Closing the Employee-Employer Relationship Gap in 2022

Find out how to close the gap employers and employees face when it comes to areas like connection, empathy, digitalization, and more.

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Employees and employers are seldom on the same page when it comes to workplace standards and connections. Their differences usually lie in what they think are the best ways to hire, retain, and supervise talent for maximum productivity. Moreover, the nature of this relationship varies from organization to organization, depending on the industry and workplace culture.

Given the fact that both spend hours many working with one another, this one-of-a-kind connection is bound to form and even thrive when given the right conditions.

For in-person, remote, and hybrid employees, their managers are their principal point of contact with their organization. Hence, managers need to figure out ways to help avoid a public walkout by raising awareness of fairness and helping to co-create solutions to employee issues.

So, this year is all about reasserting relationships with your employees and reducing the gap as much as possible.

The state of workplace connections today

Connection is essential to our overall well-being, a sense of purpose, and ability to bounce back from setbacks. That’s especially true at a time when everything is changing so quickly. Your capacity to cultivate a sense of community in the workplace can significantly impact your ability to engage, nurture, and retain talented employees.

With the changing time, the meaning of having workplace connections has been changing. One report regarding the state of workplace connections offers the following findings on workplace connections today.

People desire a sense of belonging at work

Employees and HR professionals place a great deal of emphasis on workplace connections. 85% of HR professionals and 77% of employees think that it’s critical for employees to feel connected to their work and the organization’s purpose and people.

Connectedness is a key factor in employee retention

95% of HR professionals and leaders believe that building solid relationships with employees is essential for employee retention, the organization’s rebound after the pandemic, and the organization’s overall success.

Nearly 3/4 of employees would contemplate quitting their jobs if employers didn’t appreciate them. In addition, 95% of HR professionals and leaders believe that building solid relationships with employees is essential for employee retention, the organization’s rebound after the pandemic, and the organization’s overall success.

The gap between organizations and their employees is growing

Even though it’s critical, only 31% of firms say they’ve dealt with connectivity issues. Employees are also complaining about frequent disconnections. 44% of employees say their firm is effective in assisting them connect to the purpose, values, and leadership vision. And just 38% think their workplace allows them to create a trusting relationship with their managers and colleagues.

How have expectations changed for modern organizations?

Extraordinary events have occurred in the last two years. Leaders and organizations find themselves dealing with a seemingly never-ending quarantine, adapting to work-from-home and increasingly complicated vaccine mandates. Meanwhile, managers are left reeling from a fast-changing culture, and employees gearing up for the big resignation.

Every aspect of the modern business has been questioned at length during the pandemic — from talent scarcity to employee engagement — mandating the need for better relationship building between staff and their bosses.

Due to these unique conditions, many businesses have hastened their digital transformation, resulting in situations where staff is left challenging long-held traditions and posing new questions.

The best kind of employers carefully listen to and work with their employees to redesign the workplace. ‍

Creating a sense of community among employees makes them feel like a priority, helping them connect with the:

  • Company’s purpose (The mission, fundamental values, and vision of my employer are all vital to me)
  • People (With whom can I create genuine relationships at work?)
  • Work (Is my work making a beneficial impact on my employer? Do I have a beneficial effect on the people and places around me?)

What’s your biggest 2022 HR challenge that you’d like to resolve

Answer to see the results

How to prioritize quality employee-employer relations

A competent leader is able to adapt to the changing needs of their organizations and their personnel. People-focused, forward-thinking leaders can navigate this rapid change by focusing on the following priorities.

Rethink approach to tomorrow’s top talent

Companies struggle to engage young talent, mainly because they want greater autonomy, better career possibilities, and a way to make a difference. As a result, they’ve had to work on their Employee Value Proposition (EVP), making it stronger and more effective in attracting new talent.

As more members of Generation Z join the workplace, legacy firms must broaden their EVPs to meet their expectations.

Revolutionize return, remote, and hybrid discussions

Over the last year, much of the discussion has focused on whether we should embrace remote employment or prepare for a progressive return to the office.

This year, the conversation will ultimately shift away from this viewpoint as businesses increasingly adopt a middle ground. Beyond hybrid models, companies must continue reimagining their sense of place as the real and digital worlds become one.

Sociological and connectivity-focused DEI efforts

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs can work more effectively when genuinely leader-led. As a result, many people prefer to categorize their awareness and energy into these moments and fail to apply the skills and knowledge in the more everyday moments of their professions. Instead, leaders must adopt a sociological and comprehensive approach to achieving fairness, diversity, and true inclusiveness in the employee experience.

Social connectedness — the degree to which all employees perceive they’re linked to their coworkers — has become critical in recognizing and resolving DEI issues under this new paradigm.

What are some ways to fix the relationship gap between employees and employers?

The employee-employer relationship priorities are clearly shifting in 2022, and it’s best to start preparing and find solutions instead of panicking when the situation gets out of hand. Here are some solutions that address each type of gap.

You can adopt these solutions in your organizations according to your need.

The employee-employer relationship priorities are clearly shifting in 2022, and it’s best to start preparing and find solutions instead of panicking when the situation gets out of hand.

The control gap

Humans have an innate desire to feel in charge of their lives, and this need lies at the heart of all of our actions. Taking away people’s freedom of choice has the same effect on them as it does in life. The way we think about work and who makes the decisions is evolving against this backdrop.

People are fed up with the of their jobs, and they want something different. Negativity can have a cascading effect at all levels of the corporate ladder. Growing herds of status quo followers, rampant negativity, and destructive ripples of non-cooperation are just some of these organizational cascade effects that can compel employees to start looking for other jobs.

For many, the desire to have more control over their own lives motivates them to detach from the rigidity and bureaucracy of traditional institutions. As a result, people are taking back their lives in ways that increase well-being while also allowing them to satisfy their financial and professional needs.

Concerns about mental health are fueling the growth of new platforms that allow people to try out atypical employment possibilities, such as contract work and the gig economy. Companies must understand what they can and cannot do when working outside of the box. Hopefully, in 2022, the lessons learned from directing remote workers over an extended period of time will be incorporated into their overall strategy.

They also saw the benefits of giving employees more freedom, responsibility, and say in how and what they do for a living. It’s expected that worker control will continue to evolve in 2022 and beyond as employees demonstrate that they can achieve the same results but in a fashion that works best for them and their specific circumstances.

The empathy gap

Leaders should be able to see into the lives of their employees and obtain new insights despite remote work policies for a closer look at their personal and professional obligations. More than just employees, people become unique beings juggling several identities (team identity, career identity, etc.) while attempting to make a life outside of work. New dimensions of empathy formed as leaders learned about their own families, limits, and stories.

For a long time, management was only about influencing how people think and act. The year 2021 demonstrated that empathy matters and that adopting the economics of emotional capital is an innovative business. Hence, companies are compelled to enhance their support for employees’ well-being because of the evident link between employee happiness and workplace flexibility. However, most people avoid talking about the feelings of their coworkers.

Before the pandemic, many bosses probably believed that discussing how their workers felt was crossing a thin line. The plain fact is that people’s emotions influence their thoughts and actions, which is true in both professional and personal settings. For an organization to raise its degree of empathy and emotional support, which for many is below average, they must establish a culture of care.

An organization’s and its leaders’ understanding of the requirements of its employees is not enough. What matters is the ability to adapt and prosper in changing work patterns and harness the full potential of every worker as they gain more control over their job.

The digital gap

70% of digital transformation initiatives fail because of human problems associated with resistance, according to studies. The issue is that the transformation objectives are only meant to automate work processes instead of empowering and improving employees’ work experience.

Organizations get a higher return on their investments whenever employees see digital transformation as an opportunity to enhance their work-life rather than a danger to their job security. People, processes, and technology must all link in ways that benefit humans for successful transformation.

There are several ways to improve job performance, such as displaying how new technology may enhance their cognition, creativity, and capacity to work in a team. For the most part, workers are looking for digital transformation to allow them more freedom in how they manage their job and achieve results.

The employability gap

Two major transformations are taking place in workers’ attitudes regarding their employability. The first is that they prioritize the possibility of a meaningful new job over the stability of their current one. Another is that they’re assuming the risk of what their employers had promised but failed to deliver in market value. Employees need to gauge how much confidence they have in the employability their current positions provide.

When the management presents new opportunities to employees regularly, they begin to believe they are on the right track. They figure that it would be tough to find a new job if they were sitting on the wrong end of the table. Career-minded and externally connected professionals are likely to leave their current employers in droves in 2022 if they believe their personal brand may be more meaningful and unique elsewhere.

Organizations must investigate the concept of “sustainable employability” as a solution. They should get ready for a new season in the job market just as employees no longer seek lifetime employment. This is the time of year when employees’ tenure with companies is becoming shorter and shorter. New levels of value can be added to both the employee and the company’s health by using a shorter-term model in response to changing market conditions.

Having a solid pipeline of applicants allows companies to make the most of their current staff while also attracting possible new employees who are eager to join them.

Recognizing gaps, and how to close them

A company’s culture is built on trust, empathy, openness, and good communication skills. When the pandemic struck, those foundational elements became even more critical, laying the basis for a modern relationship between employees and employers. To incorporate that relationship, organizations first need to fill the gap that has occurred.

As an employer, you can analyze the suggested solutions — focusing on how you think these gaps occur and how well each solution could help improve the employee experience.

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