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Management

Study Reveals Employers’ Awareness of Inability to Meet Worker Demands

Employers need to turn awareness into action

Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2022 - 12:00

(Workforce Software: Livonia, MI) -- In its second annual Workforce Experience Gap study, WorkForce Software, the first global provider of integrated employee experience and workforce management solutions, finds that perception gaps narrowed between employers and employees. Last year’s findings revealed stark discrepancies between the quality of the work experience that organizations believe they are providing and what employees perceive they are actually receiving.

This research found closer alignment in employer-employee views 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.

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 between employers and their staff. This disconnect is especially true for the deskless/shift workers who make up 80 percent of the global workforce and play an essential role in nearly every industry. Company initiatives continually overlook these workers, despite their significance, and underscore the importance of keeping a pulse on essential workers 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,” says Mike Morini, WorkForce Software CEO. “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 toward 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 toward a common goal is extremely important in today’s competitive market.”

Below 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 percent of employees surveyed say they would prefer an organization that offered more flexibility over one that did not.
• 39 percent of employees and 43 percent of managers report that their companies do not offer flexible scheduling.
• 55 percent of employees experience changes in shift patterns weekly.
• Only 25 percent 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 percent of employers reporting they offered flexible scheduling in 2021 vs. only 56 percent reporting they did in 2022.

Organizations underestimate 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 percent of employees report that they rely on fellow team members’ knowledge on how to complete work tasks, and 21 percent must still locate physical employee-only areas like employee break rooms to access documents and guides.
• 46 percent of employees say they would prefer to receive training and information via mobile phone, yet only 20 percent 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 percent of employees prefer to use a single mobile app for workplace communications, only 14 percent 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 percent of employees answered that they would choose to work for an employer who regularly asked for feedback over one who did not.
• 61 percent of employees reported regular feedback loops ranging from every three months to anytime in the moment via mobile device, but 33 percent 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, streamline 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.

View the 2022 Workforce Experience Gap results here.

This global survey was conducted by Pollfish on behalf of WorkForce Software in Q2 2022. It includes responses by 1,684 employees and 1,701 employers from a wide range of industries across eight countries.

For more information, www.workforcesoftware.com.

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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.