Improving Employee Experience is THE hot topic of the day as HR departments know that a positive employee experience is a prerequisite for employee engagement and retention. Many conferences and books focus on these topics and many companies experiment with the various components of employee experience—cool work spaces, innovative concierge services, new ways of working and collaborating, etc.

But after all the talk and hype, what are the actual results? Are employees satisfied with the experience they have at work everyday? What should be improved?

The employee experience is the sum of
perceptions employees have about
their interactions

Accenture and Talentsoft are taking stock of the situation with their first annual European Employee Experience survey. In total, they surveyed 1,535 employees in France, Germany and The Netherlands, including those in HR and in other departments at the managerial level and below.

The survey defines employee experience as the sum of perceptions employees have about their interactions with the organization in which they work, including perceptions of workplace, tools provided for interactions, and organization culture.  

After examining different employee experiences in both the public and private sectors, the main obstacles employees face in trying to improve their experience, employers’ role in improvement, and HR’s perspective, there were four main observations.  

#1—There’s a lot of talk about employee experience, but not a lot of walk.

While the majority of employees (73%) believe their organization recognizing and treating their experience as a top priority, a small minority (16%) of non-executive/non-HR employees are very satisfied with their actual work experience. They appreciate HR and Management’s efforts, but they don’t see tangible results.  

#2—Employees don’t just want a ping-pong table in the office.

What most employees seek is greater support and consideration from Management, such as career guidance, coaching and discussion. To a lesser, but very important extent, they demand more opportunities to move between tasks with greater freedom, autonomy and collaboration. And yes, a fun and dynamic work environment is important, but to participate in and co-design their experience is what matters. The ping-pong table is cool—if requested by the employees.

#3—Having a job isn’t everything. Employees want to evolve.

They’re actively looking for ways to develop their skills and stay relevant within and outside their current organization. The majority of respondents want HR’s help in determining the skills and jobs needed in the long run. They want HR to take the lead on offering new approaches to skills training and development. They want HR to deliver the tools to build a secure future.

#4—HR welcomes the opportunity to be the agents of change.

The majority of respondents working in HR want to reorganize their services around employee needs, develop new leadership roles and create an open model with teams composed of a variety of members, including employees from other departments, external service providers and customers. HR wants to shift away from processes and towards truly engaging the workforce.

In short, employees demand to be actively involved in changing the workplace and HR wants to move beyond talk and drive real change within the workplace to improve employee experience.

It is now the task of the entire organization to answer one basic question—How? How will it manage employees according to projects, not just job functions? How will it provide clarity on how jobs will change in the future of work? How can it restructure the workplace so employees are increasingly at the helm of their professional experience?

To answer this, it’s all hands on deck.


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