In addition to this, a further quarter of companies confessed that a strategy for workplace experience was not even in development.
A new survey by Gallagher, a global insurance brokerage and risk management services firm, analyses the impact of COVID-19 on organisational strategy in the workplace this year.
Workplace experience, including a strategy for employees working at home, was found to be the least commonly implemented with only 24 per cent of companies surveyed confirming they have one.
A similar number of companies (23 per cent) stated that they do not even have a workplace experience strategy in development.
This statistic is particularly worrying after Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently revealed his roadmap to lifting lockdown restrictions, revealing that the guidelines of working from home will continue to be in place over the next few months.
Conversely, key areas that HR teams are looking to hone in on this year include an increased focus on mental health and employee wellbeing (70 per cent) and diversity and inclusion (55 per cent).
There has also been a shift to build on new ways of working in 2021 with over half of companies (52 per cent) doing so this year – a reaction to the continuation of remote working and a potential introduction to hybrid working as restrictions begin to ease.
Gallagher’s research also spotted that organisations could be missing out on the chance to form the optimum employee experience for their staff.
Although over two-thirds of organisations (68 per cent) stated that employee experience is discussed at C-Suite level, only half of this number (33 per cent) have properly formalised what employee experience means to them and how they intend to approach it.
This is in spite of executives responding well to implementing effective employee experience strategies, especially when reflecting on how it could lead to higher morale, increased productivity, organisational agility and greater collaboration and innovation.
Ben Reynolds, Global Managing Director, Employee Communication Practice, Gallagher, said:
When we launched the survey at the start of the pandemic, 1 in 3 respondents said their HR/internal communication was lacking, 2 in 5 felt under pressure to deliver, and 1 in 5 felt considerably overworked. The data makes it clear that employers can do a better job assessing and adjusting their employee experience strategies. When done right, this can reduce operating expenses and, at the same time, improve their employees’ wellbeing.
However you may feel about it, remote working is here to stay. Before the pandemic, employers were able to rely on a robust holistic rewards strategy to win the war for talent. Now, they need new strategies to maintain productivity and connectiveness. The data shows employers are closely monitoring new strategies and adapting enhanced digital capabilities, because the return on investment is still clear: a more engaged and connected employee experience is better for the bottom line.
*This research was obtained from Gallagher’s 2021 ‘State of the Sector’ Survey. The report is based on data collected in October 2020 from more than 800 employers representing 34 industries across 45 countries.