By Debbie Bolla
What hypothetical button would you push from our cover to describe your levels of employee engagement: disengaged, eh, or engaged? According to Qualtrics’ 2021 Employee Experience Trends Report, you would likely hit the smiley face. The report finds that employee engagement has actually increased since the pandemic began, from 53% in November 2019 to 66% in November 2020. And engaged, hardworking employees are critical to overall success. In fact, Forrester Research finds engaged employees test their limits to overcome barriers, deliver better customer service, and are more loyal to their organizations.
Take note: new drivers of engagement have emerged including a sense of connection, employee well-being, and the opportunity to provide feedback. Our cover story, Pushing the Right Buttons, breaks down strategies that ensure employees are engaged as the world of work continues to shift.
One steadfast factor in the engagement equation is a positive employee experience. Forrester’s new report, Close The Employee Experience Gap, reveals that more than one-quarter of HR leaders say employee experience is the most important aspect of their HR strategy, and another 42% say it is very important.
In addition to amping up levels of engagement, Forrester research shows a superior employee experience can produce other positive outcomes.
- Improve quality of work. Nearly 80% of both HR managers and employees say that employee experience has improved their quality of work with 88% of employees believing in the work they do.
- Boost agility and productivity. As a result of employee experience initiatives, HR leaders report positive improvement to their workforce agility (59%) and productivity (73%).
- Attract better talent. Seventy percent of HR leaders see improvement to their ability to attract talent. Even further, referrals are more likely with 68% of employees saying they are open to recommending their organization to their network.
- Retain high quality workers. As a result of a positive employee experience, 65% of HR leaders report better overall retention.
To reap the rewards, the report also details several factors that employee experience initiatives need to succeed:
- feedback from employees;
- executive buy-in;
- metrics that show ROI; and
- alignment of business and employee experience strategies.