The great resignation, demand for flexible work models and a holistic approach to employee well-being have led employees to become discerning consumers of their careers. With Human Resource (HR) teams at the forefront of this changing world of work, what do companies need to consider when reinventing this all-important employee experience to support attracting, developing, and retaining the right talent into 2023 and beyond?

Know your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Think of the EVP as the ultimate packaging and internal branding to attract and retain the right people. An EVP spans the unique set of benefits that an employee receives in return for the skills, capabilities, and experience they bring to a company. The traditional and most obvious elements of an EVP include pay and benefits and professional career development. Global consumer trends like flexibility, purpose and sustainability are important additions, but are fast emerging as a “given” and will not be a major differentiator. So, what will?

Put people first

The employee experience is individualised depending on gender and age. What’s compelling for staff in the workforce for one year are different to those for 20 years, so policies must be flexible enough to meet each employee’s unique circumstances. Would your company’s leave policy adequately cater for an employee that needs to take six weeks off for surgery if they have only been with the company a few weeks or months?

SAP is exploring how organizations worldwide are adopting “people sustainability.” SAP defines people sustainability as the intersection of employee engagement, empowerment, and corporate responsibility. Of the three pillars of sustainability—People, Planet and Profit—the People pillar has less priority. However, recent research from IDC confirms this attitude is changing, as the People pillar is growing in importance to an organizations’ future success. Other highlights from the IDC Research include:

  • 86% of over 3500 full-time employees and business leaders across the globe believed investments in people sustainability could drive positive economic and environmental sustainability outcomes.
  • 76% of organizations found it more valuable to address people sustainability topics strategically and with a unified approach and respondents expected to see improvement in key business outcomes i
  • 72% expect better financial performance, 78% expect better employee job satisfaction and 77% expect better employee engagement.

The role of Intelligent Tech

Just as HR policies need to support putting people at the center of the business so do the appropriate tools. Providing employees personalized experiences through intelligent technologies was viewed by companies as a way to positively impact employee experience but employees were yet to see the personalisation aspect in the technology they used every day according to an SAP SuccessFactors Growth & Insights teams’ study.

The research aims to understand how organizations can create the right conditions so that intelligent technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) enhance the employee experience, rather than detract from it. Employee experience was found to be rated the second important motivation by HR Leaders globally for moving up the intelligent technology maturity curve after Business Sustainability.

Both HR Leaders and employees considered learning new skills, development opportunities and HR self-service use cases as positive applications of intelligent technologies. However, HR also identified recruiting and career pathing as high priorities for current and future Artificial Intelligence (AI) implementation, but employees had less positive reactions to these use cases, implying opportunity for personalized technologies that accelerate talent development and help make people sustainability a tangible outcome for organisations.

The critical the role of people managers

In a hybrid work environment, an employee’s connection to their manager may be stronger than their connection to the organization. Continuously train and support management in their ever-changing journey as both an employee and manager. And while employers can create and execute on company strategies to create a fulfilling employee experience, meaningful connections to employees and understanding individual needs are critical in creating a healthier and more profitable organization.