People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
This sentiment lies at the heart of good HR leadership. That’s according to Antoine Andrews, Chief Diversity & Social Impact Officer at Survey Monkey.
In a recent Forbes article, Andrews says that employee experience (EX) and customer experience (CX) are inextricably linked. And that organizations can improve both by building a caring culture based on shared values.
When people are genuinely cared for by their leaders, managers, and co-workers, they are more likely to care. And customers will feel that authenticity because happy employees are more inclined to inspire positive customer interactions, engage in problem-solving, and go the extra mile to meet customer needs.
So how do you help employees to feel happy and cared for?
Andrews says that values are a crucial piece of the puzzle. 78% of the workforce says that it’s important to work at an organization that prioritizes DEI. A company’s social impact is also a rising priority for employees – and consumers.
When a company’s DEI and social impact efforts align with employee values, you get better engagement, which translates into improved CX. It all starts with communication – understanding what your employees care about and sharing your DEI and social impact progress with the workforce.
Quit rates remain high – but hiring rates outpace them: The Great Resignation can be better described as the Great Reshuffle, with workers switching jobs in search of higher pay, improved work-life balance, and a strong company culture.
Industries with lots of low-wage, in-person jobs still have a hard time retaining staff: Leisure and hospitality has the highest quit rate of all industries. It lost 837,000 workers in September 2023. But – more positively – it also hired 1.1 million people that same month.
The labor shortage continues: In leisure and hospitality around 35% of roles are unfilled. While the manufacturing industry has worked hard to fill roles after the pandemic, as of August 2023, there were 616,000 unfilled manufacturing job openings.
Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t expect hiring to get any easier. As the workforce ages and employers create new jobs, labor market challenges are likely to continue into the next couple of decades.
But the Chamber does offer some advice for businesses looking to attract and retain workers:
Businesses can increase their hiring pools by removing barriers to entering the workforce like expanding child care access, offering innovative benefits, participating in second-chance hiring, and providing opportunities for new and existing staff to be upskilled and reskilled on the job.
Healthcare spotlight: Tips for building trust from healthcare CEOs
High-trust cultures have better employee engagement. They find it easier to attract and retain staff. The workplace also tends to be safer, more agile, and more productive.
But many hospitals encounter an “ivory tower problem” – when a leader has little connection to the frontline and doesn’t understand workforce pain points. Leaders who are removed from the frontline find it hard to build trust.
In a recent Becker Hospital Review article, two healthcare CEOs shared their thoughts on improving trust between leadership and the frontline. Here are the trust-building practices they’ve established within their organizations:
Transparency – sharing all relevant news with your workforce, the good and the bad.
Listening and sharing information – in large and small groups, in roundtable discussions and town hall-style meetings.
Spending time on the frontline – talking to workers, observing processes, getting to know points of friction, worries, and the things employees are excited by.
Seeking and acting on feedback – regarding the work environment in general but especially when introducing new processes, software, or equipment.
Ultimately, as Rob Allen CEO of Intermountain Health says:
“Trust comes from experience. Trust comes from engagement. Trust comes from feeling heard.”
When healthcare leaders maintain a consistent connection with the frontline, listening to their ideas and acting on feedback, employees are no longer at the mercy of leadership’s decision-making process. Instead, they’re an integral part of it.
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