HR leaders are struggling to keep up with changing employee expectations, and this can have dire consequences for businesses, according to a new study by Oracle. The survey of 1,000 employees and HR leaders across the United States (U.S.) found that despite current economic uncertainty, worker expectations are higher than ever, and HR leaders need help to get the employee experience right or risk losing profits and market share.
U.S. Employee Expectations Rise Despite Recession Fears
Employee expectations for pay, flexibility, and training continue to increase at a time when it is more difficult to be successful at work and fears about the current economy loom.
- 86 percent of employees say it’s more difficult to be successful at work today than it was three years ago, and 84 percent are worried about the impact of the current economy.
- Employees are worried about job stability (50 percent) and burnout (46 percent) and are afraid they will have to reduce their standard of living (48 percent), take on a second job to make ends meet (42 percent), and lack of career growth (36 percent).
- Despite these fears, 65 percent of employees have higher expectations than they did three years ago. Employees want pay raises to meet inflation (53 percent), flexible work options (43 percent), and more learning and development opportunities (30 percent).
- 88 percent of employees believe businesses can do more to improve the employee experience, 52 percent are more worried about having the right job than the right salary, and 88 percent would walk away from a job that doesn’t meet their expectations, even during a recession.
U.S. HR Leaders are Struggling to Keep up with Employee and Business Needs
HR leaders agree their organizations need to do more to support employees, but they are facing major challenges and do not believe they are equipped to navigate a constantly changing workplace.
- 88 percent of HR leaders agree their organizations can do more to improve the employee experience, but 96 percent admit it’s increasingly difficult to navigate the constant change of today’s workplace.
- HR leaders are struggling to attract and retain top talent (61 percent), meet new business demands (53 percent), reskill their workforce (57 percent), and keep up with high employee expectations (50 percent).
- 95 percent believe they do not have the right tools to support constantly evolving business and employee demands, and 88 percent admit they need to rethink their people strategy to succeed in today’s economy.
- 97 percent believe the right technology can help them enhance the employee experience. HR leaders want technology to help them gain a better understanding of their workforce (69 percent), offer guided career mobility (71 percent), and support a hybrid workforce (60 percent).
Prioritize Top Talent or Risk Losing Profits and Market Share
Organizations that don’t get the employee experience right risk reduced productivity, brand damage, and increased turnover.
- 77 percent of employees feel like they are just a cog in the wheel of their organization, and 31 percent have no idea how their performance contributes to business success.
- To feel like a valued part of their organization, employees want an experience where their voices are heard (48 percent), they have clearly defined goals (51 percent), and they receive support in growing their careers (45 percent).
- 77 percent believe that if things do not change – and organizations don’t start listening to their voice or opinions (40 percent), prioritizing profits over people (36 percent), and providing clear communication about their value to the business (28 percent) – their organizations will not be set up for success.
- 85 percent of HR leaders agree and know a poor employee experience can have serious business consequences. HR leaders know that failing to deliver the right employee experience will lower productivity (60 percent), damage the brand (56 percent), and increase turnover (46 percent).
- HR leaders are particularly worried about top performers. 88 percent believe if they don’t start prioritizing their top performers, they will leave, and that will result in lost profits (95 percent) and market share (94 percent).
- 89 percent say technology is the key to finding the right balance between employee and business needs, and 90 percent believe having the right technology partner is the first step to creating that balance.
“The current state of the economy is introducing many new challenges for employees and businesses alike, and HR leaders are caught in the middle trying to find the right balance,” said Yvette Cameron, senior vice president, global product strategy, Oracle Cloud HCM. “With constantly evolving expectations and new business demands to achieve more with less, getting the employee experience right has never been more critical than it is today. HR leaders need help to prioritize and personalize the employee experience, and if something doesn’t change soon, it could have a serious impact on businesses’ bottom line.”
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