- Expect 2020 to be the year that employers unapologetically craft bold and controversial employee experiences, Forrester said in a report published Thursday.
- The organization said it expects employers will take pride in what sets them apart and more often explicitly state who isn't a fit. Many will stop treating gender as binary, invest in retaining their hourly workforces, use automation to reduce cognitive load and more.
- An emphasis on corporate values and heightened employee expectations are pressuring employers to get serious about their employee experiences, Forrester said. "The risk of not getting it right? Public shaming and less ability to attract and retain top talent."
"Employee experience" goes beyond engagement and job satisfaction; the idea now often includes belonging and a promise of meaningful work.
And that shift is backed by research: Employers that fail to prioritize inclusion struggle to attract and retain talent, according to a recent report from Globalization Partners. Meaningful work, too, is crucial for engagement and retention. Experts say workers need to see how their tasks advance an organization's goals, and in a recent survey of millennials, many said they'd take a pay cut or work longer hours for more meaningful work. A positive employee experience also can boost productivity.
But there's no one-size-fits-all blueprint for a successful employee experience, as Forrester points out. Each employer will have to define its culture and work deliberately to implement that plan. And Forrester's prediction that employers will more often unapologetically implement bold — and sometimes controversial — changes appears to be on track. More employers are "banning the box" themselves, removing employment barriers for applicants who were formerly incarcerated. Others are skipping drug testing, deciding that marijuana use may no longer be a deal breaker. And as companies increasingly prioritize diversity and inclusion, Forrester may well be correct that gendered language is on the chopping block.