As workplace strategy stabilizes, danger lurks in diminished focus on employee experience—especially amid other business challenges.
Your company’s workplace strategy for 2023 and beyond has stabilized, and employees are more or less back to their old routines or accepting of their new ones. Does that mean we can expect to see a diminished focus on employee experience?
Unfortunately, the answer will be “yes” for some companies—especially in the face of other factors impacting the business. Consider this anecdote shared with me regarding employee experience posture at a family-owned, privately held manufacturing company. This company recently laid off roughly 10% of its workforce, including the department created during the pandemic with the charge of optimizing employee engagement.
What I’m sharing comes from a manager at the company, but not somebody personally involved with the decisions around employee engagement. From their recounting and perspective, however, it seems the company recognized the rising interest in employee experience in the world at large and proceeded to create—and hire for—an employee engagement department without putting enough rigor around its decision. Not doing so led to one big mistake and a crippling problem.
The big mistake: The person leading the employee engagement strategy was a remote hire, in keeping with the times in which they were hired. However, most of the company’s employees weren’t remote nor, as plant workers or employed in the headquarters location, would they ever be. Working remotely—not even in the same city but in a different state and region—this employee engagement leader had no physical or emotional connection to other employees. They were, literally and figuratively, worlds apart.
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