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An Urgent Call to Action—Insights and Strategies from the Third Annual Global Employee Experience Study

May 30, 2024

Deskless Worker

The Third Annual Global Employee Experience Study serves as a critical reminder for large employers to elevate the quality of employee experience to maintain an edge in an increasingly competitive landscape. This research shows the urgency for businesses to enhance their employee experience initiatives to maintain a competitive edge. 

Since 2021, the study has been monitoring the importance of several key aspects of employee experience like flexible rostering, job training, communication and employee recognition. Tracking these elements has highlighted not only the increased demand from employees for enhanced experiences, but also the realisation from employers that they haven’t been delivering work experiences that employees increasingly expect. 

Our blog series has distilled the essential insights and significant findings from the study, offering strategies for operational leaders and HR professionals to evaluate and improve employee experience within their organisation. Here, we’ll provide an overview of this series.  

Going Beyond Greater Alignment

After our original study in 2021, we saw that there was a significant gap in the perceptions on employee experience between managers and employees. In 2023, we saw that this gap had effectively closed—for instance, 75% of employers and employees agree that employee recognition is happening in the workplace.  

However, greater alignment does not inherently signify that employees are deskless workers are receiving improved employee experiences. Rather, it shows that employers are increasingly aware of their employees’ needs and the impact of not meeting them. 60% of employees are considering changing jobs in the next six months, showing there is still substantial dissatisfaction in the workplace.  

Here are a few insights from the general survey results: 

  • 84% of employees—and 78% of employers—rate rostering flexibility as a top employee experience aspect, indicating that it’s increasingly important to the deskless workforce. 
  • 84% of employees—and 77% of employers—recognise the value of training and easy access to work information.  
  • Effective communication and collaboration stand out for 85% of employees. However, there remains a perception gap, as only 75% of employers recognise its importance. 
  • Regular feedback via digital tools is essential, with 80% of employees—and 77% of employers—recognising its usefulness to the workforce.  

Alignment alone is not enough to ensure a better employee experience. Specifically, the study sheds light on the unique needs of deskless workers, focusing on key areas like rostering flexibility and immediate, in-the-moment communication. Addressing these critical needs can decisively influence where top talent chooses to work, providing a clear competitive advantage. Failure to address these needs, on the other hand, risks the loss of valuable employees, which no organisation can afford. 

To see more insights from the survey, read the first blog in this series, Going Beyond Greater Alignment.   

Meeting Growing Employee Expectations

Alongside the growing alignment between employees and employers, the study’s findings reveal that employees are assigning more importance to experience aspects year-over-year. This shift is highly pronounced on subjects like rostering flexibility, where the percentage of employees who value this has grown from 59% in 2021 to 84% in 2023, an increase of 25-points.  

Flexible rostering has become essential for both office-based and frontline workers, offering them greater autonomy over their work-life balance. Without modern rostering options, employees are more likely to seek opportunities elsewhere, highlighting the critical importance for employers to provide such amenities. 

Despite signs of stabilisation in the 2024 labour market, turnover rates, particularly in the private sector, remain high. Workers are seeking employers who actively support their holistic welfare, driving job mobility even as the job market normalises after the “Great Resignation.” 

Additionally, while it is now common to enjoy seamless access to information in our personal lives, many employees are frustrated by the lack of similar accessibility at work. Our survey shows that 55% of employees and 59% of managers prefer mobile access to training and job information, yet only 22% have this option available. Addressing this gap presents an opportunity to enhance productivity and employee satisfaction through mobile technology. 

For more strategies for meeting employee experience expectations, read the full blog here.  

How Disengaged Worker Sentiments Can Point to Better Employee Experience Strategies

The fact that employers are showing increasing alignment on the importance of key employee experience aspects suggests that managers recognise employees’ needs but lack effective tools to address them. While modern workforce management technology offers a means to adequately support deskless workers, organisational leaders may be uncertain about which investments will have the most impact.  

In such cases, feedback from the most vocal critics can offer clear insights for improvement, highlighting the employee experience features that matter most. Businesses can learn valuable lessons from dissatisfied employees, whose feedback reveals practical ways to boost engagement and reduce costly turnover. 

By analysing our survey questions from the perspective of dissatisfied employees, we have found three common traits: 

  • They are willing to leave their current job within the next six months for an employer who offers rostering flexibility.  
  • They feel undervalued by their employer because of insufficient investment in their professional development.  
  • They have difficulty maintaining a work/life balance due to inadequate communication technology. 

These findings suggest practical strategies that organisations can implement to enhance employee experience. Here are a few examples:  

  • Enable employee autonomy with rostering flexibility: Modern workforce management technology enables accurate forecasting, self-service and pay visibility. 
  • Invest in frontline worker development with true mobile support: Since deskless workers are often excluded from corporate career pathing efforts, mobile access to training and job information offers a more practical strategy for keeping employees connected and informed. 
  • Integrated communications keep employees engaged: Leadership cannot address dissatisfaction if it goes unnoticed—dedicated communication channels and consistent engagement combine flexibility and recognition tools.  

To learn how dissatisfied employee sentiments can inform your employee experience strategies, read the third blog in this series. 

The Third Annual Global Employee Experience Study is a reminder for large employers to elevate the quality of employee experience to keep a competitive edge in today’s market. The findings reveal increased employee demand for improved experiences and highlight that employers haven’t been delivering the work experience employees expect. It’s time now for organisational leadership to act and better meet the needs of the deskless workforce. 

To see the full findings and recommendations from the Third Annual Global Employee Experience Study, read the full report. 

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