May 10, 2023
Majority of employees see themselves as cogs in corporate machinery
A significant majority (85 percent) of employees feel like they are just a cog in the machinery of their organisation and 43 percent have no idea how their performance contributes to business success, according to a new survey of employee experience and expectations. According to the new study [registration] from Oracle, HR leaders are struggling to keep up with changing employee expectations and this can have dire consequences for businesses. The survey of 1,000 employees and HR leaders across the United Kingdom (UK) found that despite current economic uncertainty, worker expectations are higher than ever, and HR leaders need help to get the employee experience right or risk losing profits and market share.
As the cost-of-living crisis bites and strike action continues, the poll from Oracle claims Brits are most likely to demand a pay rise (65 percent), compared with the US (53 percent) and Australia (51 percent). Over 8 in 10 (85 percent) of UK employees are worried about the impact of the current economy, with Brits most fearful they will have to reduce their standard of living (61 percent, compared with 48 percent in US and 45 percent in Australia).
Employee expectations for pay, flexibility, and training continue to increase at a time when it is more difficult to be successful at work and fears about the current economy loom.
- 82 percent of employees say it’s more difficult to be successful at work today than it was three years ago and 85 percent are worried about the impact of the current economy.
- Employees are worried about job stability (50 percent) and burnout (46 percent) and are afraid they will have to reduce their standard of living (61 percent), take on a second job to make ends meet (33 percent), and lack of career growth (33 percent).
- Despite these fears, 57 percent of employees have higher expectations than they did three years ago. Employees want pay raises to meet inflation (65 percent), flexible work options (40 percent) and more learning and development opportunities (34 percent).
- 87 percent of employees believe businesses can do more to improve the employee experience, 55 percent are more worried about having the right job than the right salary, and 89 percent would walk away from a job that doesn’t meet their expectations, even during a recession.
HR leaders agree their organisations need to do more to support employees, but they are facing major challenges and do not believe they are equipped to navigate a constantly changing workplace.
- 70 percent of HR leaders agree their organisations can do more to improve the employee experience, but 90 percent of HR leaders admit it’s increasingly difficult to navigate the constant change of today’s workplace.
- HR leaders are struggling to attract and retain top talent (37 percent), meet new business demands (36 percent), reskill their workforce (34 percent), and keep up with high employee expectations (31 percent).
- 90 percent believe they do not have the right tools to support constantly evolving business and employee demands and 69 percent admit they need to rethink their people strategy to succeed in today’s economy.
- 90 percent believe the right technology can help them enhance the employee experience. HR leaders want technology to help them gain a better understanding of their workforce (44 percent), offer guided career mobility (39 percent), and support a hybrid workforce (48 percent).
Organisations that don’t get the employee experience right risk reduced productivity, brand damage, and increased turnover.
- 85 percent of employees feel like they are just a cog in the wheel of their organisation and 43 percent have no idea how their performance contributes to business success.
- To feel like a valued part of their organisation, employees want an experience where their voices are heard (56 percent), they have clearly defined goals (49 percent), and they receive support in growing their careers (52 percent).
- 83 percent of employees believe that if things do not change – and organisations don’t start listening to their voice or opinions (43 percent), prioritising profits over people (36 percent), and providing clear communication about their value to the business (25 percent) – their organisations will not be set up for success.
- 91 percent of HR leaders agree and know a poor employee experience can have serious business consequences. HR leaders know that failing to deliver the right employee experience will lower productivity (41 percent), damage the brand (39 percent), and increase turnover (36 percent).
- HR leaders are particularly worried about top performers. 71 percent believe if they don’t start prioritising their top performers, they will leave and that will result in lost profits (85 percent) and market share (84 percent).
- 69 percent say technology is the key to finding the right balance between employee and business needs and 73 percent believe having the right technology partner is the first step to creating that balance.
“Concerns around the cost of living in the UK have added to the daily pressure we face in our personal and working lives. It’s a balancing act of supporting ourselves today while preparing for the future – ultimately making sure we’re happy and fulfilled along the way,” said Siobhan Wilson, UK country leader at Oracle. “HR leaders are a huge support when making these decisions, for employees and businesses alike, but they need help too. That’s where I see technology making the most difference, for example, taking away repetitive admin and giving personalised recommendations for career growth, so that HR teams can spend their time focused on what matters most.”
Learn more about the study and findings here