GetApp Future of Work Survey Finds That How Employees Work Not Where Drives Satisfaction and Retention

Changes that businesses made during the pandemic aren’t standing up to current challenges in Employees engagement and retention

GetApp’s 2021 Future of Work research on employee experience and performance management illustrates that companies must evolve beyond a hyper-focus on work location and instead customize employee engagement when building new work models.

“It’s how employees work, not where, that really impacts job satisfaction, which has huge implications for businesses post-pandemic”

Location by itself has little impact on happiness as remote employees reported only being 9% more satisfied with their job, on average, compared to on-site employees. Hybrid employees were only 2% more satisfied. On the other hand, the ability to customize your work experience—all of it, not just location—has a significant impact. Employees who have the ability to customize their work processes and systems to fit their needs are 29% more satisfied with their job compared to employees who are not able to customize how they work.

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“It’s how employees work, not where, that really impacts job satisfaction, which has huge implications for businesses post-pandemic,” says Brian Westfall, principal HR analyst for GetApp. “If hybrid or remote businesses are too strict, and don’t give workers the ability to customize more of their experience, they risk wiping out any employee morale benefits they’ve gained by transitioning to these trending work models.”

Customization can’t end with work models, either. Businesses must also adapt their performance measurement models to accommodate and accurately measure success. Forty-three percent of employees who transitioned to hybrid or remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic reported that their employer did not change how their work performance was measured, resulting in visibility gaps between work models. In fact, about one in four surveyed hybrid workers (23%) disagree that the way their work performance is evaluated accurately reflects how good of an employee they are.

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“Hybrid workers are more likely to disagree that their boss has enough visibility into their performance, and that performance evaluations are fair and equitable across the entire organization,” says Westfall. “Unless HR leaders work to rectify these issues, distrust and disengagement will soon follow.”

Managers must consider performance management processes that focus on outcome rather than input as well as equitable, customized processes for all employees regardless of where they work.

GetApp confirms that the future of work is customization. Companies must think critically about the avenues that they are building to effectively engage their employees and to retain their workforce.

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