Canadians spend 90,000 hours of our lives at work. Naturally, everyone wants this to be a place they enjoy spending time. Yet many Canadians feel something is missing for them at work; a survey found close to 60 per cent of Canadian office workers wish their work was more meaningful.
This is quite a compelling number of Canadians who aren’t engaged in their work and they don’t have much hope for a solution. Another recent survey found more than half of employees do not believe employers are invested in improving the employee experience and they feel their opinions and perspective do not matter to their employers.
This is a wake-up call for businesses and HR leaders to consider what they can do to make their employees feel valued.
When employees are stuck completing menial tasks such as troubleshooting with IT, doing paperwork or other administrative work they don’t find meaningful, office workers are left feeling bored, unmotivated and like they’re wasting their time.
The jobs we do every day have a large impact on our quality of life. So how can CHROs impact the experiences employees have at work to feel valued and what will make the difference?
Money isn’t the answer
Turns out money really doesn’t solve all problems. In fact, Canadian office workers reported they’re willing to sacrifice almost $9,000 in an annual pay raise for work that is more meaningful to them. What’s more, almost 70 per cent of Canadians agree that they would never take a job that was unrewarding or frustrating, even if the pay was higher.
Another recent survey found a strong correlation between highly positive experiences and high eNPS (net promoter scores)—meaning that the employers that create a great employee experience are likely to have more loyal and satisfied employees.
This provides an opportunity for CHROs to rethink the work and experiences they’re offering employees, especially in industries that are experiencing competitive talent wars. While compensation isn’t always the answer to attract top-notch candidates, world-class technology, a strong company purpose, and a commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging can be.
Technology can make the difference
In a technology-driven era, menial tasks don’t have to be the status quo. Technology has revolutionized our personal lives, making complex tasks simple, easy and intuitive. HR leaders need to consider how enterprise technology can deliver these same conveniences at work.
It’s all too common for organizations to have budding employees eager to tackle strategic work that can help move the business forward, and yet are spending much of their time completing menial work.
More than half of workers today expect their employers to offer productivity tools on a mobile platform. For example, tasks like signing papers, reporting a broken printer, approving work, or getting information from other departments are all disconnected, slow and difficult tasks that can be simple and painless with mobile tools.
Take a human-centric approach
It’s not a new idea, but there is something to be said for the strong correlation between employees who have a highly positive experience and those who are more loyal and likely to stay with their employer. A big contributing factor to this is empathy. HR leaders need a more human-centric approach to the employee experience.
This means creating a culture built on empathy—from executive leadership, all the way to the employee’s direct manager—is critical to driving better relationships. In fact, 77 per cent of employees say they are personally invested in doing great work for their company and its customers.
CHROs should also look to build and foster a corporate culture where employees feel comfortable raising conversations about their work and their aspirations. As a manager, I have always valued and appreciated when a fellow employee takes the time to give feedback on how we can improve our organization, and how we can also help this person achieve their professional goals.
Raising awareness of the challenges office workers face on a day-to-day basis in trying to get their work done with the manual or old-school tools they’re using today is the first step in enabling CHROs to make a difference in employees’ work lives.
By understanding what employees want out of the work they do, HR can make smarter decisions to prioritize the employee experience and use the tools and resources available to them to do so. Not only does this inspire a healthier work culture which can result in better employee retention, it helps organizations achieve long-term success.