Employers prioritize workers’ experience

Published September 2, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Manila Bulletin


Realizing the value of employees in the success of their operations, a vast majority (95 percent) of Philippine employers are now prioritizing workers over the next three years in order to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

This was according to the 2021 Employee Experience Survey which global advisory, broking and solutions firm Willis Towers Watson (WLTW) released recently.

Conducted in April 2021, the survey covered 91 organizations in the Philippines, representing 483,000 employees.

Significantly, most of the surveyed Filipino employers believed that a positive worker experience is a key driver of engagement (89 percent), productivity (88 percent), overall business performance (88 percent) and employee wellbeing (87 percent).

Interestingly, Filipino employers made this decision to prioritize workers’ experience despite knowing that adapting to the new reality takes time and requires a hybrid work model, many are not ready for the challenges.

During the pandemic, local organizations took rapid action, including moving workers to a remote or hybrid work environment, making job cuts, restructuring or cutting pay or benefits.

While these were less prevalent in Asia Pacific than reported globally, they still took a significant toll on people with many reporting anxiety and work distraction, creating a “stress test” on the employee experience for companies.

More than half (52 percent) reported a negative impact on the employee experience as a result of the pandemic.

“Many employers are not equipped to deal with these challenges,” he stressed.

“Our study reveals that 40 percent of organizations have undefined or a basic approach to the employee experience that is not aligned to the business strategy. Enhancing the employee experience has become an imperative for organizations and it’s one that will take time.”

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to run its course, the stress on employee experience will not go away anytime soon.

Employers recognized that this elongated return will require focusing on three areas: A change in work model, prioritizing wellbeing and aligning total rewards programs to diverse employee needs.

Over eight in 10 employers (87 percent) recognize that the new realities of the labor markets will require a hybrid model for many roles.

While many employers have begun the process of change, only 61 percent are flexible about where or when work gets done.

Some 70 percent are in the process of re-imagining careers in response to changes in the way work is accomplished.

More than half, 61 percent, are segmenting total rewards to account for a different workforce profile – and there will be further challenges ahead.

When asked to identify the areas needed to improve employee experience, three quarters (76 percent) of employers in the Philippines say changing leadership competencies over the next three years is a priority.

Developing change capability is also critical as only 42 percent of organizations finds senior leader effectiveness at managing change a major strength.

The survey is very telling. Employers have realized that despite the difficulties they are currently facing, they cannot afford to lose employees if they have to stay in business.

Conscientious employers understand the difficulties workers are experiencing during this pandemic. In the same manner that workers are perceptive enough of the financial challenges the management are facing at the moment.

But, it is no denying that employers who put the well-being of their workers at the forefront are the more successful, and those that don’t may have attained certain level of success but not as much as those that do.