The effects of the pandemic have greatly impacted how organizations conduct business and how people live their lives. As a result, improving the employee experience (EX) quickly became a top priority for employers in 2021 and will be a necessity for attracting and retaining talent going forward. The reality is that few companies have a cohesive EX strategy integrated into their business goals to address post-pandemic challenges.
Night and Day: Perceptions of EX Before and After the Pandemic
Almost a year ago, Forrester predicted that organizations that have a strong EX and work to enhance it would be better protected from the worst effects of systemic risks like COVID-19. The pandemic essentially acted as a stress test, putting immense pressure on EX as employers scrambled to address the crisis by cutting pay and benefits, restructuring, or adopting a more flexible work model. Many organizations saw declines in productivity, engagement, and well-being.
Now, more than 9 in 10 employers say enhancing their EX is a top priority for post-pandemic success according to a recent Willis Towers Watson survey – but few are prepared to deliver actionable change. While this figure was only around half of all employers before the pandemic (52%), there needs to be a focused effort behind driving EX improvements and enhancements for this “EX awakening” to have any lasting, measurable effect.
What exactly is EX?
Before we go any further, let’s dig into what employee experience (EX) encompasses. EX is considered to be the summary of all important moments experienced between an employee and an employer. The overall experience that is shaped from these pivotal interactions has a direct impact on workforce engagement, productivity, and sustainable business performance. The more an organization’s EX strategy positively impacts it’s employees, the more likely they are to achieve better business and people outcomes — including lower annual turnover.
So what does an organization need to do in order to have a more impactful, transformative EX? It starts with creating a comprehensive EX strategy and integrating it with their business priorities – and using the appropriate technology to execute the plan.
Organizations that take such an approach are more likely to report strengths in areas critical to delivering a high-performance employee experience, which has been linked to positive financial outcomes.
EX and Well-Being: Where Does Wellview Fit in This Space?
Six in 10 organizations (63%) acknowledge they need to specifically prioritize employee well-being in order to enhance their EX. This involves nurturing a culture of health and taking a fresh look at existing benefit offerings.
What You Can Do
- Consider workplace flexibility – Transformative EX organizations are 2x times more likely to redesign their policies to add new programs to promote workplace flexibility.
- Reassess your current benefit offerings – Transformative EX organizations are 3x more likely to prioritize health and well-being programs and put emphasis on inclusion and diversity.
- Equip leaders and managers to lead through change – Nearly two-thirds (64%) of organizations say changing leadership competencies to improve EX is a priority.
- Reconnect with your employees – Transformative EX organizations are more likely to communicate to drive behavior change and help employees get the most out of their benefits.
- Build and integrate your own EX strategy – A technology-enabled EX strategy integrated with an organization’s business strategy is required for any of the preceding areas to be effective. This requires investment – with two thirds (66%) of transformative EX organizations reporting they’ve already invested in the necessary software.
With all of this in mind, your organization should feel inspired to take bold action to get ahead of the curve. This requires a new mindset focused on prioritizing and enhancing your organization’s EX on an evolving basis. This focus on and investment in EX yields increased employee engagement and well-being, and increased business productivity and performance.
Now more than ever, leaders are challenging legacy mindsets and practices, and embracing the change and sustained effort needed to keep EX a top priority.
Learn more about the transformative measures you can take with EX, and how Wellview can help both your employees and your organization thrive.