In his latest white paper, Josh Bersin examines the shifts in needs and demands of employees in today’s workforce. As companies need to be more innovative with how they keep their employees happy, employees also have a greater expectation in terms of employee experience.
The most recent Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends survey of over 11,000 HR and business leaders found that 84% cited careers and experience as important, yet only 37% described organisations as ready to meet this expectation. The desire to improve and better manage employee experience is apparent globally. So, what are these changes in employee experience identified by Bersin – and how can organisations manage and meet these expectations?
Work has become more complex
The rise of new technologies alongside volatile economic growth has inevitably made work more complex and demanding for organisations. Bersin writes that more than 40% of professionals work over 40-50 hours per week and that employees in the United States are taking 15% less vacation time than they did 20 years ago. Despite the increase in time spent working, productivity hasn’t increased as much as you’d expect – in most developed countries, it’s “barely growing” according to Bersin, at 2.2%.
Employees are overwhelmed with tools
The number of technology systems used by employees is increasing. The average number of HR systems of record increased from 8 to 11 in 2018 and companies use an average of 7 different tools for communication, file-sharing and messaging. With so much to utilise at work, employees are understandably overwhelmed: a fact that’s evident as companies are spending more than $40 billion on wellbeing programs a year. Employees now seek a streamlined, consumer-like experience when at work.
Careers are more changeable
The recruitment, onboarding, development and offboarding process of a career is not as simple as it used to be; until the last 20 years, employees would spend their career with just one or two companies on average.
Millennials, on the other hand, are changing jobs and companies every two to three years. Additionally, when joining a new company, onboarding now seems to be never-ending because of the ongoing development of new initiatives and technologies that employees have to get to grips with on a continuous basis.
Growth in types of service and support required
Employees now need HR support more regularly than ever before. If working remotely, from home or abroad, additional laptops, tablets, or phones may be needed, and tech support needs to be managed from afar. In addition to the hardware requirements, organisations have to provide VPN and additions such as smart badges and file storage systems..
Alongside the technical challenges of working offsite, employee engagement strategies must also evolve. As more types of support emerge, the HR’s efficiency at providing support is stretched further.
HR and IT systems expansion
The IT business experience is now more heterogeneous, with HR departments having access to an increasing amount of new software and cloud systems to deliver support. This can result in an employee journey overlapping between HR, IT and other departments of an organisation. Bersin uses the example that if your laptop is broken, it may not be clear if HR or IT is responsible to support this problem now, and there is more demand for HR to provide all employee services.
Employees looking to HR to fix an IT-specific problem relates to the expansion of HR technology. A core HR management system used to be the basis of HR technology. Now, companies have numerous payroll and human capital management (HCM) systems. On top of this, over 70% of companies have legacy systems and multiple cloud HCM platforms, and so in turn, organisations are now overwhelmed with the increased complexity of tools and systems.
However, savvy businesses are making use of AI systems that provide more intelligent services that can offer engagement on elements of the employee journey from training, coaching, wellbeing suggestions, time-management tips and employee nudges.
Organisations want to give employees more innovative, better services and support, but the explosion of HR technology and career expectations of employees is making work for both HR departments and employees more complex. As Bersin points out, “employee experience solutions go far beyond the traditional functions performed by HR.” As a result of this ongoing development, Bersin discusses the emergence of a new category of HR and workforce productivity software, the employee experience platform (EXP).
An EXP in an organisation provides a single place for employees to access all information and interactions, on the device of their choosing, unifying HR and IT in a centralised management platform, prioritising engagement and increasing departmental efficiencies. As an EXP manages all interactions, it also tracks and manages performance analytics. bob is one platform that addresses these needs for better employee experience by measuring, tracking, communicating and engaging employees on everything from perks and benefits to surveys, performance and time sheets.