Flex is Next: Employee workplace experience will determine office engagement

Britta Schellenberg
Britta Schellenberg

Yoga is a practice and an integral part of my life because I keep showing up and doing the work. It’s no different for your company’s employee experience. It’s a practice, not a “one-and-done” event. 

The practice of employee experience is about listening to employee needs as they evolve, addressing them with appropriate investments in tools and programs, monitoring the results, and continuing to remain vigilant and flexible. You can lose flexibility (and your most talented employees) the moment you stop seeing employee experience as a practice.

As VP of Marketing here at Robin, I read a lot about the hybrid workplace, and every two weeks I share my favorite articles with you (this newsletter is also a practice).

Feel free to let me know what YOU think. 

McKinsey & Co.: Employee experience is key to creating 'The New Possible' of hybrid work

McKinsey has just released a great report that highlights the importance of employee experience for business growth at a time of rapid workplace change, much of it driven by COVID-19 and hybrid work models. Among the report’s key findings are:

  • “Companies are facing an exodus of employees who are exhausted and overwhelmed, questioning what work means, and thinking through their options. Organizations can offer an excellent employee experience by taking these needs and feelings seriously at such a crucial time.”
  • “Providing top-notch employee experience is not just lip service; it requires a profound reorientation away from a traditional top-down model to one” where companies put “workers first . . . to maximize [employee] satisfaction, performance, and productivity.”
  • Workers “who report having a positive employee experience have 16 times the engagement level of employees with a negative experience [and] are eight times more likely to want to stay at a company.” 
  • Technology is one of the essential elements of EX, and McKinsey stresses that companies need to have the right answer to this crucial employee question: “Does my company’s technology enable me to work efficiently and without friction?”

HR Bartender: How to map out and improve employee experience

A recent post, The Employee Experience Needs to Change, at the always-practical HR Bartender lays out a 5-step process for continuously improving your EX, which includes these suggestions:

  • Focus on employee experience as a process. The employee experience isn’t a “one and done” event but is a continuous process that changes over time depending on evolving employee needs. Set that process up to be data-informed and adaptive.
  • Metrics are good. Analytics are better. Forward looking information allows organizations to prepare for the changes that need to take place. Data and analytics allow employers to identify (even anticipate) employee needs and address them faster with appropriate tools and programs.
  • Be prepared to adjust. Change is hard and can be very messy. Not only do organizations and individuals need to get better at it, they need to get better at dealing with small changes within a big change process. Having the right technology infrastructure and “change mindset” can enable flexibility at scale.

CIOs investing more in flexible, hybrid work infrastructure

SiliconANGLE, a news outlet that describes itself as “the voice of enterprise and emerging tech,” just published an article explaining how aggressively CIOs are now investing in hybrid work tools and infrastructure. “Chief information officers and IT buyers expect a 7% to 8% increase in 2022 spending, reflecting investments in hybrid work strategies and a continued belief that technology remains the underpinning of competitive advantage in the coming decade,” says the article.

The article notes that the technology sector itself is leading the way in enabling remote and hybrid work: “And why not? Productivity is through the roof and the cost savings from working remotely can be enormous.” The article closes with the bottom line: “Hybrid [work] is the way forward and IT infrastructure will evolve to support these models.”

Owl Labs: How to adapt your office for hybrid work

A great new blog post from our friends at Owl Labs, How to adapt your office for hybrid work, is a deep dive into both the technological and physical infrastructure you need to effectively support hybrid work. The post offers a few eye-opening data points:

Thank you for reading and see you again in two weeks.

Meanwhile, continue your practice of improving employee experience and remaining flexible — when you adapt effectively to the needs of your employees, they reward you with their loyalty and focus on boosting your company’s bottom line.

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