Companies and executives are paying attention to employee experience as never before. There are good reasons for this attention. Chief among them is the historically low unemployment rate, which gives employees options that they are taking advantage of. Employees are quitting their jobs at the fastest rate since 2001.[i] What’s more, companies that care about customer experience — and almost every executive at least pays lip service to customer focus these days — know that their potential to deliver high-quality customer experiences is limited by the quality of their employee experiences.
In 2019, we expect to see companies work even harder to improve the employee experience. Here are three of our predictions for 2019:
- Companies will fill the void left by broken institutions — leading to tribal employment. Traditional institutions of trust such as government, religion, and community are breaking down. That’s leaving it to companies to pick up the mantle of social responsibility. We expect to see more companies take sides in the culture wars — think Nike on one side and Chick-fil-A on the other. Unfortunately, we expect most brands to struggle to find the right words and deeds that reflect and align with the company’s values.[ii]
- Organizations will begin to address the crisis of workplace distraction. Noisy offices, constant IM disruptions, and meeting overload make it difficult for employees to get work done. But in 2019, we expect to see the tide turn against the “always online, always available” norm of today’s workplaces. Some companies such as Macy’s are already starting this journey by reducing time spent in wasteful meetings and increasing focus time for employees by four hours per week.
- Companies will take on the challenges of human/robot collaboration. The introduction of automation, AI, robots, and other intelligent machines is changing how employees conduct their day-to-day work. While fearmongers worry about the loss of jobs, Forrester believes that most forecasts are overblown.[iii] The bigger impact of this revolution won’t be on whether humans work but on how humans work as bots take on rote, predictable tasks. In 2019, we will see a new focus on designing employee experience for the world of bots.
Download Forrester’s Predictions 2019 guide to understand the 14 major dynamics that will impact firms next year.
Several Forrester analysts, researchers, and research associates contributed to this year’s employee experience predictions, including: Andrew Hewitt, J. P. Gownder, Jon Symons, Sam Karpinski, Maxie Schmidt, and Kelly Price.
[i] Sources: “Economic News Release,” US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 16, 2018 (https://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.t04.htm); “Workers are quitting their jobs at a rate not seen since dotcom bubble,” CBS News, July 10, 2018 (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/workers-are-quitting-their-jobs-at-a-rate-not-seen-in-17-years/); and Jeffry Bartash, “Americans quitting their jobs at fastest rate since 2001 — and that’s a good thing,” MarketWatch, July 14, 2018 (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/americans-quitting-their-jobs-at-fastest-rate-since-2001-and-thats-a-good-thing-2018-07-10)
[ii] For more information, see the Forrester report “Nike Makes No Sacrifices.”
[iii] For more information, see the Forrester report “The Future Of Jobs, 2027: Working Side By Side With Robots.”