A standout employee experience will be key for organisations looking to secure and retain high-performing talent.
By Zee Johnson
During 2020 and most of 2021, many countries found themselves in an employer’s market, one where there were more qualified candidates than job openings. To their advantage, there were plenty of applicants in order to find the perfect fit. Now, the market is flipped, and some employees are leaving their jobs for organisations whose programmes are more in line with post-pandemic times. High performers are no longer staying where benefits aren’t plentiful, and it’s up to organisations to better their offerings to withstand the current climate.
Ceridian’s 2021 Executive Survey interviewed leaders from across the globe to examine their plans for overcoming the current war for talent. For many, their defense begins and ends with the curation of an exceptional employee experience (EX). In fact, a 2019 Willis Towers Watson study unveiled a clear link between EX and an organisation’s financial gain. The study also showed businesses that demonstrated a strong EX came out on top, beating others in their sector by two to four percentage points across key metrics. This reenforces the notion that workforces that have yet to optimise their EX by ensuring a positive day-to-day experience will not only witness lower profits and percentage points, but will also not fare well in the merciless talent market.
What Organisations are Doing Right
At the beginning of the pandemic, employers were tasked with adopting new, more efficient technologies for their remote workforces. Thirty-seven per cent of APAC respondents said their digital maturity significantly increased post-pandemic, whilst only 3% said it decreased significantly. “The level of post-pandemic digital sophistication is truly impressive. Now we just need to ensure that organisations are leveraging human capital management tools to their full potential and capability,” author and futurist Alexandra Levit stated.
Enhancing EX byway of new technology and human capital management systems (HCMS) integrations has become vital. Sixty-seven per cent of APAC respondents invested in HR technology, and more expenditures are happening across the board. Eighty-five per cent of those surveyed implemented these advanced operations technologies “faster” or “as planned.” Eighty per cent invested in digital learning platforms, and 83% invested in remote working/collaboration tools. Technological advancements employed to elevate EX are essential for a streamlined process that promotes talent retention.
In addition to enabling new technology, leaders are actively measuring the effectiveness of their EX. Most APAC employers assess their performance by sending quarterly employee engagement surveys (58%). Twenty-four per cent deploy surveys every six months, and 12% seek feedback once per month. Organisations are also using an array of metrics to measure their company culture, a core ingredient of EX. The study found that 43% are tracking online course completion, and 41% are measuring the turnover rate. By focusing on metrics, employers can keep a close watch on what to add and subtract from their strategies.
Less than half of respondents use data tools to inform compensation strategy and pay benchmarking, though pay is the top reason employees seek new positions. “Organisations are underestimating the long-term emotional toll the pandemic will take on employees and need to beef up EX to reflect that reality and provide the appropriate support,” Levit said.
Because of a tumultuous two years, worker expectations are growing. Fifty percent of APAC leaders plan to improve their well-being offerings by providing learning resources, webinars, and other communications, whilst 48% plan to invest in technology to support productivity and higher value work. Another 43% want to implement regular employee surveys and 39% are restructuring their benefits packages altogether.
To further retain employees, employers must continuously upskill. Ceridian’s 2021 Pulse of Talent study of respondents who were considering leaving their jobs, 58% cited lack of career development as the catalyst behind their move. For the future, 73% of Executive Survey respondents said learning and workforce reskilling are “high priority” or “essential,” a number higher than EX, which 69% hailed as “high priority.” Seventy-four per cent also acknowledge measuring skills against business objectives to be “essential.”
All in all, in today’s talent market, organisations have a lot to gain by building an outstanding EX as part of the foundation company’s culture. To do this, narrowing down what works and repairing what doesn’t will be key. Communication, agility, and personalisation will help strengthen businesses when acquiring and retaining top talent during the ongoing talent war. It is critical that organisations take every opportunity to administer a unique EX.