3 priorities to consider when managing EX in a new world of work

As hybrid work becomes increasingly prevalent, Qualtrics highlights how organisations can better manage EX programmes.
By: | December 14, 2021

The combination of COVID-19 and societal shifts has thrown aside decades of employment norms and structures, meaning that few organisations are able to operate as they were prior to these shifts.

This new reality we find ourselves in has magnified the importance of employee experience (EX), said Lauren Huntington, EX Solution Strategist at Qualtrics. “Leadership teams around the world are being forced to rethink their employee strategies as they deal with new changes.”

As the world of work continues to evolve, Qualtrics is seeing the emergence of three use cases of EX: refining hybrid work models, examining how IT can impact EX, and prioritising diversity, equality, and inclusion.

Refining hybrid work models

“The pandemic disruption has proven that many employees can be engaged and productive while working from home,” Huntington observed. “Starting as a temporary arrangement, many employees have adapted to this new way of integrating work and life, shifting their expectations of how they want to work into the future – and many companies are looking to adapt to this new work model.”

When managed well hybrid working can offer a whole range of benefits, including the ability to attract top talent. Other positives include demonstrating a flexible and forward-thinking culture with trust at its heart, and giving employees more control of their lives – which can help their physical and mental wellbeing. After all, happy employees are often more productive and deliver more to the business.

It can also be more cost effective to run a hybrid workplace. There is less outlay on office space and utility bills, while employees can save money on commuting costs and meals. Part-time employees can also feel as if they are on a level playing field with full-time team members.

There are many factors for organisations to consider before hybrid working can be a success, as Huntington pointed out. “Organisations need to rethink location-based compensation models, define requirements for in-person meetings, establish on-going home office expense policies, and redesign their operating norms to make the most of this new and permanent work model.”

Examining how IT can impact EX

Citing a recent study by PwC, Huntington pointed out that 90% of C-suite executives believe that their companies take people’s needs into account when introducing new technologies. However, only 53% of employees share this sentiment.

92% of C-suite executives also indicated that they are satisfied with their company’s tech experience for the most important work – 68% of employees agree with this assessment. “This experience gap matters because it highlights that C-suite executives may lack understanding of employees’ wants, needs, and ability to use technology.”

“For example, do the tools, services and support provided enable individuals to do their work effectively, and are investments aligned to the improvements people are asking for? Are IT issues resolved in a timely manner minimising the risk to the business? These are important issues to address because EX diminishes as employees struggle to do their jobs effectively,” Huntington cautioned.

READ: Mastering the next step of EX management

Prioritising diversity, equality, and Inclusion (DEI)

“Organisations have experienced a significant increase in the requirement for more DEI within their workforce,” Huntington highlighted. “These expectations are not just coming from employees as organisations face rising pressure from customers, governments, and society in general to take responsibility for their role in creating equitable outcomes.”

She however, acknowledged that DEI is a relatively new area of focus for many organisations, meaning there remains a lot of scope for them to learn and do better in this area. A good place to start however, would be to listen to employees to understand what they believe will help improve DEI in the workplace.

By giving everyone a voice, organisations can identify and implement programs and initiatives tailored to people’s unique needs, which will help cultivate inclusivity and belonging – regardless of where individuals choose to work.

“It is more important than ever for business leaders to listen to their employees on their experiences in relation to hybrid work, technology, and DEI,” Huntington concluded.

To learn more about how EX is playing a role in these emerging use cases, register for Qualtrics’ free online EX 101 course, Employee Experience Fundamentals.