- The pandemic has had a permanent and profound effect on the way companies view their workplace culture and how they can better support employee satisfaction.
- Retaining talent is a critical item on the agenda for 2022.
- Employees are a company’s most valuable asset, so it is essential that employers take a hard look at their employee experience, beyond standard pay and benefits.
It would seem that retaining talent is a critical item on the agenda for 2022. One key to winning the war for top talent is a renewed focus on company culture.
Companies will need to rethink employee engagement and develop an employee-centric work environment. 2022 has brought about many changes and lessons learned, and it offers employers the opportunity to reflect on how their organizations have adapted to recent challenges.
Leslie Tarnacki, SVP of Human Resources at WorkForce Software, explains how workplace culture has shifted and how workers’ satisfaction is top priority.
Allwork.Space: What are the top emerging trends in workplace culture?
Leslie Tarnacki: The pandemic has had a permanent and profound effect on the way companies view their workplace culture and how they can better support employee satisfaction. These are some of the initiatives and trends that are being implemented in 2022.
Flexibility: After almost two years of the pandemic, many employees across industries worldwide enjoy that they are able to maintain productivity and set their own work/life balance with flexible/hybrid work environments and schedules.
A recent survey from FlexJobs found that 83% of respondents would be more loyal to their employer if they had flexible work options, and 46% of respondents have turned down a promotion, quit, or didn’t take a job because of a lack of flexible work options. Offering flexibility demonstrates that employers are putting the well-being and interests of their employees first.
Technology and Workforce Management Tools and Systems: Workforce management systems have played a big role in supporting employee safety, well-being, and work/life balance in the new world of work.
According to an SAPInsider survey, 61% of employers said that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of new technology and 7% of those surveyed are planning to implement end-to-end employee experience solutions in the next 24 months, or are currently evaluating them. This highlights the increased need for workforce management software with added EX capabilities.
Extra programs and benefits automated with a workforce management system can go a long way towards showing workers that they are valued and supported. For instance, fatigue management systems monitor hours worked, tasks performed, breaks taken, and time off scheduled, to flag employees that may be at risk of becoming fatigued and burned out.
Using real-time employee data to create pulse checks and manager-in-the-moment notifications helps employers stay informed on potential employee wellness issues, specifically when employees are working overtime or demonstrating signs that there are potential issues.
Enhancing the Employee Experience: Employees are a company’s most valuable asset, so it is essential that employers take a hard look at their employee experience, beyond standard pay and benefits. Employee expectations are increasing, and they are looking for employers to offer additional support for their needs and to act more swiftly on feedback that impacts their work and work-life balance.
Employers that offer this support ultimately create a culture of trust and respect. Businesses are understanding there’s a direct connection between the employee experience and productivity, and right now, organizations are citing benefits such as employee satisfaction, talent retention, increased productivity, and higher revenue per employee as key benefits that are driving their interest in improving the employee experience. This is becoming a top priority for companies this year and moving forward.
Multigenerational Workforce: For the first time in history, there are currently five generations in the workforce – Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z.
Millennials and Gen Z are more tech-savvy and demand consumer-grade technology, while older generations are used to working in a more traditional way. Businesses will need to provide options to engage with employees of all ages and levels of comfort with technology, and they will need to prioritize the varied needs of their entire workforce in order to be successful and reap the benefits of having so many different generations in the workplace at the same time.
Allwork.Space: What are the types of perks and benefits employers should be offering to retain top talent?
Having the types of benefits and perks that are on the wish lists of your employees will foster a positive work culture and help to retain top talent. Employees want to feel heard and supported in this new work environment.
By taking the time to strategize and figure out ways to make their employees happy, employers can make a true difference in the workplace experience, satisfy and retain their employees, increase productivity and allow the company to be more successful.
Many companies are already offering wellness and fitness reimbursement programs that allow employees to take advantage of stress relieving offerings, such as exercise, yoga, meditation, and personal health. These are great to continue offering since employees can remove themselves from their computers and take the time to focus on their health, come back refreshed and energized, and better tackle the rest of their tasks.
During this time, employees need to feel appreciated and know that the work they are doing is being acknowledged. Having a workplace that celebrates recognition will help retain talent. I encourage organizations to implement employee recognition perks.
Employers can organize an employee prize catalog that offers unique bonuses, such as PTO, experiences, travel benefits, a gift card of their choosing, and other prizes, that employees receive based on their performance or on an ‘Employee of the Month’ system.
I also recommend putting together either monthly or quarterly team activities. Even though companies are remote, it is crucial to get your employees involved in non-work-related team activities to have fun and let everyone get to know each other better outside the office.
It is also beneficial to offer employee development benefits. These days, employees are eager to broaden their skillsets. But if there are no opportunities for advancement, employees will feel like they are plateauing and will start looking for something new and exciting.
I highly recommend investing in your employees. Offering professional development courses and ongoing training opportunities will make your employees feel valuable, increase retention rates, and give your company a competitive edge.
Allwork.Space: How is technology impacting employee engagement and satisfaction?
Modern workforce management software and consumer-grade platforms are critical for employers to better support their employees’ engagement and satisfaction in the workplace.
As companies continue to implement hybrid work models, put more focus on their employee experiences and prioritize the multigenerational workforce, it is necessary that these investments in consumer-grade technology are made so that data can be leveraged to make it easier to capture employee feedback frequently, detect when there is a potential problem with an employee, and enable managers to take action in the moment.
For example, WorkForce Software offers solutions for employers to gather in-the-moment sentiment and meaningful insights from employees, allowing managers to take effective action to improve the day-to-day work experience, increase productivity and retain top talent in all areas of the business.
Workforce management systems have also had a significant impact on improving interactive communications that are easy to use and accessible for all employees. In the past, deskless workers – who make up nearly 80% of the global workforce – were largely left out of these technology investments. But today, they are the focus of a new breed of solutions.
These modern systems enable communications that help to reach all employees, using data to power employee-employer interactions, digital assistants to streamline and automate work, gather immediate feedback from employees in the context of work and allowing business leaders to gain access to and share relevant updates that may be helpful in employees’ development and success within their roles.
Allwork.Space: Is the right to work from home (or near home) a perk that employers can offer to retain talent?
Many employees have found enjoyment in working from home since they are able to be more productive by eliminating commute time, and since some are able to achieve a better work-life balance.
I definitely believe that offering remote work/the right to work from home as a company perk will have a substantial impact on retaining talent, especially as the uncertainty of the pandemic carries on.
2022 will be “the year of the employee” – forcing companies to continue to better understand the need to prioritize employees, show them that they are cared for by the organization, and create better experiences that make them happy and satisfied at the company they work for.
Offering this type of perk will show employees that their employers are catering to their needs/preferences and trust them and their capabilities outside of a traditional work environment. In return, there will be appreciation, loyalty and many long-term workers still at the company down the road.