employee experience

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Currently, many employers admit they aren’t well-equipped to cope with the changes of work—think moving workers to a remote or hybrid work environment, making job cuts, and restructuring pay and benefits.

Almost nine in 10 APAC employers (88%) have said enhancing the employee experience will be an important priority at their organisation over the next three years, according to Willis Towers Watson’s 2021 Employee Experience Survey. This is an increase from 52% prior to the pandemic.

Most respondents believe that a positive employee experience is a key driver of:

  • Engagement (79%);
  • Employee wellbeing (79%);
  • Productivity (79%), and
  • Attracting and retaining talent (79%)

That said, however, most employers aren’t well-equipped to cope with the changes of work—think moving workers to a remote or hybrid work environment, making job cuts, and restructuring pay and benefits—caused by the pandemic, and offer a positive employee experience.

Clare Muhiudeen, Head of Human Capital & Benefits, International, Willis Towers Watson, said: “Our study reveals that just over a quarter of organisations (28%) have no defined approach to the employee experience, with a further 36% only having a basic approach in place. Enhancing the employee experience has therefore become an imperative for organisations and it’s one that will take time.”

A goal in mind

However ill-equipped employers may be, according to Willis Towers Watson’s survey, they do recognise that to improve employee experience, it will require a clear focus on three areas: changing of work model; prioritising wellbeing, and aligning total rewards programmes to diverse employee needs.

Based on survey results, many employers, in fact, have begun the process of change, albeit at a slower pace. It was revealed that:

  • More than half (57%) are flexible about where or when work gets done;
  • Almost three in five (59%) are in the process of reimagining careers in response to changes in the way work is accomplished; and
  • Almost half (47%) are segmenting total rewards to account for a different workforce profile

Muhiudeen urged employers to look ahead to a post-pandemic era. “To succeed, they must start with a bold employee experience strategy that supports their business strategy and is based on a consistent model.

“Then, they can turn to execution – adapting programmes and policies reflective of flexible work, paying employees fairly, enhancing benefit delivery and wellbeing programmes, supporting workers in a more agile and flexible workspace, and aligning total rewards programmes to meet the needs of a diverse workforce,” she added.

Other findings

What Willis Tower Watson’s survey also revealed is that most organisations (63%) are looking to use digitalisation to transform the employee experience over the next three years.

When asked to identify the areas needed to improve employee experience, employers in APAC are placing higher priority than seen globally to improve their offerings in learning and development (72%) and leadership competencies (71%).

A significant proportion are also looking to address their employee experience needs with manager training (69%) and a focus on inclusion and diversity (60%). Furthermore, over three-fifths of employers (62%) identified flexible work arrangement as a priority to boost the employee experience.


About the survey

A total of 1,550 employers around the world, including 440 from the 14 different markets in APAC participated in the 2021 Employee Experience Survey. The survey was conducted in April 2021 and the APAC respondents employ more than 1.4 million workers.

Image / Pexels

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