Why Employee Experience Is Key in 2019

By Marc LeCuyer

Canadian unemployment is at an all-time low, which is great news for the economy and for workers. For businesses though, employees have the upper hand knowing they can leave a role in search for another place that meets their needs. If this scenario was a business losing its customers, management would allocate resources to determine the problem and provide a solution. When it comes to employee retention, the same effort is required.

A company’s employees are its most valuable assets. Yet, the largest generation making up Canada’s workforce today is not planning to stay long-term. Unlike their predecessors, 43% of millennials expect leave a company within two years. Now, more than ever, employers need to work harder to keep their people, and to keep them happy because employees need positive reasons to stay.

Creating an amazing employee experience is critical for companies to retain their employees and remain competitive. When it comes to employees, when they are highly engaged, they are highly productive, so investing in their experience will ultimately transform a business’s bottom line. Top considerations for business leaders seeking to improve the employee experience include:

Digital Experience

Technology has transformed our personal lives, making traditionally tiresome tasks like grocery shopping, commuting and even dating easier than ever before. Yet, when it comes to workplace technology, the experience still lags behind. Executives report spending 16 hours per week on manual administrative tasks — that’s two full workdays. From scheduling meetings to remembering passwords to requesting internal information, the employee experience can feel cumbersome — wasting valuable time and effort on seemingly mundane tasks.

In 2019, the employee experience should not look much different than the consumer experience, particularly when it comes to workplace technology. It should be personalized, smart and seamless. Technology that can enable push notifications for paperwork updates, provide recommendations for services based on recent behaviour and instantly answer questions through chatbots cuts down on time-consuming tasks. Reducing these mundane tasks unleashes employee creativity and increases productivity, which benefits both the business and employee.

Technology can bridge this gap, bringing these consumer conveniences to the workplace, and freeing up employee time so that people can focus on the work that really matters.

Building Diversity

Diversity, inclusion and belonging are essential for a successful workforce. Having a variety of ideas, experiences and educational backgrounds across all levels of staff drives creativity and innovation forward. What’s more interesting, millennials are more loyal to diverse workplaces—they’re more likely to stay five or more years at a company that is diverse over their peers in workplaces that are not.

Business leaders should focus on building a team of individuals that are going to elevate the business culture. Individuals with diverse mindsets, particularly among senior management, will be an asset to foster this culture as they are more attuned to ethics and will also develop talent more effectively in this respect.

Positive Environments

A workplace environment should make employees feel comfortable and excited to work. It should provide the tools and flexible space necessary to achieve business goals. Yet so many companies get this wrong. The physical workspace is a critical tool to reinforce shared values and purpose. If the company’s mission is to create a collaborative environment, it’s time to start designing spaces that encourage employees to work together.

Beyond physical spaces, employees should have flexible and mobile options for work. Enabling employees to be mobile and shift their hours to avoid rush-hour commutes or work from anywhere gives employees more time to get their work done and results in a better work-life balance. When considering a new job opportunity, Canadians are more likely to prioritize work-life balance over an increased salary. It’s important this flexibility and experience be enjoyed at all role-levels, not just reserved for senior management. Creating an environment that is flexible and mobile provides employees with a better balance in their personal and professional lives, which is key for increasing workplace happiness.

Creating an employee experience that enables top talent to accomplish their best work must be a key factor in how business leaders make decisions about their operations in 2019. From the four walls they work in, down to the tools they use, employees want to be part of a workplace with a great environment, that makes use of technology, and that is inclusive and supportive of their ideas and contributions.

Businesses have an opportunity to strengthen their organization from within by investing in the people that make up the business. These investments promote environments that are more stimulating, healthy and satisfying, ultimately creating long-term success for the business.

Marc LeCuyer is the General Manager, Canada at ServiceNow. Recently named Forbes’ Most Innovative Company of 2018, ServiceNow is a cloud-based workflow solution that is on a mission to make work, work better for people. Visit www.servicenow.com to learn more

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