The recent workplace changes within midsize companies are much more than a response to workforce expectations, safety guidance, digitalization trends, or demand for cost reduction. They’re also about building a united culture that sets the business apart from the competition, clearing the way to revenue growth.
How can companies connect the dots between HR administration and growth? According to an IDC Info Snapshot, sponsored by SAP, the answer comes down to “empowering employees, which in turn helps reduce costs and preserve net revenue by decreasing turnover and lost productivity.”
Our research supports IDC’s revelation well: organizations that focus on overall employee engagement deliver three times more revenue per employee, 40% lower workforce turnover, and 15% higher productivity. And in most cases, achieving such improvements begins with a new perspective on the role of HR in the employee experience.
Connecting employees to the business with meaning
The number of changes that HR organizations have experienced in recent months is nothing short of stunning. In many cases, their leaders now report to the CEO. Benefits plans and administrative structures have been reassessed and realigned to better meet employee needs and expectations. Even office-space layouts have evolved to include more stand-up meeting areas, rotating workspaces, and collaboration rooms.
Behind all these changes is an increase in recognition of the influence of employee satisfaction on business performance and growth. And the timing couldn’t be better as people seek more flexible work schedules and a better balance between their physical and mental health, quality of life, and work responsibilities.
This mindset shift requires HR leaders to reexamine their organization’s role in the everyday employee experience, for example:
- How do the needs of deskless workers differ from employees who work from a dedicated desk?
- How could work, social, and emotional support be improved without intruding on employee privacy?
- Are third-party services required to help employees care for their children and elderly family members?
- Which channels promote open dialog and feedback between the workforce and organizational leaders?
- Which diversity, equality, and inclusion policies will help bolster trust, unity, empathy, and engagement?
- In what ways can recruiters widen their talent pool across geographies, industries, and experience levels?
The answers to these questions, and many more that HR leaders may ask, are rightfully unique to the company. But the underlying goal should remain the same: preserving core business values and nurturing a culture that puts its people at the center of every decision.
Making changes that last with interconnected systems
While traditionally a human-centered metric, employee satisfaction can set the stage for longer revenue growth and profitability when business systems are interconnected and designed to help listen, understand, and adapt to employee requirements.
Take, for example, Hycom S.A. Like many organizations, the provider of digital customer service solutions had to adapt fast to the new world of remote work. And with a staff of 300 highly skilled people who play a critical role in its growth, this was an initiative that the business couldn’t afford to get wrong.
To develop and maintain a happy and loyal workforce, Hycom wanted to understand how its employees feel and how best to support them. To get there, Hycom looked to launch an employee listening program that incorporates surveys to gain deep insight into employee sentiments and pain points. Equipped with this knowledge, the business can take targeted action to improve the employee experience, keeping its people committed and engaged and company spirits high.
Using a combination of cloud-based HR and experience management solutions, the Hycom leadership team actively listens to their employees’ feedback and connects those insights with customer demand to deliver improvements within one week. In response, 98% of employees are satisfied with changes in internal communications, while 96% agree that they have the flexibility to maintain a healthy work-life balance. But more profound is the rise in engagement and empowerment, as indicated by the attendance of 60% of the workforce during the CEO’s weekly meeting.
Finding the link between HR administration and ongoing growth
By laying the foundation for an interconnected system, midsize organizations, such a Hycom, can access the advanced capabilities they need to fuel continuous growth. They include process automation, advanced people analytics, and workspace management that help personalize work experiences, compensation, learning and development, and succession. When these components help shape the overall employee experience, HR organizations play a distinct role that directly contributes to the bottom line and supports business strategies.
Maryann Abbajay is chief revenue officer for SAP SuccessFactors.
This article was first published on Forbes.