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New EX-Related Research from Benefex, Kincentric, Workforce Software, and Others

Data Points to Increased Employee Expectations, Variation in Employee Engagement Trends, and the Successes of Using Mobile Technologies with Deskless Workers

Employee experience research studies

Benefex: Great Expectations – Understanding employee needs and drivers in the new world of work

New data from Benefex points to the increasingly elevated expectations of employees of their employers. More than three quarters (77%) of workers report they expect more from their employers now than since the start of the pandemic, and 8 in 10 state that their employee experience at work is more important than a year ago. Expectations of employees under the age of 40 have risen much more than those aged 40 and above. The data reported the following about the expectations of those in the Millennial demographic:

  • Almost two-thirds (64%) criticized their workplace technology, saying it lagged behind the tech used at home, compared to 43%of those over age 40 who said the same.
  • Around 4 in ten had heightened expectations around their benefits package and working for an employer that aligns with their personal values, versus less than a quarter (23%) of the group over 40.
  • Four in ten admitted to seeing flexible working in terms of where (37%) and how (40%) they work as a right, not a privilege.

Matt Macri-Waller, Benefex founder and CEO says: “The pressure on employers to respond to rising employee expectations is showing no sign of easing up. Workers are giving far more consideration to the entire employee experience they have at work with very clear views on what they want and how it can be improved. Employees must act now to develop robust, future-focused strategies to give their people the employee experience they are looking for now and tomorrow, in order to stay relevant and compete in an ever more dynamic and competitive labor market.”

Kincentric: Global Trends in Employee Engagement

Kincentric released a large-scale report on employee engagement trends over the past three years with input from 12 million employees in more than 125 countries. Data from the 2022 Kincentric Report on Global Trends in Engagement showed that while employee engagement levels year-over-year appeared relatively stable, engagement varied from quarter to quarter. Employees’ engagement rates peaked at 73% in Q2 2020, before falling to 67% by Q4 and 62% in Q1 of 2022. Other findings include:

  • Workers’ desire to stay within their current organization continues to decrease, meaning turnover may remain a continuing problem.
  • Middle managers are feeling more pressure than ever, with a 10-point decline in work-life balance compared to 2019. 
  • Only 50% of employees feel their organization has sufficient staffing to get work done. 
  • 59% feel recognized for their efforts and just 54% believe they have future career opportunities at their company.

Jeff Jolton, Managing Director, Research and Insights at Kincentric says, “The findings indicate that no one thing alone makes for a great work experience. Rather, it is the culmination of multiple and simultaneous active Employee Experience initiatives such as recognition, career development, performance management, effective infrastructure and staffing, communicating vision, caring leadership and a positive mindset around change that correlate positively with the degree of Employee Engagement and enable organizations to successfully engage and retain their employees.”

Franchise Business Review: Franchising@WORK Employee Engagement & Compensation Benchmarking Study

Franchise Business Review (FBR) performs an annual independent survey to benchmark employee engagement and compensation among franchise professionals. This year’s survey shows recruitment and retention are the biggest pain points for many franchise organizations, but employee engagement remains very high.

“If there’s been one positive to emerge from the pandemic, it’s that the importance of employee engagement is now at the forefront for many more organizations,” says Michelle Rowan, president & COO of Franchise Business Review. “The labor shortage that resulted from the pandemic has impacted the franchising sector significantly, but the franchise companies that prioritize well-being and a positive culture continue to attract great hires, retain their best employees and grow their brand.”

Specific research findings include:

  • While two out of three employees would like to stay remote full-time, many franchise leaders would like their teams back in the office more.
  • Average wages increased 4.3% year over year for all corporate franchise roles; however, with inflation reported upward of 8% in the same time period, real wages continued to decline. Wages for hourly corporate franchise staff showed strong gain, up 15% over the past year.
  • Overall employee engagement in the franchise sector has stayed remarkably high, with 82% of survey participants finding their work rewarding and satisfying, and four out of five employees recommending a job at their company to a friend.

Workforce Software: Global Retail Workforce Management Study

Research from Workforce Software shows that retailers who leverage modern workforce management technologies, particularly entrusting their frontline deskless workers with mobile technology, see managers time freeing up and employees having access in real time to pertinent business communications, KPIs, sales trends and goals.

The study, conducted with Retail Systems Research finds that giving employee access to the same mobile technology that consumers can result in multiple benefits. The research notes “Winners” in the retail space, have their workers using mobile technologies. The largest retailers are driving the most adoption, at 70% vs 41% overall.

Data points of interest include:

  • Mobile automated time and attendance capability is the leading use of mobile technology for the deskless workforce of top retailers, with 76% of retail winners placing a “high value” on it.
  • Over-performers place a higher value on technology aimed at employee empowerment. 90% of the largest retailers assign “high value” to employee communication portals (compared to 54% overall), and 80% assign “high value” to real time employee performance dashboards (compared to 51% overall).
  • 67% of retail “Winners” place a high value on peer-peer messaging and collaboration
  • 61% use mobile for employee “micro” trainings which happen in-the-moment they are needed on the salesfloor
  • 38% of top retailers surveyed indicated that consumers have more access to product information than their associates can provide in stores. Allowing smart mobile workforce management (WFM) capabilities for the frontline workforce can combat this.

“Retail is often our canary in the coal mine, forcing them to be early adopters of leading technologies with a do-or-die business mantra. Other industry leaders should look to these retail ‘Winners’ that are building organizations of the future – those that are empowering their employees, retaining their staff, and building a loyal customer base – all orchestrated by a powerful modern workforce management solution,” says Sandra Moran, Chief Marketing Officer of Workforce Software.

Author Information

As a detail-oriented researcher, Sherril is expert at discovering, gathering and compiling industry and market data to create clear, actionable market and competitive intelligence. With deep experience in market analysis and segmentation she is a consummate collaborator with strong communication skills adept at supporting and forming relationships with cross-functional teams in all levels of organizations.

She brings more than 20 years of experience in technology research and marketing; prior to her current role, she was a Research Analyst at Omdia, authoring market and ecosystem reports on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and User Interface technologies. Sherril was previously Manager of Market Research at Intrado Life and Safety, providing competitive analysis and intelligence, business development support, and analyst relations.

Sherril holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from University of Colorado, Boulder and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University.


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