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Welcome to the Year of the Employee Experience

By Alex Shubat, CEO + Founder of Espresa

Employees of all ages are expecting more from their employee experience, as philosophical ideas are evolving and shaping the workplace as we know it in 2019. We spend more time with our work than our families in the U.S. and employees are looking for a greater sense of happiness and community at work.

Unemployment has seen historically low numbers in the U.S. over the last year, leading to Human Resource (HR) organizations flailing to attract and retain top talent.

It is an employee’s market and candidate pools for open positions are thin. Employees have discovered that they can strike while the iron is hot and get higher paid and more culturally relevant position that aligns with their values.

Economist, Christophe Barraud, who has been ranked by Bloomberg as the most accurate predictors of the U.S. economy every year since 2012, does not expect the economy to decline until 2021 at the earliest. That means employers will continue to compete vigorously for talent, both in terms of attracting it and retaining it.

For new hires, companies may consider hiring employees without their standard resume and education requirements. For retention, employers will need to double down on efforts to create exceptional employee experiences and offer engaging programs and benefits.

Here are five predictions for how employers are working to strengthen employee engagement and improve employee experiences in 2019.

1. Employee experience technology will catch up to consumer-grade experience technology

 

For years, enterprise companies and their technology providers have invested deeply in offering simple and intuitive digital customer experiences. In contrast, the employee user experience of Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) and other related technologies have severely lagged.

In this day and age, people are accustomed to simple user interfaces from the companies they engage with as consumers, such as Social Media platforms. This can lead to frustration with overly complicated or confusing HR systems that do not adhere to current best practices in user experience (UX) design. That means that HR platforms that you put into place to enhance the employee experience may be moot, as they frustratingly opt out. If an HR enhancement platform is not in use, it is not making an impact which potentially makes you less attractive as an employer.

To improve the employee experience in a hotly competitive job market, enterprise employers and their tech providers will work to offer HR systems and employee programs automation platforms with simple user interfaces and intuitive navigation.

Learn more about how Espresa can transform your employee experience

2. Geographically-distributed companies will seek to align employee experiences across locations

 

Enterprise companies typically have workers spread out over many locations, including remote employees. That may lead to some disparities in the programs and benefits employees can access.

For instance, some locations might offer in-office yoga classes as part of a corporate fitness program. However, other sites or remote workers may not have the opportunity to take advantage of this, leading to employees feeling left out.

To ensure all of your employees have a great experience and have access to engagement-boosting workplace programs, create consistency and parity in your offerings.

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3. Employees will be offered more choices in how they spend benefit dollars

 

To gain that consistency and parity in how employees can take advantage of workplace programs, employers will start offering reimbursements for their programs.

By adopting reimbursements, companies enable employees to have more choices in how they spend money allocated to engagement-boosting programs. Employees can operate more autonomously, attending a local gym, yoga and other fitness venues, then easily submit for reimbursement through a simple interface.

With more choices and autonomy, employees will find it easier and more appealing to participate in workplace programs, which in turn will help companies improve engagement and retention.

4. Companies will change how they track employee engagement

 

While the need to improve employee engagement is stronger than ever, measuring the ROI of these programs, have not become easier. In 2019, employers will shift to a different model for tracking employee engagement.

Companies will move away from trying to stitch together disparate reports on employee programs, satisfaction, productivity, and business performance metrics that attempt to draw conclusions.

Instead, companies will begin tracking how employees interact with their HR and employee program management systems to see how many employees are taking actions that positively impact their experience.

5. Companies will devote more funding to Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

 

According to a research study conducted by IDG, 92% of surveyed executives at enterprise corporations have observed improved business outcomes as a result of ERGs.

From benefits to morale to productivity and the need to retain talent, enterprise companies will increase the budgets they allocate to these programs. Without the right technology to manage these workplace programs, the increase in funding to these programs will also increase the burden on HR.

The same IDG study found that enterprise companies have, on average, 20 employees using four different technologies to manage employee programs – this makes it cumbersome, time-consuming, and more prone to errors. Automation is needed.

Final thoughts

 

As the labor market remains tight, HR leaders will have to continue their dedication to improving employee engagement and experiences. That is going to require creative engagement and experience programs and more time to think about the big picture.

How can we help you today? At Espresa, we are committed to assisting companies in simplifying the way they improve the employee experience. Our platform was designed to streamline how HR manages employee programs while simultaneously making it easier for employees to take part in them. Contact Espresa for a no-hassle demo of our employee experience and culture enabling software.

 

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