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Welcome to the Employee Era: 7 Things Your Remote Employees Want That You Should Want, Too

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The Great Reshuffle might be shaking things up, but this instability won’t become a permanent feature of how we hire and retain top talent. What will be permanent? Remote work—and companies that understand how to overcome the challenges of a hybrid workplace.

This means it’s time for managers of all stripes to think more seriously about what their employees want and how to tie these needs to the best possible employee experience. We’re entering into an ‘Employee Era,’ where employee experience shapes remote work culture—not the other way around.

Below, discover the 7 things your remote employees want most—and why you should want them, too.

1. Flexibility

There’s a reason you keep hearing this word. According to LinkedIn data, the appearance of the term has jumped by more than 362% in member posts over the last year alone!

From flex hours to family leave, remote and hybrid employees understand the value of being able to work on your own schedule. They expect their employers to be less rigid about 9-to-5 schedules and “back to the office” work plans, too.

And it’s no wonder why. According to a major study conducted by Asana, 25% of employees experienced burnout one or more times last year, and 40% believe that burnout is the cost of success at work. 

Unfortunately, too many meetings and notifications are starting to cancel out all the gains we’ve seen in productivity—and burnout is eating away at worker motivations. By honoring employees’ boundaries, scheduling company-wide “no meeting days,” and thinking more creatively about employee engagement, you can become a more flexible workplace—and a healthier one, too.

Tech tip: Even if everyone on your team is working on a different schedule, you still need time to gather. As an employee event platform, Welcome is your gathering spot and your company auditorium rolled into one. Meet any time, anywhere for an energizing all-hands meeting. Or hold an experiential event that offers your team real ways to combat burnout and build community.

25% of employees experienced burnout one or more times last year, and 40% believe that burnout is the cost of success at work. -Asana

2. Equitable Experiences

An overwhelming number of employees don’t feel valued in their current positions. What’s worse—employers don’t suspect this problem is driving the Great Reshuffle at all! According to McKinsey, “employers seem to overlook the relational elements that are key drivers for why employees are leaving, such as lack of belonging or feeling valued at work.” 

In many ways, the switch to virtual and hybrid work has exacerbated the issue. After all, it can be too easy for managers and leaders to gloss over meaningful work contributions in a virtual setting—and inadvertently create inequitable work experiences to boot.

That’s why it’s crucial to make your team feel seen, known, and valued for their contributions in as many channels as possible. By keeping tabs on who is working hard and who has access to the type of work that leads to a promotion, you’ll make your employees’ experiences more equitable

Managers and people leaders must also examine biases about real-life challenges, like working parents with irregular childcare access or an inability to travel for in-person meetings. How does your company accommodate these realities? Clearly document your policies around roles, expectations, and meaningful output to ensure your remote work culture is as equitable as possible. 

Tech tip: During in-person meetings, it’s all too easy for extroverted employees to hold the floor. Give your employees a more equitable experience in hybrid work environments by making it easy for them to raise their hand with a question during virtual meetings. Welcome helps you give your audience the floor by bringing question-askers up to the virtual stage.

3. Whole-Self Approaches to Work

Companies that attempt to shoehorn individuals into a loosely defined company culture will continue to lose out to whole-self approaches to team building and collaboration. The more your managers identify individual strengths, communication styles, and needs, the easier it will be to build community and improve collaboration.

This level of attention can and should be a major part of employee onboarding. In fact, strong onboarding programs can boost productivity and impact whether an employee feels prepared in their role. It will also ensure 50% greater retention, according to Harvard Business Review.

Building a virtual community with your employees also requires a work-friendly approach to openness and vulnerability. For example, using a service like Bucketlist can help employees win points toward their “bucket list,” a shared wishlist of experiences that allows managers to get to know their people better—and helps motivate employees to bring their best self to work.

Tech tip: Establish a strong foundation for your new hires and get them off to a fast start by hosting your onboarding sessions on Welcome. Measure engagement, boost connection, and introduce them to culture all in a single, easy-to-use virtual space.

Strong onboarding programs improve employee retention by as much as 50%. -Harvard Business Review.

4. Transparency

In the era of employee feedback, employees can feel like they’re offering suggestions or voicing real needs but not really being heard. Companies that offer transparency by holding real-time polls, providing accountability timelines, and sharing meaningful progress on initiatives will win the trust of their team.

The same goes for transparency around roles and responsibilities. Hybrid work has muddied the waters when it comes to who’s doing what and when. In fact, as many as 22% of employees admitted that “uncertainty over priorities” regularly caused missed deadlines, while 23% of employees attributed struggling with deadlines to “unclear processes.” 

Eliminate confusion and boost productivity by clearly documenting team member responsibilities and deadlines. With more transparent processes in place, it will also be easier to pare down on “work about work,” or the meetings and emails that duplicate work rather than help your team get things done.

Tech tip: Capture employee feedback in the moment with Welcome’s real-time polling feature. Not only will you get a sense of how your people feel right away, but you can also broadcast the results in real time to boost transparency and accountability.

5. Recognition

Employee recognition goes beyond compensation and benefits packages—although data from the Great Reshuffle shows that salary still matters a great deal to workers who are considering jumping ship.

When it comes down to it, recognition is directly linked to employee engagement. Gallup found that employees who receive daily feedback from their team leader are three times more likely to be engaged in their work than employees who only receive feedback during a yearly review—or even less frequently.

By building a culture of recognition into your daily check-ins or all-hands meetings, you won’t just be keeping your employees happy. You’ll be saving money, too. One Fast Company analysis found that spending the amount of an average employee’s salary on a recognition program can cut your turnover rate in half—saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars in training and salary costs.

Tech tip: Recognize and spotlight employee milestones with Welcome’s shout-out feature. We make it easy to tip your hat to an employee of the month on stage, celebrate birthdays or work-a-versaries, and more.

Spending the amount of an average employee’s salary on a recognition program cuts your turnover rate in half—saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars in training and salary costs. -Fast Company analysis 

6. Career Training and Development

In 2020, an “opportunity to learn and grow” shot to the top of LinkedIn’s list of company culture drivers. For some employees, career training was even more important than feelings of belonging or strong collaborations. 

Data from the Great Reshuffle bears this out, too. As many as 65% of employees surveyed last year said that their employer didn’t offer enough opportunities to grow at the company—and that this factor contributed to their desire to quit.

Companies that find creative ways to invest in the growth and development of their employees will retain top talent and attract better hires. From team building exercises that improve collaboration skills to training courses that give your employees an edge in their positions, career development should be at the top of your list.

7. Better Managers

Don’t forget that managers need career support, too. Many team leaders worked their way to the top of the ladder by excelling at their jobs—not necessarily by excelling in people management. 

Even more significant? A single manager or team leader can account for 70% of the variance in team engagement, according to Gallup. If your employee engagement is inconsistent, or a team’s engagement levels are flagging, providing more support to the team leader is a worthwhile investment. 

Leadership may need to encourage managers to take a bigger role in the learning and development of their own team members. Research published in the Harvard Business Review demonstrated that involving managers in growth and development training made a big difference, both in the quality of the manager and in the quality of employee training.

After all, in the Employee Era, career growth is for every single person on your team—no matter where they are in your hierarchy.

Tech tip: Welcome makes it easy to host career-boosting webinars and training sessions. Keep your people engaged in their growth and development from the very first minute with featured speakers, recorded content, and real-time polls that measure employee understanding.

Final Thoughts

We already know why employees value the flexibility they found during remote work—and that most employers are planning for a hybrid workforce moving forward. But other drivers behind a great employee experience are just as beneficial for employers, too. An employee event platform like Welcome gives you all the tools you need to launch stronger employee recognition programs, improve transparency, and make your employee experience more equitable. What are you waiting for? Book your demo today!

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