think their business has made clear progress against diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging metrics, the last being a key driver in engagement. Here, HR needs to focus on value alignment, openness, leadership vulnerability, and goal-setting, which are key parts of any future success.
Finally, Granger noted the importance of making improvements on the well-being agenda, something that has been top of mind for HR throughout the pandemic. Although it has been a central topic over the last two-plus years, almost two-thirds of staff who refuse to take sick days say this is because of their workload. A fifth of employees often worry about work problems. This has the potential to be a ticking talent timebomb.
So, what should HR do?
In response to multi-faceted challenges, it can be hard for organizations to know where they should focus their efforts. For Granger, as he laid out in the webinar, the best approaches might differ from business to business, and challenge to challenge, but they can be underpinned by core ethos and practices. Here, he noted the importance of listening to your people, especially during times of change and disruption, giving employees autonomy, emphasizing the social aspects of work, and training leaders to be vulnerable, too.
Firstly, listening is always key. Qualtrics found that companies who listened to their employees during the pandemic, taking on board their worries and desires, had big upticks in their engagement, intent to stay rates, resilience rates, and wellbeing; crucial for businesses during times of major change. It means, as Granger said, organizations have to get honest with themselves and ask: Are we really listening to our people?
Here, Granger added, organizations also have to be willing to truly listen and not force conversations to be business-focussed but let employees drive that conversation, allowing for feedback and open-ended questions. With many businesses scared to ask questions, especially if an employee is giving negative feedback, Granger said that businesses need to get more comfortable with asking: “What can we do to improve that?”
A study of US workers, on what factors they would use when choosing a job, also confirmed that, for that study cohort at least, the social characteristics of work are really important. Relationships with the team and manager came out as very important factors showcasing that personal relationships and socializing at work are key to engagement and experience. Here, HR needs to ensure it isn’t forgetting how to curate these areas of work to ensure they boost organizational life, culture, and the employer brand.
Lastly, Granger noted the importance of leadership vulnerability in driving good experiences at work. Although many people leaders might feel they have to have all the answers and always be on for their people, a separate Qualtrics study found that, when it came to what employees wanted to improve their wellbeing, it was organizations that allowed them to be open and vulnerable. Of course, leaders can model and lead this type of workspace and HR has to help them develop it, too.
Whilst it is a lot to get started with, the fact that data shows a way forward quite clearly means the function is primed to build on many of the in-roads to success it made during the pandemic.
If you want to find out more about this topic, apply to join our upcoming roundtable conversation, What’s impeding your path to employee experience success?