The Times 2021 Employee Experience and Wellbeing Report: Sustained Agility for Business Resilience
Chief Product Officer
To say that 2020 presented new business challenges is an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic threw the business world into uncharted territory that we’re still attempting to steer out of in 2021. Fortunately, many organizations have managed to stay afloat, and even thrive in this time of constant change. Those that endured have demonstrated agility by pivoting to new market demands, embracing technology at scale, and reimagining the way their employees work.
But there is often a price to pay for success: workers can be greatly affected as constant alterations to working patterns, production schedules, and organizational structure hit morale and productivity. I recently spoke with The Times on the crucial role of employee experience toward an organization’s ability to support the ongoing execution of strategic pivots in their 2021 Employee Experience and Wellbeing Report:
“You can make all the pivots and adjustments to business strategy you want, but if your people don’t embrace it because they feel you’re not listening to them or understanding how they feel, you’ll fail.”
As businesses will have to practice sustained agility for a longer period of time, how can they bring more focus on the employee experience to ensure they stay ahead of the competition?
Here are the two main takeaways on how your workforce management solution can help your employees embrace and adapt to uncertainty:
1. Focus on Employee Engagement and Wellbeing
Organizations should understand the difference between thinking they’re supporting employees and actually doing so. The report offers valuable data from a recent survey that outlines the gaps between the employee and employer point of view:
- Some 83% of employers believe they offer scheduling flexibility for their workforces, but only 60% of employees agree
- Only 69% of employees agree with the 83% of employers who claim to have effectively adapted to scheduling challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic
Employee feedback can be a helpful resource to provide much needed changes. To accomplish this, employers should use their workforce management software to gather real-time feedback of employees who are directly impacted by operational changes.
Remember that change can be difficult and, if you’re changing often, it’s compounding even further, making it evermore difficult for your employees to adjust. Sustained agility requires a balanced approach to driving the changes your organization needs while assessing the impact it has on employee wellness and engagement. Without the ability to understand how employees perceive and adapt to change, the effect on employee performance and retention can ultimately impact on your ability to execute over time.
2. Draw Employee Insights from Data and Technology
The days of relying on face-to-face interactions with employees to perceive warning signs of shifts in morale are behind us. When considering how to maintain business success through long-term change, your organization should use data and technology in meaningful ways to proactively identify warning signals of a negative employee experience and preemptively take action. For example, data can be used to find correlations between last-minute schedule changes and employee retention, or the effect of too much or too little overtime on job satisfaction.
In The Times report, I talk in more detail about the importance of taking your workforce with you on that journey toward success in the new world: “Sustained agility requires us to proactively plan for how we will continually measure employee needs, engagement and wellness from the beginning and test, learn and adapt our operational plans. The business strategy that requires agility can’t be executed without a workforce that believes in its purpose and buys in fully to the changes they’re making.”
To learn more about why employee engagement and embracing digital transformation are so critical to your organization’s future success, download a free copy of The Times’ full 2021 Employee Experience and Wellbeing Report.
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