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The Future of Employee Experience: How Organisations can Re-energise Engagement Pathways

May 28, 2024

The competition for talent is intensifying and organisations are shifting focus from conventional employee engagement to a more holistic concept called employee experience (EX). With the power to make or break an organisation’s road to continued success, EX pays dividends across the business – from increased productivity, reduced attrition, maximised value, to ultimately a boosted bottom line. However, as the industry stands on the cusp of a new era in employee engagement, CHROs and HR leaders need to deliver a more inspiring, fulfilling, and enriching EX to steer ahead of competition.

Unleashing Futuristic EX Strategies to Stay Ahead of the Pack

After the successful conclusion of Bangalore and Delhi Chapters, BI WORLDWIDE, in association with People Matters, hosted the Mumbai Chapter of their exclusive roundtable discussion on – Future of Employee Engagement Reinvented: New Rules for Disruption-proof Employee Experience (EX) in 2024. A power-packed panel of HR luminaries across industries shed light on engagement pathways that can help shape dynamic workplaces of tomorrow.

Rajan Jain, Regional Director (West), along with Prasad Poosarla, Chief Technology Officer, and Ruchi Bhatnagar, Business Development Director (West), BI WORLDWIDE India, led the charge in enlightening the gathering with insights from BI WORLDWIDE’s global research – ððžð° 𝐑𝐮𝐥𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐄𝐧𝐠𝐚𝐠𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭. The extensive research identifies the 12 pivotal ‘rules’, having the greatest impact on the dynamics between employees and their organisations. The rules lay the foundation of a future-ready and thriving work culture, helping HRs drive the most desirable outcomes of engagement – high commitment, effort, and inspiration.

The New Rules of Engagement research focuses on 5 key parameters: onboarding, recognition, talent mobility, deskless EX, and belonging. The industry experts shared multifaceted strategies, real-life success stories, and key measurable results, pertaining to the various ongoing and past initiatives that they implemented in their organisations, on the 5 key parameters.

Elevate Employee Retention with Seamless Onboarding

New hires decide if they feel at home at an organisation within the first 3 weeks.

Onboarding is a sustained journey with multiple interactive touchpoints. Strategies that can help leverage these touchpoints to deliver a compelling onboarding experience include:

  • Building ‘Vision Statements’, capturing new joiners’ ambitions, skills, and goals. Measuring the realisation of this ‘vision’ through AI-driven solutions and enhancing outcomes through L&D initiatives.
  • Transforming ‘Operations Managers’ into ‘People Managers’, who are skilled at leadership and team mentoring, driving engagement effectively.
  • Managerial discretionary awards to recognise new employees, strengthening belonging and minimising silos between tenured and new workforce.
  • Designing induction programs like structured mentoring, culture decoding, EX score surveys and buddy programs for cultural integration.
  • On-site projects, field visits, interactions with channel partners and knowledge sharing through business collaterals to enhance new hires’ domain knowledge.
  • Designing AI-led, visually-appealing training content, focused on managerial integration, performance management and role responsibilities.

Harness Recognition for Sustained Inspiration

Employees who received a travel or experience reward are 5X more likely to be inspired than those who didn’t.

A thriving culture of recognition starts with ‘us’. Continual peer-to-peer recognition creates a strong ripple effect in an organisation, boosting motivation and performance. Strategies that can be pivotal are:

  • Recognising ‘Resilience Stories’ of top leadership, spotlighting how they overcome challenging times, to set benchmarks and inspire workforce.
  • Theatre Workshops, Recognition Trees, Wall of Fame, and Recognition Weeks to symbolically build excitement around employee accomplishments.
  • Coffee connects with top talent on their work life challenges and best practices followed, making them feel valued.
  • Role modeling initiatives like ‘I failed, I learned’ and ‘Fail fast, Fail forward’, led by senior leadership to reinforce right behavioural practices.
  • Appreciating ‘Recognition Maximisers’ – managers and peers giving the highest recognitions consistently.
  • Recognising the right employee ‘behaviours’ before ‘outcomes’ to appreciate ‘consistent performers’ before ‘one-off achievers’, reinforcing the right work practices in an organisation.
  • Enhancing the ‘trophy value’ of recognition by not treating it as a ‘closed-door phenomenon’. Spotlighting employees on social media and in cultural celebrations to acknowledge their accomplishments.

Foster Belonging for Meaningful Engagement

While 85% of managers say they want to be equitable and inclusive, only half of employees rate their leaders as inclusive.

Nurturing belonging involves cultivating DEI&A, driving new-age upskilling, enabling career growth, facilitating advanced technology and more. Strategies that can aid in achieving these goals are:

  • Allocating ESOPs to employees across the board, driving their ‘ownership’ in the organisation.
  • Holistic Wellbeing Awareness Programs to help workforce improve their physical, mental, financial, and emotional wellness.
  • Tech-powered inclusion advisors to turn managers into proficient DEI specialists through timely recognition nudges, guidance on rewards, team & individual recognition cues and more.
  • Cultural events, CSR initiatives, family celebrations and townhalls to drive purpose, community feeling, camaraderie and belonging.
  • Employee grievance-resolution sessions, led by CHROs and HR leaders to address work life challenges instantly.

Build Futuristic Workplaces with Talent Mobility

Employees who are confident their careers will advance as the organisation grows are 7X more likely to say they belong.

In a talent-centric world, employees must be prepared for the future. Build thriving workplaces by empowering the workforce to take their career growth forward. Strategies that can be effective are:

  • Active industry partnerships with reputed institutions and B-schools to drive employee reskilling and upskilling.
  • Incentivising employees through promotions for acquisition of new skills and adoption of cross-functional roles & responsibilities.
  • Building ‘Capability Academies’, powered by data insights that enable cross-functional talent fungibility and career progression.

Make Deskless Employees Feel Included

80% of deskless employees have a work-connected electronic device, but only 34% report having received recognition on it.

Deskless employees desire an equitable approach to their deskbound counterparts when it comes to engagement. Strategies that can help show these ‘essential’ deskless employees that their contributions are truly valued are: 

  • On-site and virtual learning programs for remote and hybrid employees, driving their learning and development.
  • Training people managers to establish on-ground connect with deskless employees through social inclusion initiatives like team recognitions, family day celebrations, cultural/corporate events and more.

The Evolving EX – Needed for Today and Tomorrow

The future of employee experience is exciting, dynamic, and brimming with potential. The roundtable discussion highlighted how modern-day organisations can tap into and lead this change by embracing emerging trends in onboarding, recognition, talent mobility, belonging and deskless EX. Digital transformation will be at the forefront to thrive in this evolving landscape – leading to sustained business success and keeping organisations ahead of competitors.

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