Redefining employee experience for a hybrid workforce
While many employees may have felt compelled to hold onto their jobs during the pandemic because of surging unemployment, the gradual recovery of the global economy is presenting organisations with a different challenge.
Rob Squires, VP for Sales, Asia Pacific and Japan, Ceridian, told HRM Asia, “As organisations plan their return to work, they are finding that many of their employees may be tempted to look for new roles, leading to what is now called the Great Resignation.”
In the APAC region, two-thirds (67%) of employees aged 18-34, and more than half (54%) off all workers, are considering or actively looking for new roles, revealed a new Ceridian report. Driving this development are two groups of employees – those who are suffering digital burnout because of prolonged work-from-home arrangements, and those who want more control of their time instead of spending it on commuting or long hours at the office.
Clearly, the power dynamic has shifted towards employees, as Squires explained, “They know what they want, and they are willing to move on if these needs are not met. Organisations need to be focused on employee value to retain their top staff and attract candidates from companies who are not engaging their employees.”
Attracting and retaining best talent begins with EX
Where once it may have been just a workplace perk, employee experience (EX) is now tied to the resilience and growth of business and is critical to the attraction and retention strategy of organisations. “Organisations need to invest time, energy, and budget in creating experiences that employees across roles, work modes, locations, or tenure, can engage with,” said Squires.
“[Employees] know what they want, and they are willing to move on if these needs are not met.” – Rob Squires, VP for Sales, Asia Pacific and Japan, Ceridian
To manage a hybrid workforce, he recommended that organisations leverage technology to create a work environment that meets people where they are, driving greater harmonisation between work and life.
For instance, companies with a global presence need to stay on top of regional compliance issues that apply to employees working out of different locations. This will help mitigate risk, especially in payroll, said Squires. “Adapting a global payroll strategy and using a single solution can minimise risk, streamline operations, manage costs, and achieve greater global visibility, while ensuring employees are paid correctly and on time.”
Employees also expect pay, labour scheduling, hiring, job searching, learning, and onboarding to be available on-demand, while business leaders continue to seek ways to communicate and connect transparently with an increasingly diverse workforce.
To help improve workplace communication, Ceridian recently launched Dayforce Hub, which offers a personalised interface that gives employees access to tools and resources to help them manage their work lives better and gives leaders an opportunity to communicate updates through one centralised location. Together, this delivers an experience that drives engagement and alignment with organisation culture.
Employees seek flexible workplace policies
According to the Ceridian survey, 27% of organisations in APAC are currently working in a hybrid model, while 34% are working remotely. Over the long-term, however, a more permanent move to hybrid work is expected, with 71% of organisations planning to hire remote employees.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, working arrangements have drastically changed, and will likely continue to do so. With this lingering uncertainty in place, 38% of employees ranked flexible work policies as their most valued employee perk and non-cash benefit.
“Flexible work policies afford more freedom to employees, such as reduced commute times, personal times for themselves, and more options for where they can live,” Squires explained. “These things contribute to the overall satisfaction of the employee with work/life balance.”
He was also quick to highlight the change in employee expectations that comes with a hybrid workforce. “Employees expect better-designed experiences and how these are delivered. Leaders will need to adjust their style and put a renewed focus on inclusivity, and make sure that employees who continue to work remotely stay informed and included.”
On-demand payroll gaining traction
As hybrid work continues to change the way people work, Ceridian’s survey has also revealed an under-the-radar development that may soon be thrust firmly into the spotlight.
While 13% of employees in APAC currently have access to their earned wages on an on-demand basis – rather than having to wait for the traditional payday – over half of workers (53%) have indicated a preference to have this option made available to them. “On-demand pay is identified as bring highly valued by employees, although few employers are currently making this available,” said Squires.
In the current state, pay cycles do not always line up with expenses. This means that employees faced with a financial emergency or unexpected between pay periods experience a cash flow crunch.
“The increasing preference for on-demand pay demonstrates an appetite for greater flexibility over one’s personal finances, providing an alternative to high-interest credit cards and payday lending,” Squires concluded.