The Great Resignation is gaining steam. In September 2021, a record 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs. That was up slightly from the previous record of 4.3 million in August. With more than 10 million job positions open across the United States, employers are focused on finding new ways to attract, retain, and empower top talent.
In a job seeker’s market, employees are demanding flexibility, work-life balance, and a more holistic approach to wellness. To show that they understand worker needs, many companies are revamping the employee experience. They’re rethinking how they manage the workforce and support mental health. They also are investing in solutions that will make people’s jobs simpler and more enjoyable.
“The most important thing we can provide is a borderless, seamless experience that allows them to connect with our clients and to have a productive workday,” said Penelope Prett, chief information officer of Accenture, at the all-digital event, Conversations for a Changing World. “When we think about how to do that, we use technologies to connect our populations across business functions and across geographies.”
After spending nearly two years in a hybrid or fully remote work environment, employees expect companies to provide the tools they need to thrive in a digital-first workplace. And they want remote work to be a part of their employers’ post-COVID-19 plans. Accenture’s Future of Work Study 2021 found that 83% of employees prefer a hybrid work environment. In the future, these workers expect to spend between 20% and 75% of their time working in the office and the rest working from other locations.
With employees spread across the country, or around the world, companies will need to get creative to cultivate strong relationships with top talent and proactively manage their employees’ careers. To stay connected to a decentralized workforce, human resources (HR) leaders need technology that will help them track productivity, identify high performers, and put more power in the hands of employees.
“One of the things I like about the work we're doing with Workday is that we’re transforming how the employee experience runs across HR,” Prett said. “We're able to engage the employee more in managing their own data and their own career experience. These are really fundamental differentiators.”
Making the right tech investments will be key to supporting employee productivity and keeping employees engaged. For example, Prett highlighted how Accenture has introduced virtual reality (VR) into its onboarding and recruiting activities to create a more personalized employee experience. The company built digital twins of its offices to make employees and prospects feel like they’re connecting with colleagues in person, even if they’re thousands of miles apart.
It’s these types of employee-centric innovations that will make companies more appealing to jobseekers in a tight talent market, Prett said. “We [need to] think less about the pennies and dollars and how to move them around and much more about which technologies, like the cloud, are going to be transformational in the employee experience.”
Interested in watching this conversation or hearing from more change makers and leaders? Watch full sessions on demand from Conversations for a Changing World.