In part 1 of this two-part series, Christie Koile laid out some key trends in pre-hire, noting the importance of enhancing processes that support company brand enhancement and communication, candidate experience, recruiter expertise, reporting, and intentional engagement. This is a perfect lead-in to discussing employee experience trends that employers should consider using as catalysts for enhancing and modernizing corporate culture and business processes. Let's start by looking at Performance Management, and it's surprising (yet not so surprising) connection to wellness.
Performance & Wellness
At first thought, this combination may seem curious, but when you pause, you can really visualize the deep connection between the two. One's current job, their corporate culture, their work relationships, and their career mobility play a huge role in their well-being. In a compilation of data from Zippia, we find some very troubling information. Most notably, 83% of US workers suffer from work-related stress, and 76% of US workers state that workplace stress is spilling over into their personal lives and impacting their relationships.
What are the main causes of this stress? Well, they tend to be workload, interpersonal issues, and work-life balance. Taking this all into consideration along with this Glassdoor survey which found that 87% of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing work and personal commitments, we see there is just so much correlation between work/personal life and the focus employers must pay on their employees' mental health and career satisfaction.
In terms of where employers can start making improvements to support their employees, there needs to be an authentic, genuine desire to modernize processes to engage and support the modern workforce. So much of this modernization requires significant focus on communication, connection, and empathy. In terms of performance management, moving away from antiquated performance management methods that are expensive and produce little return, and implementing continuous feedback/discussions is a great start. The benefits of switching to this modernized approach are far reaching. Not only is this a highly desired approach from employees' perspective, it allows for relationship development, empathy to be displayed front and center, and career mobility discussions.
Additionally, implementing a formal employee recognition program can go a long way. When employees receive recognition, it creates positive feelings that release dopamine in the brain. This results in the brain realizing continued similar behavior will result in additional praise. This also increases serotonin levels and employees start to feel good about themselves. Once they realize the environment they are working in is contributing to this, retention possibilities improve.
Most often, self-service tools are often thought of from the employer side...helping to automate processes and minimize the data entry and manual work on HR and leadership. In addition to these tremendous benefits, automating experiences like onboarding and allowing employees to have ownership of updating aspects of their own data provide the employee opportunities to drive their own employment experience. Automating learning paths for skill development and growth is another way that employers can facilitate employees having the opportunity to control the pace of their growth.
Upskilling & Reskilling
Speaking of growth and skill development, according to a recent survey by Gartner, 47% of HR leaders are not aware of the current skills gaps of their employees. With this lack of knowledge, it is fair to ask the following questions:
- How can an organization practice effective workforce planning?
- Are there employees in their workforce that are being underutilized?
- Are there projects that are understaffed or suffering because there are employees in the organization that can be transitioned into larger roles/projects, but are being overlooked?
The same study goes on to state that taking a skills-centric approach to workforce management is key, as more skills are needed for many jobs in 2022 vs what were needed just three to four years ago. Without an actively managed skills repository, organizations will find themselves falling behind in effectively managing their workforces.
Additionally, knowing the workforce's capabilities and knowing their desires for skill development are key components of engagement and retention. This list of data from Lorman is incredibly powerful, with key callouts such as:
- 76% of employees say that a company would be more appealing if it offered additional skills training to its staff
- 74% of workers are willing to learn new skills or re-train to remain employable
- Nearly 59% of employees claim they had no workplace training and that most of their skills were self-taught
Plain and simple...development is key.
With so much of the workforce moving to remote or hybrid work arrangements, implementing a Learning Management System has never been more important. The days where employees gathered into conference rooms and participated in in-person instructor led learning are largely gone, yet many employers have been slow to grow their learning function and/or replace in-person learning with a dedicated learning budget/learning function. Typically, employers cite that managers not evangelizing learning as well as limited time to spend on learning are the key issues. Noting these issues, organizations simply need to ensure there are mechanisms in place to ensure learning and development are priorities. Learning and development adds to employee engagement, assists in meeting the need of the modern workforce by facilitating growth (as noted in the previous section), allows your workforce to develop new skills that can attribute to higher billing rates or ability to staff projects more successfully, and helps solve tomorrow's recruiting challenges today by building skill sets that are difficult to find.
This two-part series really brings to light one key overarching theme. A cohesive, full life-cycle approach that is driven by authentic care and concern for employees as well as focus on engagement and development is essential. Organizations really need to modernize the entire candidate to employee life cycle experience, including workforce management, powered by a full-suite HCM system. We sincerely hope calling out these trends will help you have your finger on the pulse of the key issues facing HR professionals today, and we invite you to check out how the Deltek Talent Management suite can support your organization by visiting our website or reaching out to our team for more information.
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