Employees are at the heart of an organization’s success, as employee well-being and highly engaged employees inevitably drive the quality of customer experiences. Organizations that stay laser-focused on enabling positive employee experience (EX) tend to have a strong culture, improved employee engagement, and consistent levels of touch throughout the employee lifecycle.

However, the rules of engagement and employee experience have changed drastically in the new normal. A Gallup survey states that employee engagement decreased by 2 points, from 22% in 2019 to 20% in 2020. And lack of engagement cost the global economy US$8.1 trillion in lost productivity each year, according to Gallup.

So, how can human resource teams understand EX challenges and anticipate trends in an increasingly unpredictable work climate? How do organizations prepare themselves at a time when competition for talent is high and employee turnover is a huge risk? What does 2022 have in store for CHROs and HR managers as they seek to ensure EX that caters to these massive shifts in workplace and workforce dynamics? Let’s take a look: ​

1. Enhancing employee engagement in the remote/hybrid workplace

A study by Gallup and Forrester research shows that organizations that offer exceptional employee experiences also witness motivated employees who do their best work resulting in:

  • 17% higher productivity
  • 21% higher profitability
  • 81% higher customer satisfaction

employee experience SAP HXM

Higher engagement is related to lower attrition rates, and the ability to retain and drive top performers. And while eliciting feedback, reporting, and surveys is difficult in the physical office environment, it becomes even more complicated in the remote/hybrid model.

What organizations need is a more individualized, data-led approach to create meaningful and holistic experiences that understand how people learn, what motivates them, and what they need to be their best.

In this new experience-led paradigm, HR and employee experience play an even more significant role. The overarching HR strategy must not only support company goals but also align employee’s wants, needs, and expectations with these goals.

This is where technology can enable HR. SAP’s Human Experience Management transforms traditional HR functions into opportunities to drive engagement and productivity by helping HR leaders understand the key drivers of employee engagement.

2. Improving productivity and aligning IT to EX and business goals

From security patches to inadequate tech support, poor IT experiences can be frustrating for employees. IT teams invest millions of dollars in technology and services to boost employee productivity and work enablement, but it’s equally important to assess whether IT resources and services are aligned to employee needs.

Improving digital employee experiences is key to a more engaged and productive workforce. Organizations can gain visibility and insight into digital experience gaps by leveraging data and transactional feedback loops to gauge the effectiveness of tech implementations.

Leveraging solutions such as Qualtrics EmployeeXM for IT enables CHROs with customized data exports, real-time dashboards, AI-powered text analytics, and digital intercepts to ensure that technology investments and services meet the needs of employees. These insights help plan future projects and also mitigate implementation risks for future technology investments.

3. Managing employee lifecycles in the remote, geo-distributed workplace

Maintaining visibility and transparency across the employee lifecycle – right from onboarding to exit – needs feedback and insights at key touchpoints so that leaders can act in real time to drive improvement.

This is even more crucial in the remote, geo-distributed workplace. Using critical inflection points across each stage of the employee lifecycle can help businesses optimize their onboarding process, reduce attrition, and help create the next set of leaders.

The pandemic’s impact on the economy and workplace has led to a shift in the HR lifecycle to meet the evolving organizational needs. HR will need to increasingly find ways to support the business vision. The solution lies in a holistic employee lifecycle management that provides leaders with onboarding and exit insights, and metrics on ramp-up time and productivity. Using these insights, HR leaders can gain actionable feedback on the root cause of attrition and design action plans to improve EX and retain top performers.

SAP’s SuccessFactors HXM Suite offers breakthrough tools that provide continuous feedback so that HR leaders can listen to employees in real time. With features such as immersive onboarding, socialization and acculturation, and a richer ongoing engagement, CHROs can design a culture that’s required to set up teams for success.

4. Comprehensive Performance Analysis

In recent years, there has been a marked focus on helping employees grow, and understand their own strengths and weaknesses, to visualize their career road map. Accurate and well-rounded performance analysis considers the big picture with multi-rater assessment and 360-degree feedback that helps both employees and managers with rich, qualitative data.

Performance analysis remains one of the key challenges for Human Resource Business Partners (HRBPs). Poor implementation of performance analysis tools or lack of 360-degree feedback leads to unwanted attrition, employee dissatisfaction, and loss of motivation and productivity.

360-degree feedback is not just an assessment tool, it is a development handbook that helps with career planning, promotions, and succession processes. But not all 360-degree feedback methodologies are equal. CHROs and HRBPs need a data-driven approach to drive individual performance and implement talent management reliably.

Navigating today’s complex and increasingly unpredictable business climate requires more personalized touchpoints and promotion of the ‘feedback’ culture. With individualized reports, rich qualitative feedback, and gap analysis, CHROs and managers can design the right career road map and assess performance effectively.

5. Understanding Employee Expectations and Satisfaction

Benefits and rewards are an important part of the employee experience equation. Yet, navigating employee demands becomes complex as their expectations and perception of benefits evolve over time. What was considered a perk (for instance office transport and cafeteria) a couple of years ago, is now merely an essential.

Do the benefits you offer actually improve the EX? How do you design the optimal benefits package driven by data and analytics?

Traditional approaches in designing employee benefits packages are neither scalable nor scientific. What HR leaders need is an effective tool that designs the package based on employee feedback, and automated conjoint analysis. For instance, Google, which has been consistently voted ‘The Best Place to Work’, found that employee satisfaction rose by 37% with the help of employee support initiatives that go beyond financial rewards.

A fair compensation system that uses technology to reward performance based on merit helps in employee retention and motivating underperforming employees. Managers and CHROs need a system that links employee feedback and expectations to operational data if they are to design an accurate, cutting-edge compensation system.

employee experience SAP HXM

SAP’s SuccessFactors HXM Suite is a result of years of research into how employees work, what makes them happy, and what they need from their managers and employers to be fully engaged. It enables HR leaders to capture the finer nuances of employee information and performance so that managers can make data-led, fact-based decisions.

Clearly, the seismic shift in how we work and where we work presents business leaders with an opportunity to rethink employee experience. With advancements in people analytics, behavioral science, and AI-driven insights, CHROs can now handle employee experience in a more personalized and dynamic way. The future may seem uncertain, but a technology- and data-led approach to employee experience can enhance workforce productivity and enable predictability to navigate uncertainty and ambiguity.