In November 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4.5 million people voluntarily quit their jobs as quit rates hit all-time highs, with an extra 1.4 million who were laid off. This set off a new wave of speculation and attention on the drivers of shifting workplace norms. Since then, quit rates have stabilized but remain near all-time highs as more than 4 million people quit their jobs each month, representing 2.9% of total employment.
While the individual reasons for this behavior might vary, companies hoping to buck the trend would be wise to dig into where their Employee Experience (EX) might be falling apart. At Rightpoint, we know it’s necessary to go one step further: It’s not enough to simply know where the issues might be occurring. Understanding why they are occurring and incorporating that in how you address them is vital to successful EX initiatives.
To ensure a successful process, you need visibility. Establish a means to monitor your initiatives and measure how well they are performing and being adopted. Next, determine the level of institutional buy-in you are likely to receive. Successful initiatives require the support of upper management and employees at all levels to ensure institutional support and engagement.
There are many ways to approach this process. A great place to start is identifying useful tools for visibility and decision-making like Viva Insights, which provides data-driven employee experience insights and recommendations with strong privacy controls. That said, the right solution to EX is not a point-in-time choice and the evolution of these decisions is happening at a rapid, unprecedented rate.
The right data for the right reasons
It’s not enough to simply collect a bunch of data if you’re not collecting the right sorts of data that can effectively guide your choices moving forward.
Often, the right data set includes qualitative and quantitative markers of success, so be sure to collect both. Collecting quantitative data is more straightforward—numbers, facts and figures have nowhere to hide—but in the case of qualitative data, consider targeting the following three facets within your organization:
Culture—does your company maintain a rigid hierarchy? Is collaboration across departments encouraged?
Validation—are your discoveries relevant to the entire organization, or simply facets of it? Can more qualitative data more accurately expose the mindset of your employees?
Action—are you engaging your employees during the discovery process? Do they feel heard and are they offering guidance?
If your team does not believe in the strategy, they may not fully embrace the approach or worse, may even work against it. It’s of paramount importance that executive leadership firmly plants itself on the front lines, and the data you have collected serves as a great jumping off point to begin the real work.
Take a minute before diving into this next phase of the process to learn and understand what your employees are saying. This forms a baseline against which you can measure your newer insights, as well as the key opportunities you have identified from the data. Are they aligned to what the company wants and needs, or does the plan need to be tweaked?
At Rightpoint, we see the importance of this all too often when partnering with our customers to assess their ways of working. Employees struggle with burnout, excessive meetings, ignored focus time and last-minute scheduling. As a result, they are often overwhelmed, have fewer opportunities to discuss job satisfaction and plan for career growth with their managers, or casually interact with one another in the average workday. When unaddressed, each of these challenges leads to decreased satisfaction and higher attrition.
Change is not a binary process—there are infinite shades beyond “yes change” and “no change”—especially with so many moving parts being involved. Ensure change occurs where it should by establishing a feedback loop early in the process.
This need not be an arduous task. Simply grab a calendar and set a timeline and cadence for checking in with the team.
Once you’ve established a series of feedback loops, ensure that change leaders are communicating the upcoming impacts to their employees and direct reports, welcoming feedback from them at the same time. Encourage your leaders to release surveys and engage in conversations with peers around what needs to change—communication is clutch, and alongside engagement and feedback serves as one part of a three-way Venn diagram illustrating how change occurs.
For more on how to use data to evaluate the employee experience and enact successful organizational change, reach out to Rightpoint today.