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Changing Expectations of Work, Winning The Race For Talent
As people’s expectations of the world of work have changed over time, with this has come an increasing focus on the importance of the employee experience of their employment and employer. This runs right through the employment life cycle – from the initial application and onboarding processes, through the first weeks and months in work, and on to the eventual day of leaving.
In today’s competitive labour markets, employers who seek to understand workforce perceptions of their experience - and who put this at the heart of their worker experience programmes, are the ones who stand to win in the race for talent over their rivals.
Some five years ago, here at Staffline we were among the first major recruiters of flexible and temporary workers to recognise the importance of gaining feedback from candidates and workers. We recognised that by driving continual improvement in people’s experience, we could not only live up to our promise of ‘Enabling People into Good Work’ but, in doing so, help drive improvements in candidate acquisition and employee retention for our customers. Ultimately delivering a commercial benefit through reduced churn and the associated costs that come with this.
Having identified the need, Staffline approached one of the world’s leading software providers to help design, develop and deliver a bespoke candidate and employee feedback tool. Appropriately this is called, Have Your Say (HYS) and HYS now provides the data that underpins and sits at the heart of Staffline’s worker experience programme today.
Wayne Dooley, Head of Experience and the driving force behind the HYS programme says, “Since we launched HYS in 2018, in the five years that the programme has run, more than 100,000 workers have provided us with over 500,000 unique survey responses. This in turn has provided a treasure trove of information and an estimated 10 million individual data points.
Wayne goes on to add, “As the HYS programme continues, and with the benefit of previous survey results, we’re able to quickly identify trends and issues in the worker experience and to flag these with our customers.
“Working in partnership with our customers we can monitor feedback and continually improve approaches and processes that deliver a better worker-employee experience. It’s a really fantastic tool to have at our (and our customers’) fingertips.”
HYS - The Nuts & Bolts
HYS provides Staffline with the capability to seek feedback from the roughly 35,000 workers we have on our books at any one time regarding their experience as candidates for and working with our customers.
On average, three ‘Lifecycle Surveys’ are sent out to candidate and workers at key milestones across their journey with Staffline. This typically means, post induction, after their first few weeks in post and then on a rolling basis through to exit. This ensures we’re capturing feedback while it’s still fresh in the respondent’s mind and they can more readily pinpoint things that went well (or not so well) during those specific areas of their experience.
Real-Time Feedback From More Than 30,000 Workers, Across The Employee Lifecycle
The outputs from the HYS surveys are also visible to our on-site teams. Plus, they are immediately notified if negative feedback is given. And where there is negative or difficult feedback, the system automatically provides the option for this to be flagged with the individual employee and for workers to be contacted to discuss any issues they might be experiencing.
A real plus with HYS is that along with our on-site teams, Staffline’s customers also have full visibility of the feedback received. This means that our teams can work with our customers to pick up on any issues promptly.
Because HYS provides data in real-time, it also allows us to predict trends in attrition etc that then enable our customers to plan their recruitment more accurately.
Data Insights Informing The Year Ahead
In 2023, HYS gained more than 75,000 unique, individual survey responses. Looking at the data throughout 2023, and as we move forward into 2024, a number of key trends are still at play:
1. 'Type of Work' is Key For Flexible Workers
While being paid fairly and at the going rate is always going to be important, as inflation has shown signs of abating in the last quarter of 2023, HYS data suggests that temporary and flexible workers are looking beyond pay to other factors.
Almost 1 in 3 of our HYS respondents stated that the ‘Type Of Work’ they do is the most important factor for them. This compares to 1 in 6 workers who rank ‘Pay’ as the most important factor.
The HYS feedback is supported by reports in the market more widely, with a recent report published by the BBC, citing that for the first time in nearly two years, wage growth outstripped inflation. Despite rising costs, many businesses are investing heavily in pay to support their workers during the cost-of-living crisis – including many of our clients.
2. 'Happiness' Is Translating Into Lower Attrition Levels
In our most recent HYS survey, more than 84% of HYS respondents stated that they are happy in the role they are currently doing, this is among the highest scores since the HYS programme began. This ‘Happiness’ is directly influencing worker intention to stay, as 81% of our workers state that they intend to remain working for Staffline in their current roles for at least 12 months.
This bucks the UK-trend, while resignations have been falling compared to 2022, the number of resignations documented in national data for 2023 continues to be higher than the pre-pandemic levels.
3. Our Permanent and Temporary Employees Have Shared Motivations
Perhaps unsurprisingly, our temporary workers are motivated by very similar factors as our customers’ permanent employees. Reviewing the verbatim comments we received in 2023, a recurring theme was feedback on wanting more access to ‘Training and Learning New Skills’, so that people are able to progress into new roles. This contributes towards ‘A Sense Of Belonging’, which, according to our findings, is one of the most important motivational factors for flexible workers.
2024: Further Focus on Experience
While there has been a degree of softening in certain areas of the UK labour market of late, 2024 looks set to continue to hold certain challenges.
Thinking ahead, Wayne says, “Employee experience management, done well, undoubtedly delivers tangible benefits to employers. We see this borne out with our own customers time and time again.
“It should come as no surprise that employees who feel valued are more productive. They are also likely to turn in fewer days of absence and to contribute to lower attrition rates because they stay with an employer longer. Given the investment in training required for a new starter, the value of having employees stay on cannot be underestimated.”
In addition to well-publicised labour shortages in some sectors, high levels of attrition – which are often a result of poor worker experiences, continues to prove costly.
In its analysis, the CIPD, estimates that typical cost to an employer of a person leaving their job is in the region of £2,500 per individual. That is simply the administrative cost – factor in the impact to productivity through disengagement and the cost of having to cover work while hiring replacement workers and the cost quickly spirals.
Closing out Wayne adds, “The reality is also that an employee who has a positive experience at work is far more likely to recommend an employer to their own friends and community. This is especially important at a time when reviews on social media or through platforms such as Glassdoor, have come to the fore as they can have a big impact on prospective candidate and worker’s impressions of somewhere as a place to consider working.
“In short, here at Staffline, we’re committed to delivering on our purpose of ‘enabling people into good work’ and HYS is a key part of the programmes we deliver to our customers to enable them – and us, to strive to do just that for every worker, every day.”
Get in Touch
To find out more about Staffline’s worker and employee experience programmes - including our HYS Survey Tool and how we might be able to support your organisation’s employee experience programme, please contact our New Business Team for a confidential conversation: email@example.com.
An Overview of Staffline
Founded in 1986, Staffline is the UK’s largest recruiter, supplying approximately 30,000 staff per day on average to over 400 client sites, across a wide range of industries including logistics, supermarkets, aviation, automotive, driving and manufacturing.
Find out more at: https://www.staffline.co.uk/