The last 2 years have been total game-changers. For businesses. For leaders. For employees. For humanity. Employees are now starting to ask radically human questions much beyond the trite salary, appraisals, holidays and benefits. Why am I doing this? What is it for? How can we do it better together? Many are choosing to leave their jobs for a better, more fulfilling career that aligns with their personal values. Naturally, the competition to attract new talent is growing fiercer than ever.
Phrases like ‘great resignation’, ‘war of talent’, ‘future of work’, ‘work 2.0’ are overused, but somehow still taking centre stage at every event, every discussion. So, the big question is--Do these words hold any water or is 2022 going to be another ‘unprecedented’ year? Let’s find out!
A global overview
We spoke with nearly 5,00,000 full-time employees across ~60 countries to understand how the employee experience changed in 2021. While we identify key areas that employers can focus on in 2022, one thing is certain: CHROs no longer own EX alone.
Here’s what Amber observed:
- 7.3% Employees are at Risk of Resigning
- 75.8% ‘At Risk’ Employees were Retained
- 84.1/100 is the Overall Engagement Score
- 89% Approachability of Manager signified
- 87% Trust in Manager reported
- 25% Employees Report Poor Work-Life Balance
What we conclude is that the onus of a memorable employee experience now rests upon each and every CXO. The challenges HR, technology, and People Team leaders will face in 2022 are unlike those of the past because the landscape has changed. But, we are here to give you a headstart.
Let’s look at how this new age of the human will play out across the seven areas that are dominating employee experience trends in 2022.
#1 Loyalty: The key to surviving the talent shortage is action, not words
Why are there so many unfulfilled jobs? 11 million in the US alone, per recent statistics. Whether it’s because of fast economic expansion or a skill mismatch, the bad news is that as digital innovation accelerates, this record-breaking talent gap will only widen.
So, the key to surviving the ‘Great Resignation’ is not just finding the right talent. It’s about keeping the talent you have.
Amber spoke to teams throughout the year and found 29,564 employees to be ‘at-risk’. To put this in perspective, Amber flagged 7.3% of the total global employee-base to be disengaged, unhappy and at high risk of leaving.
2022 will see top organizations get incredibly creative about how they recruit, retain and reskill people by:
- building and strengthening the relationship with individual talent - from compensation, rewards and benefits to learning and development, succession and DE&I.
- Going beyond ‘buy’ strategies to ‘borrow’, ‘bind’, ‘bounce’ and most importantly, ‘bot’ talent configuration and retention strategies to tailor-make the optimal solution.
#2 Prosperity: Employee wellbeing continues to be a top priority
Employee wellbeing was slowly beginning to come to the forefront pre-COVID, but the pandemic accelerated this shift and brought it to the front and centre of every organization's plans.
As per Amber’s data from 2021, ~1/4th of employees (25%) faced issues in managing their personal and social lives along with their roles and responsibilities.
Common issues that can be looked into in 2022 are:
- Working hours to be definite and fixed as it hampers the balance of work and family commitments.
- Alternatives for unnecessary videoconferencing to deal with issues such as Zoom fatigue (due to prolonged online meetings)
- Providing more leaves that are not sickness or emergency related.
Therefore, in 2022 we expect organizations to develop a mature understanding of what employees really need to prosper. Some of the leading companies in the world embed employee wellbeing into every aspect of their people strategy, transcending every point of the employee experience. We have seen such an approach to have a positive impact on retention, absenteeism levels, productivity and overall engagement.
#3 Individuality: Personal and professional growth will be a huge part of employee experience
Our data indicates that despite consistent efforts by the HR leaders in solving employee issues, there is still a long way to go. One of the major EX drivers 'career and learning' has been one of the lowest-performing drivers since the beginning of the pandemic.
Here’s how companies could move on from a process-driven approach towards an employee-centred process.
What can you do as a leader?
- Go beyond superficial personas to build in-depth knowledge of employees. Not just designation, gender or pay. Identify the talent segments based on values.
- Consider building your managers’ capabilities to deliver better to their team members
- Consider personalization opportunities at each employee experience touchpoint– from their online application to their exit.
#4 Inclusivity: Diversity, inclusion and belonging go deeper than surface-level
In 2022, we’ll witness a rise in purpose-driven organizations. But it wouldn’t be easy to achieve. There will be a place for every background, experience, gender, or race. More than that, leaders will need to move the spotlight to “invisible people and unheard voices” so as to unlock the true power and potential of all.
Here’s what Amber observed:
- 71% of male employees see themselves growing further in the organization while only 66% of females (5% less than males) feel the same way.
- Tenured employees feel that their growth has been stalled and restricted despite their extensive contributions throughout their tenures (recognition, promotion, growth, etc.)
- Employees feel that their organizations double down in hiring new employees more than putting efforts to solve issues with the employees who are currently serving.
- A major chunk of employees still feel that promotions and appraisals lack transparency, and are mostly driven by preferential treatment, favoritism and so on.
So the big question is: How can organizations be more inclusive? Leaders will need to:
- Overcome bias
- Break down siloed working practices
- Build a culture of true inclusion, where employees have a voice and feel heard
#5 Accountability: Managers will hold the key to employee happiness and retention
As per Amber data, employee-manager relations have shown an upward spike in 2021 being one of the top drivers with relatively higher scores than others. Even then, we have identified five key attributes that will enable organizations to continue nurturing managers at every level into leaders. Here are the top attributes to inculcate:
- Analytical approach to problem-solving
- Solutions-oriented mindset
- Ability to influence change
- Flexibility and adaptability
Organizations need to build management capabilities across regions, business units, and functions - and at every level.
The bigger takeaway
The pandemic has shifted norms around ways of working that employees have come to appreciate and expect. What happens if an employer stops offering options like remote working or flexible schedules? Employees may be inclined to seek out these things elsewhere.
But at the same time, you can’t retain your entire workforce. And you don’t want to. A resignation makes way for new minds and fresh ideas at your company.
Similarly, your employees may experience important career growth at another company. They can work with a new team, see how things are done differently, and work on new problems and solutions. They can take the skills they learned at your company and further improve on them. This can make them a very strong candidate for your future roles—and give your company another opportunity to increase your employee lifetime value.
Let this be your final takeaway.
If you’d like a free demo of what Amber can do for your organization, click below.