by Robert Wakefield-Carl
Employee experience (EX) is on every company’s mind – and for good reason. Trends like the Great Resignation, the rise of CX gig workers, and hyper-inflation are casting a spotlight on employee experience. Companies are beginning to understand the impact the trending topic has on their brand, the team they employ, and even the way they engage with customers.
What is Employee Experience (EX)?
Employee experience is all about the way your employees perceive and engage with your brand. It encompasses every interaction and experience they have throughout their tenure with the company – from submitting their application to completing their exit interview.
Prioritizing employee experience in your organization is important for a number of reasons. Employee perceptions about your company can impact efficiency, customer experience, and even turnover rates. Further, employee experience plays a role in employees' morale, it empowers employee productivity, and strong EX helps employees deliver the best possible quality service to your customers.
Want to learn more about the importance of employee experience?
Employee Experience Trends
In 2022, a number of employee experience trends are shaping up and driving change across industries. The most prominent of these trends is, of course, The Great Resignation.
An unprecedented and extended spree of shifts within the labor pool has forced many employers back to the drawing board. While some of the causes behind The Great Resignation were driven by unavoidable external factors, others can be directly tied to the quality of an organization’s employee experience. In the post-pandemic world, employees now seek deeper purpose, better working conditions, and higher pay – which means organizations must reimagine and redefine their employee experience to align to this new worldview or watch as turnover takes over.
The Rise of CX gig workers
Another notable trend this year is the rise of CX gig workers. Pressure created by rising customer volume and cost-cutting measures has led many contact centers to seek out alternative ways to staff up. According to Gartner, by 2025 gig workers will account for 35-40% of the workforce.
of the workforce will be made up of gig workers by 2025, according to Gartner
Prescriptive AI will shape customer and employee experience
Prescriptive AI is a tool that’s likely to shape both customer and employee experience this year and beyond. It offers contact center managers the ability to be better prepared for spikes and slow periods in contact volume. More importantly, it helps customers and employees alike by better estimating the time it takes for a single customer interaction to play out.
Right-channeling becomes a strategic priority
Over the last few years, right-channeling (getting customers to communicate through the appropriate channel) was a “nice-to-have” feature. In 2022, right-channeling will become a strategic priority - guided by automation, machine learning, and other evolving technologies.
Centralized data enables companies to better anticipate and respond to customer needs
Centralized customer data is already allowing some organizations the ability to better anticipate and respond to customer needs. Moving forward, making customer data more centralized and accessible is a trend that’s likely to expand into a common practice as organizations realize the value unified data streams can bring to the full customer journey (in particular, via interaction personalization).
Employee Experience Trends by Industry
In the healthcare industry, an emerging trend called the Digital Front Door is on the rise. While this trend is aimed at adapting to emerging patient expectations, the Digital Front Door also has employee experience ramifications. By bringing the right channel to each patient need, agents will have the opportunity and time to prioritize high-touch patient needs.
For financial service companies, more strategically-driven tech stacks have become essential for customer and employee experience alike. Every bank and credit union must consider the tools that allow maximum efficiency without stretching resources too thin. As the financial services ecosystem continues to explore digital branch solutions, digital strategies will need to evolve to help support agents and their changing customers.
In the public sector, federal agencies are turning attention towards OPM’s Remote Work Guidance. The implementation of a modernized approach to telecommuting offers both opportunity and complexity. Waiting isn’t an option as the federal government seeks new ways to gain a competitive advantage against private sector employers.
Few industries have been impacted by supply and staff shortages in the same way as the retail industry. Better integrating existing data and technology is allowing forward-thinking companies to preserve employee experience and reduce customer frustrations.
Letting employee experience play out and hoping for the best was once the standard approach, but brands are becoming increasingly strategic about finding ways to enhance and design powerful employee experience strategies that help them to build a strong talent base. In the coming months, many organizations will face pivotal opportunities to combat The Great Resignation and keep employee experience on par (or better) as competitors work to do the same.
Here are some strategies to consider implementing for a better employee experience in 2022.
Foster a rewarding and respectful culture
You probably have a mission and corporate values. But now is a great time to analyze whether they’re meaningfully implemented into your day-to-day. With many employees shifting to hybrid or remote work environments, even companies with strong culture must be aware of the opportunities to modernize and capitalize on changes. It’s been proven time and time again – effective culture, high employee engagement, and loyalty are all intertwined.
Prioritize the employee lifecycle
A brand that grasps the significance of an employee lifecycle is bound to win. As employee needs evolve over time, it’s important to stay on top of how this evolution will play out and how great talent can be retained.
Understand the employee journey
An employee lifecycle encapsulates the needs of your employees during their tenure with your company. An employee journey, on the other hand, considers how a person’s career will progress through different roles and experiences. Mapping out the employee journey allows you to anticipate the way you can support each employee as they grow.
At some level, everyone can understand how frustrating it is to do a job that you’re not well equipped for. Employees that are better resourced to handle their responsibilities are more likely to be satisfied in their roles. This means something different for everyone, but in the age of remote and hybrid work, cloud-based solutions of all kinds became an essential part of the remote worker’s toolbelt.
Help your employees find purpose and meaning
The Great Resignation was, in part, driven by employees leaving to seek out work they considered more meaningful. But employers who helped their employees to discover the purpose and meaning in their work were better protected against the trend. Having an authentic purpose statement that makes an impact day-to-day is a great place to start.
Make employee experience a strategic, company-wide initiative
To make the biggest possible impact on your employees, their experience must be considered outside of one department. The entire company must embrace the importance of it in order to create a culture change and a consistent experience for employees at every touchpoint in their employee journey.
Create constant employee feedback loops and measure satisfaction
The most tangible way to judge the effectiveness of an employee experience program is measuring it via employee feedback loops. Focus groups, surveys, mentoring opportunities, and the like are all essential for keeping employees engaged and allowing them to feel heard.
Prioritize the agent
In contact centers, agent experience is more important than ever as attrition grows. To get ahead of the curve and prevent unnecessary resignations, there are three essential strategies you can implement now:
- Simplify the agent experience to eliminate day-to-day frustration and friction.
- Improve agent retention with greater workplace flexibility.
- Make sure your agents know they are valued and appreciated.
Get more information about creating impactful agent experiences.