It’s time to rethink the employee experience

Higher levels of burnout fueled by frustration with conventional workplace practices are negatively affecting today’s workforces–but there are ways to combat that trend, according to a new report from O.C. Tanner.

Among the most striking of O.C. Tanner’s 2020 Global Culture Report findings is the increased likelihood that an employee will leave an organization for a similar role, pay and benefits at another company–a stat that went from 55% last year to 59% in this year’s study.

NEW: Five takeaways from HR Tech 2019

Just as concerning, the report finds that employees are feeling more burned out than ever before, as 79% of employee surveyed report suffering from “mild, moderate or severe burnout.” Also, less than half (45%) of employees report having had a “peak moment” in the past month, and only 42% rate their employee experience as “positive or extremely positive.”

RELATED: “How tech can make or break the employee experience”

Despite the negatives surfaced in the researchwhich is now in its second year and based on data gathered from over 20,000 employees and leaders in 15 countries–it suggests there are new ways to look at the employee experience, says Gary Beckstrand, vice president at the O.C. Tanner Institute. He adds that the report empirically demonstrates how HR and business leaders can intentionally improve their team and organization cultures.

According to Beckstrand, the report reframes the employee experience and provides actionable insights on how to actively shape the core dimensions of culture that matter most to employees–mainly by offering deep research about employee experience, burnout, leadership, one-to-ones, teams and listening.

According to O.C. Tanner Institute data scientist Alex Lovell, the study also reveals that, although efforts to bolster workplace culture by HR leaders are beginning to make a difference, clearly there are still a number of hurdles to face in the workplace.

“The report clearly demonstrates that companies are addressing workplace culture, but still struggle to achieve more than incremental improvement,” Lovell says. “Making dramatic progress will require leaders to rethink leadership practices and concentrate on connecting everyday employee experiences to purpose, accomplishment and one another.”

Note: Attendees at the upcoming HR Technology Conference & Exposition, Oct. 1-4 in Las Vegas, can hear firsthand about O.C. Tanner’s work with clients, as the company will team up with client HHHunt Corporation in a session titled How HHHunt Transformed Its Workplace Culture With Continuous Performance Management, slated for 1:15 p.m. Oct. 2.

Avatar photo
Tom Starner
Tom Starner is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia who has been covering the human resource space and all of its component processes for over two decades. He can be reached at