We all know that happy and engaged employees are good for business. They’re more productive and less likely to take time off work or leave than those who are disengaged.
Yet despite recognising the harm that disengagement can cause, companies don’t seem to be getting any better at engaging their employees. In fact, their ability to address engagement and cultural issues has dropped by 14 per cent since 2016, according to the latest Global Human Capital Trends research by Deloitte.
Millennials Driving New trends
But the research also points to a new trend driven by Millennials, who expect the same great experiences in the workplace as they are used to having outside work. So instead of focusing narrowly on employee engagement, HR teams are increasingly trying to understand and improve the total employee experience - from on-boarding to exiting, and everything in between.
There are, of course, many ways of improving the employee experience. But a study by Accenture reveals that around half of business leaders surveyed are planning to create individualized employee experiences similar to those they use to win and retain customers. This doesn’t mean giving employees unlimited choice or “onsite foosball tables, climbing walls or artisanal coffee,” says the Accenture report. “It’s about giving employees a set of options that will help them achieve their full potential and drive business value.”
Same Old Problem
This new approach seems to hold out the promise of real progress on the employee engagement front. But as HR teams try to find out how employees feel about their current experience and what might improve it, they have come up against a familiar old problem. The survey tools they use simply don’t work.
Most surveys currently in use produce average scores that don’t say much about how the various elements of the employee experience impact on productivity. And they don’t say anything at all about what managers need to do to improve that experience and so boost productivity.
A Next Generation Solution
Fortunately, there is a tool that does produce meaningful insights: the Quality of Work Life (QWL) survey, developed by VibeCatch and Marko Kesti, Adjunct Professor, HRM-Performance, at the University of Lapland.
Unlike other surveys, this next generation poll gives reliable results because its methodology recognises that different factors affect employee engagement and productivity in different ways. Crucially, the VibeCatch QWL tool generates recommendations for improving the quality of employees’ work life, and increasing their productivity. As Juha Huttunen, CEO of VibeCatch, said in an interview with Forbes magazine recently: “Most people agree that engaged employees are more productive. What hasn’t previously been understood is what will improve engagement and productivity and by how much.”
Impact on Bottom Line
Feedback from companies that have started to use the VibeCatch QWL survey shows that it is having a dramatic impact on their bottom line.
In some cases, earnings before interest and taxes have risen by 25%, while in others, a 75% fall in sick leave has delivered massive savings. “These are the numbers that top management cares about,” Huttunen told Forbes.
How QWL Works
The VibeCatch QWL survey consists of just 15 questions that have been carefully selected to detect undercurrents that other surveys typically fail to uncover. It collects anonymous feedback from employees on a monthly or weekly basis, delivering automatic analysis of the results, and suggesting ways of tackling any work life issues before these escalate and start undermining productivity.
To find out more about how VibeCatch can help your company deliver a great employee experience and in the process increase productivity and profits, contact us for a demo.