Each of these P’s represents an opportunity for improvement for EX teams, and great experiences in these areas will yield even greater results – not only for staff retention, happiness, productivity and morale – but also for your bottom line. For example, companies rated highly on compensation and benefits saw 56% lower attrition while companies rated highly on flexible work arrangements saw 137% higher headcount growth.
3. The importance of a connected leadership team
The uncertainty caused by the pandemic put even more of a spotlight on the words and actions of leadership teams, both outwardly to customers and shareholders, but also inwardly to staff and stakeholders. And while some CEOs and C-Suites have thrived, many others haven’t.
Obviously there are both rewards and risks to having connected leadership teams. Take someone like Elon Musk who recently passed 50 million followers on twitter. This gives Elon direct access to customers, advocates, critics and defectors alike. It gives him and Tesla access to unlimited zero-cost marketing that’s amplified across blogs, social media, YouTube and countless media outlets. But it can also create issues as some Tesla shareholders may attest to who are suing Elon Musk for “erratic tweets” that led to a decrease in Tesla’s share price.
Having a connected leadership team isn’t a guaranteed home run, but the benefits definitely outweigh the negatives so long as there is an approved and thought through process behind it. And the same can be said for how leadership teams are connected to staff within their organization as well as how they’re connected to consumers on social media. Indeed, a recent survey from Brunswick found that employees prefer to work for connected leaders by a ratio of 5:1, so the days of broadcasts, message boards and speeches are out, whilst interactive Q&As, town halls and open communication tools like Workplace from Facebook and Microsoft Teams are in.
And, just like with companies that invest in quality Employee Experience strategies and approaches, businesses who invest in connected leadership teams also see benefits to their bottom line. In fact, companies rated highly on open and effective management saw 143% higher headcount growth.
4. There’s never been a more important time to show staff you care
The pandemic put huge amounts of stress on our personal and professional lives. While millions of people lost their jobs, many of those who continued to be employed faced new pressures including high levels of uncertainty, fear, overload of news and information, large and frequent changes to workplace processes and working demands, changes in household dynamics, potential worsening of health, inability to socialize, see family and friends.
And while each of us have dealt with the events of the last year differently, and had different experiences ourselves with the pandemic, there’s no denying certain people have been hit harder. People with certain health conditions have been under more stress. Frontline and essential workers have had a far higher exposure to the virus. Low income workers have been less able to work remotely and women have been disproportionately affected which has exacerbated existing gender disparities in career opportunities and financial stability.
While the pandemic has caused a lot of pain, there can be good that comes from it in the sense of a greater spotlight being put on these issues, and Dr. Jay Wohlgemuth, chief medical officer at Quest Diagnostics, thinks we’ve reached a turning point of sorts. “Absolutely the pandemic created an environment where we accelerated the destigmatization of mental health in the workplace, and now everyone’s talking about it, and it’s okay to talk about it”.
With a greater emphasis being put on staff health and mental wellness, there’s a huge opportunity for HR and EX teams to look at the programs they have in place to measure the wellbeing of their workforce. Regular sentiment checks, improving access to mental health care, committing to diversity and inclusion policies, providing access to meditation, breathwork or home exercise resources and generally encouraging people to maintain a healthy work life balance can all be relatively simple to implement whilst also having a huge impact on staff.
These activities can come in a variety of forms – from wellness programs and initiatives such as those created by Clarins UK Group to help their staff, both office/remote based and front line. Or even rallying the company around a charitable cause to make people still feel like they can make a difference, as Moneypenny does each Christmas as part of their Season of Giving activations.