The year 2019 has seen one of the most competitive talent landscapes on record. Job openings are at a historic high, and the unemployment rate is at a historic low. There are more job openings than there are unemployed people to fill them, plus a notable skills gap. Companies are all competing for the same top-tier talent and your employees have many choices when it comes to where they want to work.

It’s no surprise that the employee experience is top of mind for many People Ops professionals as we move toward 2020. A strong employee experience can help you engage and retain your workforce, and feeds back into your employer brand so you can attract more top-tier talent.

Here are the major employee experience trends we’re seeing for 2020.

1. Investing in employee development

Lack of career development is a top reason for employee turnover. Organizations are holding onto their workforce, and providing a better employee experience, by offering opportunities for growth, achievement, and security.

Employee development plans are a great place to start. Use them to map out each employee’s career path, including goals and opportunities for skill development. 

Development opportunities include:

  • courses and certifications
  • stretch assignments
  • special projects
  • conferences 
  • online learning
  • job shadowing
  • mentorship and sponsorship

Your employees will have a better experience at your company when they feel like a valued and integral part of your company’s future.

2. Offering remote work

Modern technology allows many people to work anytime, anywhere. Half of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with remote work.

Remote work is a top employee perk, growing in popularity for good reason. Most US workers say they would like to work remotely, at least part-time. Remote workers are happier, less stressed, and more productive. They waste less time commuting, contributing to a better work/life balance. 

It’s no surprise that companies offering remote work opportunities see 25 percent less turnover than those that don’t.

3. Building an inclusive company culture

A truly great employee experience should extend to all employees. Yet in 2019, the gender and ethnic wage gap persists, the promotion rate is low for underrepresented groups, and the workplace is not a supportive environment for many people.

Nearly seven out of ten executives rate diversity and inclusion as an important issue, while only three out of ten did in 2014. More and more companies are doing the work to build inclusive company cultures so that all employees can bring their best selves to work. 

Your qualitative and quantitative people data can uncover where you have work to do. Look for trends in your employee feedback and dig deeper through surveys and People Ops data. 

For instance, you may hear that women are leaving your company due to unfair compensation practices. Run a pay equity analysis to see whether there’s a gender or ethnic pay gap at your company. If so, make a plan to address it. You may also find that underrepresented groups are not being heard in meetings. Create a meeting culture where diverse contributors have equal impact.

4. Continuing the employee experience through retirement

Many companies are putting more thought into their employee offboarding process, knowing that former employees can be strong future job candidates. Former employees can also impact future talent pipelines through employer reviews and candidate referrals, making it crucial to offboard on good terms.

A strong offboarding process might include:

  • A one-on-one conversation between the employee and their manager to discuss the reasons for the employee’s departure and next steps.
  • An exit survey to learn how you can make strategic improvements to your employee experience.
  • A farewell event like a lunch or happy hour to send the employee off with the team’s well wishes.
  • A request for a Glassdoor review so your departing employee can share information about their employee experience with potential job candidates.
  • An invitation to keep in touch via your company alumni program, whether that’s an email list, LinkedIn or Facebook group, or in-person reunions.

Final thoughts

Companies at the forefront of employee experience have four times higher average profits, two times higher average revenues, 40 percent lower turnover, and 24 percent smaller head count. On the flip side, 64 percent of consumers have stopped purchasing a brand after hearing the news of that company’s poor employee treatment.

Investing in your employee experience is a worthwhile endeavor that can insure your company’s success in 2020 and beyond. Every company’s journey will be a bit different, and these trends may not necessarily be the best starting point for your unique workforce. Use employee feedback, HR metrics, and observations and instincts from your People Ops team to build an employee experience that will be unique to your company.


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4 Employee Experience Trends for 2020