We recently listened to a webinar from Josh Bersin called “The Rise of the Individual in the Workplace”. This webinar looked at future trends that would affect employee engagement & the employee experience at work. Technology is changing the way we interact with our employees. Yet despite the hearsay, according to Bersin, research shows that technology/automation is not getting rid of jobs. But rather technology is making it possible for HR to be more efficient and allows for the time to be more human in our organizations. In fact, having the right technology in place allows us to spend more of our energy connecting and being present with our teams in the moments that matter.
“There are no companies out there that are not people dependent.” -Josh Bersin
Current State of the U.S. Job Market
Believe or not, unemployment is at a record low of 3.7%. Research shows that in the current state of employment there are actually more jobs than there are people. What does this mean for HR? It means the recruiting space has become much more competitive. Since jobs are so readily available, this also means that employee engagement and creating a positive employee experience is more important than ever.
Trends in the Employee Experience
Recent surveys show that employees are working harder and are subsequently more stressed. We must begin to think about the individual and how we can personalize the employee experience to help them overcome the challenges they’re facing. This will help us meet them where they are and help them to feel like a more valuable asset to the organization.
Key Employee Concerns and Challenges to Overcome
Mental & Physical Wellbeing– Studies show that Americans are not using their vacations, which in turn affects the overall wellbeing of our teams. A recent Edelman report stated that one in six American workers are currently taking mental health-related drugs.
Possible solution- Create wellness programs that are more tailored to the individual and their needs. For example, someone on your sales team who drives often for work may need to have a tailored program where they are encouraged to walk more. However, that may not be the same challenge that your manufacturing team is facing since they are typically active throughout the day. Understanding the limitations and challenges of the smaller segments within your company will help you to personalize the wellness experience to each person. Another option is to use employee recognition in your wellness program to help encourage and motivate your team once you have all your initiatives in place.
Financial Wellbeing- With the growing gig economy, job security and long-term benefits, such as retirement, are at the forefront of many employees’ minds. Research shows that millennials are concerned about their current and long-term financial situations. Studies show that U.S. retirees retire with an average of only $3,000 in the bank.
Possible solution- Initiatives must be put in place to help employees understand money management and potential investments. This could involve setting up training events for employees to attend with the goal being to help them feel more in charge of their financial futures.
Re-engineered Rewards-There is much need for consistency & personalization when you’re motivating your employees. Employees want to know they matter.
Possible solutions- There is much access to behavior-based analytics to show how employees like to be rewarded. This helps us to better tailor our efforts in the area of employee recognition. With the use of the right tools, we’re now able to reward more frequently and to remain flexible while adjusting and personalizing our efforts according to the individual’s needs.
Data security & more advanced analytics– The HR technology space is constantly improving to include more consistent feedback and agile performance management. Eventually, this will lead to AI based coaching. Edelman put out a recent survey that showed 58% of the people who were surveyed believe technology has failed to protect them.
Possible solutions- As analytics get more advanced, HR technology providers need to make data security a top priority. Be sure to be transparent with your team about the information you are collecting, as well as how you are planning to use the data.
Focus on the employee journey to create a more personalized employee experience– The employee journey, in summary, is understanding everything external or internal that could affect employee engagement from the individuals’ standpoint. When you seek to understand the factors that are personal to your team, it will help you to be able to better empathize with their current needs. For example, if an employee is getting married or if a family member has died, their work will likely be affected.
Possible solutions- Create clear lines of communication to increase trust between top management & their teams. Data analytics can help to measure and track these events but remember, tools are designed to help us foster the human connection, not replace it.
As a vendor in the HR technology space, we’re excited to be on the cusp of all the exciting things that are working to improve the HR community. If you’re looking for an innovative and successful employee recognition approach we’d love to chat. Be sure to follow our blog, social media channels and sign up for our newsletter to get more awesome updates like this post.