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The five employee experience trends leaders need to know in 2023
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The five employee experience trends leaders need to know in 2023

This article is brought to you by Qualtrics.

Compared to employees who have been with their current employer for more than 12 months, new starters have a more negative EX, finds the 2023 Qualtrics Employee Experience Trends report.

Employee experience is often cited as a top priority in Singapore. And with good reason. When workers’ expectations are met they are over four times more likely to stay with their employer for longer, and four times more likely to go above and beyond - according to Qualtrics' 2023 Employee Experience Trends report.

However, the challenge for employers in Singapore is not enough are meeting their employees’ expectations.

The average employee engagement score in Singapore is 67% - one of the lowest in Southeast Asia - while just 31% of workers say their expectations are being met at work (compared to 39% globally), according to findings in the same Qualtrics study.

Encouragingly, engagement scores and the volume of workers whose expectations are being met at work are up compared to 12 months previously - by seven points and 10% respectively. Yet despite the progress, the remaining gap demonstrates the critical importance for employers to continue prioritising employee experience in 2023 - especially as they continue to navigate skills shortages and economic headwinds.

Based on insights from 1,000 workers in Singapore, and almost 29,000 respondents globally across 27 countries - the 2023 Qualtrics Employee Experience Trends report pinpoints five key trends employers must address next year to ensure employee expectations are met.

1. Improving onboarding and enablement for new employees

Compared to employees who have been with their current employer for more than 12 months, new starters have a more negative employee experience. They are less likely to have their expectations met and have lower wellbeing scores. Most significantly, they have the highest 'intent to leave' scores based on tenure.

These findings present a stark contrast to the “new starter glow” we historically expect to see, and reflect the very real challenges organisations face when onboarding employees in rapidly changing and hybrid environments.

2. Closing the growing experience gap between leaders and their teams

In Singapore - and across the Asia Pacific and Japan region - there is a concerning disconnect in how senior and executive leaders in Singapore rate their own employee experience compared to the teams they lead.

Findings from the Qualtrics study show 41% of senior and executive leaders say their expectations at work are being met compared to 26% of middle-managers and junior employees in Singapore. Meanwhile, middle-managers and junior employees report lower levels of wellbeing, engagement, inclusion, and intent to stay than their leaders.

Satisfaction with pay also varies between the two groups - and the gap is increasing year on year - with only 59% of middle-managers and junior employees saying they're paid fairly for the work that they do compared to 76% of seniors and executive leaders.

It’s important to note the experience of top-level leadership is not all positive, with 47% of leaders at risk of burnout. Coupled with the gap with their teams, this poses an additional challenge for leaders as a high risk of burnout can lower their capacity to demonstrate empathy, which could widen the gap further.

3. Prioritising employee growth and development

One of the most pervasive drivers across all experience metrics in Singapore is the belief career goals can be met at the employees’ current employer. What’s more, when employees feel they have good growth opportunities they’re likely to be more engaged, feel more included, and have higher intent to stay.

For employers wanting to deliver a great employee experience in 2023, growth and development initiatives - including training and study allowances, formalised career pathways, and manager effectiveness enablement - need to be a key part of the program.

4. Having company values employees believe in and regularly see demonstrated

Having values that employees believe in – and see demonstrated on a regular basis – has never been more important.

This is best demonstrated by another recent study from Qualtrics in Singapore, where 86% of respondents said they feel motivated to go above and beyond what’s expected of them when their employer’s mission, values, and vision align with their own.

The Qualtrics 2023 Employee Experience Trends report reinforces the importance of values, with employees’ belief in organisational values appearing in the top 10 drivers of nearly all the key employee experience metrics - including wellbeing, intent to stay, engagement, and inclusion.

5. Evolving workplace technologies, processes, and resources to improve employee wellbeing and productivity

Employee satisfaction with workplace technology and processes in Singapore has dropped over the last 12 months, demonstrating the critical need for employers to continue evolving and refreshing their approaches and tools for the new ways of working being adopted. This is of significant importance as working with inefficient systems is a key driver of lower levels of wellbeing and burnout risk.

Having embraced new ways of working and tools over the last two years, employers must not stand still. Employee needs and expectations are continuing to evolve and shift, and it’s essential organisations keep pace with them.

The road forward

At the centre of successfully addressing each one of these trends is deeply understanding how different cohorts within the workforce are thinking and feeling across their entire employee experience and journey, and how these needs and expectations are shifting overtime. This will help employers understand what is and isn’t working in the employee experience so that they can act accordingly for every single person in the workforce and in every moment that matters.

As the Qualtrics findings show, for organisations that do this well the rewards will be significant.

About the authors

This article has been authored by:

  • Lauren Huntington, Employee Experience Solution Strategist, Southeast Asia, Qualtrics (pictured below, right)
  • Georgie McIntyre, Lead Author for the Qualtrics 2023 Employee Experience Trends Report and Employee Experience Scientist, Qualtrics. (pictured below, left)

qualtrics georgie lauren provided

Lead image / Shutterstock
Authors' photos / Qualtrics

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