Successful company with happy employees in modern office

More than nine in 10 employers are making improving the employee experience a top priority, according to a new survey by Willis Towers Watson. While many respondents indicate it will take time to adapt to a post-pandemic world, 94% said enhancing employee experience will be a top priority over the next three years, compared to just 54% before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many employers are focused on adapting to new work realities. Fewer than one in seven (13%) respondents believe the pandemic has receded enough to end pandemic-related policies and programs. Almost six in 10 (59%) say they will do so during the second half of this year, while 28% believe they won’t end these temporary policies until 2022 or beyond.

Additionally, more than three-quarters of employers (78%) believe a hybrid model will be appropriate for many roles, even though many aren’t in a place to accommodate this. Only 52% of respondents said they are flexible about where and when their employees work, and about half (49%) are reimagining careers in response to changes in the way work is accomplished.

Respondents said that a positive employee experience is a driver of several factors, including:

  • Engagement (82%)
  • Employee wellbeing (79%)
  • Productivity (79%)
  • Ability to attract and retain talent (80%)

Suzanne McAndrew, global head of Talent Advisory, Data and Software, Willis Towers Watson, said, “As organizations look ahead to a post-pandemic era, their ability to move the needle on the employee experience will be critical. To succeed, they must start with a bold employee experience strategy that supports their business strategy and is based on a consistent model.”

About three-quarters (73%) of organizations say they will transform the employee experience fundamentally over the next three years by focusing on digitalization, while 63% will prioritize flexible work arrangements. Many are also looking to address inclusion and diversity (82%), manager training (61%), learning and development (59%), and leadership competencies (54%).