The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted employees to think more deeply about work. They’re asking questions such as how they feel about work, how they want to work, and the type of organization they want to work for.
Yet, there aren’t always opportunities for employees to share these thoughts with their employers—and even if there are, not all employers are ready to listen.
Put Employees First
Our research in “Closing the Acceleration Gap: Toward Sustainable Digital Transformation” contains some encouraging data. According to our global survey of 1,150 senior executives, half of human resources (HR) leaders are focusing on positive employee experiences to accelerate transformation across their business.
Positive employee experience is their most important factor in acceleration. That’s followed by:
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion (45%).
- Policies and practices that support a hybrid workforce (40%).
- Scalable learning and development (34%).
It’s not just HR leaders who are prioritizing employee experience and engagement—senior managers across other functions are also paying attention. “Employee experience is front and center in everything we do,” says Jennifer LaClair, chief financial officer at digital financial services firm Ally Financial. “And there are some very obvious changes we’ve made around working from home.”
Those initiatives have included new tools to facilitate communication with employees, additional resources focused on digital connectivity, and even a “petting Zoom” where employees introduced their pets to their colleagues. Despite the challenges of 2021, Ally Financial saw its engagement scores rise over the course of the year on the back of such efforts.