Employee Experience Trends to Look Out for in 2020

Employee Experience Trends to Look Out for in 2020

No matter what industry you’re in, no matter the size of your company, and no matter your company culture, one thing is for sure — change is guaranteed. From year to year, we need to adapt our company processes, our systems, and our attitudes to our workforce to remain competitive. 2020 is no different. 

This year, organizations can’t afford to shy away from change. Unemployment rates are at record lows. It’s an employees’ market and top performers are on the lookout for companies that offer motivational employee experiences. To stand out from the crowd, employers need to embrace change. They need to keep up to date with employee experience trends and show employees that they are valued and respected.

With that in mind, we turn our attention to the employee experience trends that will dominate 2020. Following discussions with experts and employees, and after poring over the research, we’ve pinpointed five trends to look out for in this new decade.

Trend #1: Companies Will Take Action on Social Issues

Employee experience is about anticipating what’s important to your employees and factoring that into your company’s culture and processes. And it seems that what matters to Millennials in particular is social responsibility. 

According to a survey conducted by Harris Pollon on behalf of Glassdoor, 75% of Millennials expect their employers to take a stand on social issues. Younger generations want their companies to be passionate and outspoken on hot-button topics, but employees will be even more enthusiastic about companies that are taking action. Some of these social issues even have a solid business case, including sustainability, diversity, corporate volunteering programs, and corporate social responsibility. 

Companies that take a stance, and take action, on social issues in 2020 will demonstrate to their employees that they matter. Not only that, but it will also show that your organization has a conscience and firmly held values. Employees want companies with a social purpose — this is the year to give it to them.

Trend #2: Companies Will Shift from One-Off Employee Surveys to an Integrated Listening Strategy

It’s important to get employee feedback — but this can’t come in the form of a one-off employee survey. Employees are savvy when it comes to corporate box-ticking exercises. If you carry out surveys simply to say you have, your workforce will quickly become disillusioned and they won’t take the process seriously — particularly if no change is enacted following the results of the employee surveys.

In 2020, companies will be better off shifting from one-off employee surveys to an integrated listening strategy. This involves an ongoing, holistic approach to employee feedback, which can include listening methods such as annual deep-dive surveys, online polls, one-on-one discussions between employee and manager, and team meetings. Listening strategies are particularly important during times of change, as this is when employees need to be heard. They need to be given reassurance and a sense of stability when the familiar is shifting.

Trend #3: Companies Will Have to Address Their Multi-Dimensional Workforce

Generation Z is now entering the workforce, which means that for the first time, some organizations are having to manage five generations simultaneously. This poses some issues in terms of employee experience, given the different motivators and drivers for mixed-age groups. 

While many organizations are focusing on Generation Z as the new and growing generation in the world of work, organizations need to remember their older workers, too. As we move into a new decade, companies will have to question how to adjust their employee experience to be accommodating and motivational for all employees so that they’re engaged and passionate about their company until the day they retire.

Trend #4: Employers Will be Under More Pressure Than Ever to Promote Good Employee Wellbeing

Employee burnout became a hot-button issue in 2019, with the World Health Organization recognizing it as an organizational phenomenon in need of addressing. In 2020, switched-on companies will be taking measures to improve levels of employee wellbeing, alleviate stress, and ensure employees aren’t overworked. 

Some organizations might insist no work emails are opened or dealt with after a certain time, while others will make sure employees take proper breaks during their lunch rather than spend them at their desks. Whatever the case, organizations will begin to take a proactive approach while exploring what works best for them, their organization, and their employees, and driving out unhealthy working practices.

Trend #5: Companies Will Get Serious About Diversity and Inclusion
2020 is the year companies will up their game when it comes to diversity and inclusion. There is a huge business case for diversity and inclusion. It is an issue that has shown to influence an employee’s decision when it comes to where they work. 77% of Generation Z say an organization’s level of diversity affects their decision to work there, and diversity and inclusion can help to retain employees, and keep them happy, in the long run.

Carolyn Nevitte

Carolyn Nevitte is HR Director at People Insight, a company that helps organizations measure and improve the employee experience through employee surveys, 360-degree feedback, and expert consulting.

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