Running A Business

Adapt or Go Talentless: 4 Takeaways from Topia’s New Study

Aug 14, 2020 • 4 min read
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      Businesses have been pounding the “customer experience” theme for years now. From marketing to product design to customer support, leaders are firing on all cylinders to create world-class customer experiences. Now, a new study from Topia finds that businesses need to commit the same level of attention to employee experience if they want to hire and retain tip-top talent.

      Just like with everything in business, the formula for creating happy employees is ever-changing. What worked 10 years ago likely won’t work today. Culture, expectations, alternatives, and demands are evolving—and your business will need to as well to satisfy its team members.

      Check out the top 4 highlights from Topia’s new Adapt study to learn how you can pivot to create unmatched employee experiences.

      1. Employees Want Autonomy, Not Foosball Tables

      Years ago, you could entice the best-of-the-best to join your company with promises of a breakfast bar and ping pong table. Today—not so much.

      Many HR professionals are convinced foods and games are what the people want, but employees beg to differ. Only 19% of workers said an “amazing office space and perks” created a great employee experience. On the other hand, 58% of workers said trust and empowerment were critical to a great experience.

      Today’s employees want to use their skills to their full potential to solve problems and advance their careers. They don’t want to be micromanaged, and they don’t want to fill out time cards—they want to feel trusted.

      And it makes sense—who wants to work at a business that raises an eye of suspicion whenever your snack break exceeds 5 minutes?

      Hire trustworthy employees, and then trust them.

      2. Bad Managers Make for Bad Employee Experiences

      Your managers are the frontline personification of your business’s culture and management. It doesn’t matter how magnanimous you as a business owner are if your supervisors are dropping the ball.

      Employees agree that bad managers top the list (54%) for creating terrible employee experiences. Workers said they’re more detrimental than office politics and even lack of career growth opportunities.

      Today’s best managers must find the sweet spot between being a nagging enforcer of the business initiatives and a kind, loving parent. Employees want reliable leaders who can motivate, direct, and mentor.

      However, great managers are rarely born—they need to be made. Train your managers. Give them professional guidance, coaching, and preventive workshops. Provide expectations and how-tos. 

      Remember not to micromanage your managers, either. They need the freedom to lead, too. Offer them the resources to succeed, but be ready to step in and make a change if you find your supervisors are damaging the employee experience.

      3. Your Tech Could Be Damaging Productivity

      Technology: a curse and a blessing. A day rarely goes by without your employees (or you, for that matter) having to deal with technological hiccups. Zoom calls drop, logins fail, software crashes—it’s inevitable.

      With all today’s technological reliance, don’t make your employee’s lives harder with technology that complicates the process. On average, 70% of HR employees must use 3–6 apps to complete a single task. Employees don’t want flashy software or nifty features—they just want simple, easy-to-use tools.

      44% of employees want more app connectivity (they’re tired of switching between different HR tools to complete tasks), 42% want more simplicity, and 31% want better training on the tools.

      58% of employees think they waste more time than necessary each month completing HR-related tasks. On average, they estimate they spend over half an hour longer than necessary. That might not seem like a big number, but multiply that by your workforce and 12 months, and you’ll be surprised to find you’re unnecessarily burning stacks of cash. 

      4. Fish for Talent in the Global Pond

      With remote work on the rise, your talent pool is no longer limited to your geographic location. Workers don’t need to congregate in tech hubs like San Francisco or New York City to find a worthwhile career—they can be anywhere in the world, as long as they have a computer and an internet connection.

      76% of employees agree that teams in the future will be agile, and globally scattered colleagues will be the norm. 57% of employees anticipate there will be no 9-to-5 jobs 5 years from now.

      Start adapting now. If you haven’t already, begin implementing remote policies and flexible work schedules. Years from now, these won’t be nice-to-have benefits—they’ll be need-to-haves.

      Adapt or Go Talentless

      Your employee experience won’t evolve on its own. Change will require strategic decision-making on your part. Employees have demands, and you’ll need to satisfy them to win the war for talent. Upgrade your employee experience so you can hire and retain world-class workers.

      Don’t wait to fix a problem—adapt your culture now to accommodate evolving demands and prepare for the future.

      About the author
      Jesse Sumrak

      Jesse Sumrak is a Social Media Manager for SendGrid, a leading digital communication platform. He's created and managed content for startups, growth-stage companies, and publicly-traded businesses. Jesse has spent almost a decade writing about small business and entrepreneurship topics, having built and sold his own post-apocalyptic fitness bootstrapped startup. When he's not dabbling in digital marketing, you'll find him ultrarunning in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Jesse studied Public Relations at Brigham Young University.

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