Employee experience research | Resilience and flexibility will lead to post-COVID opportunity

Resilience and flexibility will lead to post-COVID opportunity

By Rosemary Smart, EX Solutions, ServiceNow

Twelve months of the pandemic has seen us arrive at an inflection point. So much has changed, and most of us are still dealing with the daily disruption.

To get a sense of how employees are coping at present – and learn what needs to happen for them to succeed moving forward – we surveyed over 2,700 employees in UK, France, and Germany, for our 2021 Employee Experience Imperative Report.

Here are three core themes we learned from the research:

1. C-Suite driven resilience is essential

Most employees have managed the transition to remote working well, and employers have succeeded with measures in place to guarantee safety during the pandemic. 78% of those we surveyed agreed their businesses had demonstrated a clear commitment to safety, while 65% agree they received support from a direct supervisor.

Of course, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been taxing. Life after lockdown is putting a strain on us employees, and, a year in, we’re hitting a point of crisis fatigue, with health and wellbeing under significant strain in our personal and professional lives.

And according to 51% of those we spoke to, businesses aren't taking enough steps to help employees manage the stress of working remotely.

With the pandemic impact set to continue for some time, there is a clear role for the C-suite to play, driving an approach that strengthens cohesion, connection, and resilience for their employees.

But how exactly do we define that approach?

2. Employee experience must be front and centre

Employee opinion should help guide business leader thinking, and the view of the employees we surveyed is clear.

Throughout this experience, home working has clearly suited many: 64% of respondents indicate a preference towards some remote work. And, despite some fears, productivity is high – 70% of those surveyed said their organisation’s digital collaboration and communication tools have allowed them to stay productive.

And yet working entirely from home has its downsides, not least the fact that collaboration has suffered. 43% of employees say losing in-person interactions will erode their ability to contribute at work.

Considering this, it’s clear that what’s needed is a hybrid approach. Work can’t go back to being entirely in the office, but it can’t go entirely remote either. And it’s vital to have the right tools that support employees to work as safely & effectively as possible, wherever they are. My last blog discussed this.

3. Now is the perfect time to act

For many organisations, this is not a burden, but a tremendous opportunity.

With 60% of employees agreeing COVID-19 will have a significant impact on their work experience for years to come, there is at present the space, need, and desire for top-to-bottom digital transformation.

Digital Employee Workflows can deliver here - streamlining service delivery requirements across different departments, eliminating inefficiencies, and helping to reduce employee workload burnout. With ServiceNow, these are accessible anywhere, anytime, and offer a solid foundation for future progress.

Resilience and flexibility will lead to opportunity

Unlocking the opportunities of the future will require organisations to be resilient and flexible, and our research highlights that employees demand both too. And getting there means ensuring your business has the right digital tools for the job.

To help you respond to the challenges of today and tomorrow, offering advice on how to get your organisation ready, why not join our half day Future of Work event on 28th April?

If you only have an hour - join to hear HR service leaders from Kerry Group and Dell Technologies share their own EX journey. Register specifically for their session now.

If you have 3 hours – join to hear from a wide set of industry experts and FoW specialists on how technology is shaping the future of work in the UK & Ireland. Register for the full event now.

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ServiceNow enables the digital workflows that unlock productivity for organisations & employees. Our Now platform delivers a faster, smarter & more automated experience.

We simplify how employees get services they need by enabling them to get answers and help—anytime, anywhere. We deliver a unified experience with workflows across all departments, providing mobile access to services from home or work and support agents with digital tools for resolving requests faster.