WorkBuzz are incredibly excited to have recently released our fifth edition of The State of Employee Engagement report for 2022. This report draws on insights from our 400+ clients and research from over 300 HR professionals and business leaders mainly from the UK, who participated in our research study across the summer months. Collectively, it hones in on their top priorities, best business practices, and different perspectives, to help you navigate an ever-changing world of work.
In this article, we have summarised some of the key findings that are discussed in this report.
Hybrid working is a double-edged sword
The pandemic forced remote working on the world and accelerated a change that could have otherwise taken a long time to happen. And now, as we adapt to it has led organisations who struggle with attrition and retention to move towards flexible hybrid working.
We all know the benefits to hybrid working, but what about the challenges that it permits? The most prevalent challenges of hybrid working include a lack of human connection, and fewer learning opportunities. As well as the expectation to be ‘always’ on, and the risks of a two-tier culture, that needs to be balanced with the benefits of hybrid.
Now, for many office-based roles, flexibility around how, where and when employees work is no longer a differentiator; it is an expected given. And as a result, many employees are looking to restructure how they spend their time at work. The goal of which is to create a work life balance that resonates with their new personal priorities. In addition, there are signs that more organisations are considering adopting the four-day working week to attract and retain talent.
Employee listening is becoming a constant conversation
37% of organisations are now asking employees about their feelings and needs at least quarterly. This contrasts with our survey data from just four years ago, when in 2018, 79% of organisations ran these surveys annually or less frequently. This desire for more regular employee feedback has come as a result of the pandemic, hybrid working, and an increasing pace of change.
Now, employee listening is becoming a constant conversation. Leaders have found that active employee listening practices helps them to identify what is or what isn’t working. This comes as a result of providing employees a channel to express their ideas, concerns, and perspectives. And from this, they can respond in a timely manner to nurture a healthy culture.
Employee wellbeing is still high on the agenda
Over the last three years, there’s been an increased focus on employee wellbeing. And our research supports this – 29% of organisations believe that employee wellbeing has improved, whilst 37% feel it has remained consistent.
Those that feel it has declined (19%), cite this as an effect of the pandemic, a decrease in face-to-face interaction, and the demands of ‘always on’ digital working. Others believe that it’s due to the hike in the cost of living. This has affected the cost of essentials like food, heating, and bills. With this in mind, it’s important that employers therefore keep wellbeing at the top of their agenda. There is a risk that financial pressures will impact the mental and financial wellbeing of employees. And this compromises productivity, contributing to employee churn.
Culture is your secret weapon
The only way to sustainably win the war for talent, is by creating a strong culture powered by a great employee experience. In our survey, culture was ranked as the most effective lever to attract talent. This even went above higher salaries and opportunities for career development.
It’s best to power your culture by looking at every stage in the employee lifecycle. And, ask questions of your organisation surrounding attraction, recruitment, onboarding, connection, development, performance, life events, and business exit. These questions will help form the basis for planning and designing your desired employee experience.
Setting engagement KPIs helps create moments that matter
Putting KPIs in place is critical to measuring the pulse of organisational sentiment, and it provides a reliable barometer for elements of culture. And our survey shows that 60% of organisations have engagement KPIs in place.
Viewing engagement through an employee experience lens and measuring this through KPI’s, ensures that nothing is missed. And it ensures that you are evaluating the core experiences that employees have day-to-day. The individual experiences of employees add up to how they feel about the organisation. And this affects performance, development, and likelihood of retention.
Planning engagement KPIs around the employee experience creates a robust framework to ensure that you have a comprehensive picture of engagement and culture across all stages of the employee lifecycle.
Learn more about these key findings in depth, as well as more business insights and statistics, by downloading the 2022 State of Employee Engagement report. The State of Employee Engagement report is also a key session at our upcoming event – WorkBuzz Live! 2022 – where we will be discussing the insights in detail. Register for the event, which takes place on Tuesday 29th November from 9.15am – 4.00pm, here.