WorkForce Software has released the findings of its 2nd Annual Workforce Experience Gap study. Perception gaps narrowed between employers and employees when comparing the results to last year’s findings, which revealed stark discrepancies between the quality of the work experience that organizations believe they are providing and what employees perceive they are actually receiving.
Closer alignment in employer-employee views was found in areas such as job training, pay rates, schedule flexibility, and employee recognition. The key finding in this year’s report is that most of the reduction in perception gaps was due to employers reducing their scores, indicating a recognition that they were fulfilling employee expectations.
The 2022 study also evaluates employee and manager perceptions of workplace communication and employee feedback loops, painting a clearer picture of employee experience.
The dramatic changes in work following the pandemic and the current labor market have had a major impact on the importance of workplace experience, forcing company leaders to shift their HR strategies to address new requirements from employees. Some of these business pivots have created a disconnect among employers and their staff.
This disconnect is especially true for deskless/shift workers who make up 80% of the global workforce and play an essential role in nearly every industry.
Company initiatives continually overlook these workers, despite their significance, and underscores the importance of keeping a pulse on essential workers in order to implement modern, meaningful ways to bolster both employee experience and operational excellence.
“As the workplace continues to evolve, it’s imperative that employees and employers grow closer in meeting expectations when it comes to the workplace experience,” said Mike Morini, CEO of WorkForce Software.
“Understanding your employees’ needs and addressing them in a way that supports business requirements will result in a more productive and motivated workforce and will help retain and recruit top talent across all levels and job roles.
“Organizations that continue to work towards closing the experience gap will benefit immensely. A company’s greatest asset is the employees, so ensuring you are on the same page as they are and working towards a common goal is extremely important in today’s competitive market.”
Following are key findings from the 2022 Workforce Experience Gap Study:
Managers and employees value shift-scheduling and flexibility
Most managers and employees agree that schedule flexibility is essential to job satisfaction. However, many reported that their companies do not offer a flexible, predictable, and accessible scheduling process—making it difficult for these employees to feel they have control in their personal and professional lives.
- 79% of employees surveyed say they would prefer an organization that offered more flexibility over one that did not.
- 39% of employees and 43% of managers report that their companies do not offer flexible scheduling.
- 55% of employees experience changes in shift patterns weekly.
- Only 25% report that their organizations utilize online scheduling software.
- The reduction in the gap in employer and employee perceptions on flexible scheduling was due to 82% of employers reporting they offered flexible scheduling in 2021 versus only 56% reporting they did in 2022.
Organizations are underestimating the importance of digital and mobile training options
There is a clear disconnect in how organizations provide job training information compared to their employees’ preferences when it comes to receiving it.
Despite the growing number of digital natives in the workforce, organizations are underutilizing mobile technology to support their employees.
- 18% of employees report that they rely on fellow team members’ knowledge on how to complete work tasks, and 21% must still locate physical employee-only areas like employee break rooms to access documents and guides.
- 46% of employees say they would prefer to receive training and information via mobile phone, yet only 20% receive this training option from their organizations.
- New to this year’s study, employees and employers were asked for feedback on workplace communication, revealing a need for mobile solutions. While 45% of employees prefer to use a single mobile app for workplace communications, only 14% reported having access to an integrated mobile solution.
Celebrating employee success and embracing feedback are vital
Company leaders are beginning to recognize that celebrating employees’ accomplishments and valuing their feedback are essential in managing and supporting engaged and productive staff, maintaining morale and motivation, and reducing the risk of burnout.
However, there remains a significant percentage of employees who feel undervalued and unheard in their workplace.
- 75% of employees answered that they would choose to work for an employer who regularly asked for feedback over one who did not.
- While 61% of employees reported regular feedback loops ranging from every three months to anytime in the moment via mobile device, 33% reported they provided feedback either once a year or never, indicating some organizations are still isolating their employees through outdated processes.
While results indicate organizations are more aware of their employees’ needs, they still lag in taking action to address them. Employee experience starts and ends with company leaders and it’s essential for employees to be given the proper tools to be successful.
To create moments that matter at work every day, company leaders must remember to:
- Enable better work/life balance with flexible schedules and rosters, streamlined time-off request and approval processes, and make sure employees’ voices are heard.
- Set employees up for success with streamlined communication, knowledge sharing, and clear expectations before they arrive for work each day.
- Create consistently meaningful moments at work by getting employee feedback, ensuring they have all the tools they need to do their jobs, and recognizing when they are at risk of burnout and need a break.