• Barnett Waddingham
    Barnett Waddingham
  • Creating an employment experience that’s genuinely fit for purpose

    By Peter Meyler, Barnett Waddingham

    Imagine working for an organisation where more employees openly criticise their employer than promote it.

    Many won’t have to use their imagination. Based on a study that evaluates the experiences of employees and employers, this is the painful reality for many UK organisations.

    Our surveys of both groups included an employer Net Promoter Score (eNPS) question, asking whether employees would recommend their organisation as a place to work.

    Worryingly, less than a quarter of respondents were deemed ‘Promoters’, while more than a third of employees were found to be ‘Detractors’ or critics.

    Turning Passives into Promoters

    This is a pretty damning indictment of the current employment experience in the UK. There is hope, however. A very high proportion of employees are ‘Passives’ (’fence sitters’). If employers know how to ‘shake the fence’ and bring them down on the right side of it, they could turn them into Promoters.

    Our report – “The pursuit of Promoters: improving the employment experience” – examines the key drivers of Promoters, compared to Passives and Detractors. It also highlights uncomfortable issues. Social, demographic, economic, political and consumer changes are impacting the way we work. That means traditional employment models and propositions may not be fit for purpose in a rapidly changing society.

    Improving the employee experience

    Historically, people were transactional consumers of products and services. Today, they want an ’experience’. They’re seeking something more immersive, interactive and engaging that aligns with their principles, preferences and desires. They are attracted to organisations that are ethical, transparent and interested in engaging with them.

    The same applies to employment. Long service is only beneficial where loyalty is profitable for both employers and employees. Employment propositions need to be both engagement and experience driven. Employees need to be understood as people, customers and stakeholders – not just as workers.

    Adopting segmentation and insight techniques similar to those used in customer research is crucial. It’s key to understanding what drives the views, experiences and performance of different employee groups, so that relevant employment propositions can be developed.

    Most of the recent major innovations in employment have resulted from changes in legislation (e.g. gender pay reporting), or responded to specific organisational issues, such as a poor talent pipeline or high regrettable turnover.

    HR needs to step up

    To deliver long term business success, there needs to be greater use of people metrics, analysis and insight. This will help inform genuine strategic workforce planning and proposition development. It will also improve the employment experience.

    HR needs to be more strategic as a genuine business partner and stretch its boundaries of engagement and influence. It needs to address the root causes of problems, rather than just tackling the symptoms.

    Read our research results at: https://www.barnett-waddingham.co.uk/comment-insight/research/Pursuit-of-Promoters-improving-the-employment-experience/


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