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Elevating employee experience to keep up with disruption

Designing a great employee experience starts by ensuring people are the stars of their own show.


April 26, 2024

Is your people agenda at the center of your organization’s strategy? That would be wise if retention and employee engagement are top priorities. Workers are enduring wave after wave of disruption and emerging technologies, such as generative AI, are fundamentally transforming their experiences at work. Whilst this disruption is causing uncertainty, it also brings with it tremendous opportunity.

So, what are leaders to do? Team happy hours are often nice to have, but they don’t alleviate the stress and burnout your people are likely feeling as they contend with this disruption. Relying on these traditional engagement tactics might be why Accenture research found that only 29% of employees trust that their company’s leaders have their best interests at heart. 

In fact, we’ve discovered a major disconnect between employee expectations and their actual experiences in the workplace, with 60% of employees saying they are concerned about gen AI increasing their stress and burnout but only 37% of leaders seeing this as an issue. This is further exacerbated when we consider that 75% of organizations lack comprehensive strategies and initiatives to ensure positive employee experiences and outcomes with gen AI.

But here’s some good news: Organizations that are creating comprehensive employee experiences that exceed people’s expectations are seeing increased retention, greater engagement and improved customer experience. Put simply, doing better by your people is better for business. I don’t believe there’s ever been a better time to turn disruption into opportunity and place people at the center of tech-driven transformation.

Supporting each person’s storyline

Restoring a much-needed sense of well-being, belonging and purpose among your employees will require a coordinated, tech-enabled mix of meaningful experiences. Here at Accenture, we’ve coined the concept of the “life-centric employee experience,” (or life-centric EX), where individuals are seen in the context of their whole lives, rather than just their work lives. It’s a future where leaders appreciate each employee’s uniqueness and rely on a constant stream of data and insights to deliver hyper-personalized experiences. 

Shifts in both mindset and technology make a better people experience possible, particularly if leaders focus on five key areas:

Companies that lead in recruiting and retaining talent are 20% more likely to listen to their people and conduct regular feedback sessions. This includes looking to platforms such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor to ensure a well-rounded perspective.

People are not only employees they are also parents, caregivers, community volunteers, you name it. That’s why companies that recognize this and give people control over how, when and where they work are 30% better at attracting and retaining talent.

Organizations are harnessing gen AI to proactively understand, anticipate and address people’s needs and design and personalize solutions. By doing this they’re seeing a 20% boost in retention and are 30% more likely to realize exponential growth.

People may have the same role, tenure or sit within the same function but have vastly different expectations that are dynamic. Organizations that tailor experiences to individual insights and feedback are 30% more likely to realize exponential growth.

If a job is just a job, leaders' expectations can only be so high. But when people feel they're making a difference at work, they're 64% more likely to be engaged. And companies whose people feel a sense of purpose outperform the stock market by 6.9%.

When organizations invest in these life-centric experiences, they can leave their people feeling healthy (physically, emotionally and financially), connected with a strong sense of trust and belonging, purposeful in the work they do and confident in their job opportunities with highly marketable, future-ready skills. Or what we like to call ‘Net Better Off’. Crucially, leaving people Net Better Off unlocks people’s potential, strengthens trust and gets people ready for, and comfortable with, new technologies like gen AI.

Measuring success: The life-centric EX formula

Providing a life-centric experience for people that leaves them Net Better Off needn’t be subjective—it can, and should be, a quantifiable and measurable exercise. That’s why we developed a straightforward formula that marries people’s expectations with an organization’s ability to deliver against them. Essentially, the formula acts as a tool for closing the gap between perception and reality across all touchpoints—person to person, person to machine and person to physical space—and identifies where an organization is falling short or excelling.

Image of an Employee Experience success formula that shows how organizations can achieve increased  retention, greater engagement and improved customer service
Image of an Employee Experience success formula that shows how organizations can achieve increased  retention, greater engagement and improved customer service

Accenture's formula for Employee Experience success

These are not simply feel-good metrics that matter in an age synonymous with disruption. When a company exceeds people’s expectations, the rewards come in the form of increased retention, better engagement and even a better experience for customers.

Being there for the entire character arc

As you think of the year ahead, I encourage you to consider how to shift toward designing an employee experience that will make people’s whole days—and their whole world—brighter.

At Accenture, we deliver holistic, end-to-end employee experience transformation for our clients—from strategy and branding, to experience design and activation, to rapid innovation and experimentation, to building EX capabilities at scale.

Reach out to me to find out how Accenture can help transform your employee experience.

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Jasmine Jaco

Global Lead – Employee Experience – Talent & Organization