From October 24th to 26th, Epoch’s team had the opportunity to visit Orlando to take part in Gartner’s ReimagineHR Conference. Top HR execs came together to share industry knowledge within the HR space and future work environment.
Keynote speakers Brent Cassell & Kimberly Shells informed with some shocking stats:
Hybrid work has decreased retention rates as employees feel less connected to their work and leadership. The solution to this is to create a more human experience at work.
Due to layoffs and hiring freezes, many employees are working in high-stress environments. This has also impacted working hours as employees are working 9 hours a week of unpaid labor. Working hours and performance have no connection to better work. If anything, proper rest and a proper work environment accelerate productivity.
Keynote speaker Rachel Lawrence spoke on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Studies have shown that DEI increases sales revenue, controls the customer base, and increases profits. This also leads to a more engaging work environment and strong communication between peers. Many tend to not see the problems that can occur. It’s important to make sure the resistant perspectives are brought to focus when building a DEI strategy.
Main employee pushbacks
Avoiding the pushback will later become a problem. The resistance will become part of the employee culture. The best course of action is to engage with the pushback. Addressing the issues with upper management and creating new strategies can allow employees to feel more included. Psychological danger will make employees not speak up about the issues. Creating employee resource groups can allow individuals to express their feelings and concerns. This creates a sense of safety which will lead to curiosity, confidence, and willingness to change their minds. A properly executed DEI strategy levels the playing field for everyone. Managers and leaders must lead by example as 39% of employees agree that leaders at their organization regularly set examples of inclusive behavior.
Preparing managers to respond to DEI pushback
Rebuilding community strategies are more crucial than ever. With hybrid work, many companies need to focus on employee experience and retention as talent is no longer limited to local individuals.
Employees want to be part of a community that is growing and feel part of something major. Having a sense of belonging drastically increases the chance of a strong workforce. Data shows that there was a 43% increase in retention, an 84% increase in estimated tenure, and a 38% decrease in burnout when a sense of belonging was felt. It is important to recognize a sense of space as this encourages stronger relationships, communication, and productivity.
Fulfillment is the core reason why employees stay or leave. Highly fulfilled employees tend to stay 3 years longer than those who are unfulfilled. Acknowledging contribution and a well-integrated recognition create a sense of fulfillment. There is a 21x increase in likelihood of retention when these four categories are met:
Recent times are showing that leadership is at risk of high levels of burnout. Leaders are less fulfilled than their peers as they are dealing with multiple responsibilities and expectations. Gartner has reported that only 14% of companies have looked into management dissatisfaction. While employee engagement is a priority, most leaders and managers are overlooked. Some ways to combat this is by reducing stress and anxiety for managers, consulting with leaders on management plans, and leaning into recognition.
Acknowledging employees’ work contributions should be done more frequently. Only 21% of organizations reported a high score in recognition. Recognizing employees starting from the onboarding process builds a strong foundation for the relationship between managers and employees.
Employee experience is crucial. Employees are 3x more likely to remember a recognition experience when it includes a symbolic award that represents your organization's story. Create symbolic awards like a career scape where pieces can be added during an employee’s time at your organization.
Denna Harvanek & David Alba spoke about how employee experience can make or break the work experience. Employee experience is all-encompassing, from interactions with colleagues to the tools used at work. Events can help shape the company connection and productivity. Companies that exceed their performance goals are 3x more likely to have EX as a core part of their people strategy. Some work perks include:
Having a satisfying work environment can lead to uninterrupted working hours. 3 hours of uninterrupted working hours lead to the same amount of work as 8 hours in the office. Only 4% of HR teams believe that they deliver an exemplary employee experience. While it may seem an unnecessary expense, these perks attract top talent and increase productivity among employees drastically.
How to get started on Employee Experience?
Employee experience is directly linked to a better work environment, quality work output, culture, reduced staff turnover, increase in productivity, and ultimately company success. Epoch can help with this. Book a demo today.
Trends in working from home/hybrid work and strategies to optimize employee engagement.
Key drivers of employee engagement and effective solutions to boost engagement levels based on Gallup's 2023 Global Workplace report.