Yeah, we know we're a little late to the party with this one but we still wanted to chime in with our predictions for the year ahead! 2020 was a landmark year for employee experience and 2021 will be no exception.
As organizations embrace new ways of working, cultural shifts, resourcing challenges, and vaccine management we'll see continued innovation across the employee experience. EX is front and centre and our collective response to the challenges of this year will shape the workforce forever.
So, what are the wrkflow predictions for this year?
1. An overwhelming focus on Employee Experience Design
Focusing on the design of the employee experience is no longer a nice-to-have. EX-led design is essential for businesses looking to thrive this year despite the continued uncertainty. This year we'll see a spike in organizations investing in meaningful experience design and digital solutions rooted in solving EX challenges. We'll see an uptake in EX research and technology design that puts EX front and centre. At the heart of this shift will be EX design specialists (like us!) helping to drive this design revolution across the organization from the inside out.
2. WFA (Work From Anywhere) Mobilization
In 2020 we saw working from home (WFH) become the norm for many organizations. Whilst the pandemic drove the adoption of semi-permanent and permanent WFH arrangements, it goes without saying that this was still a radical step for many organizations.
This year we think companies will make a shift towards WFAnywhere. Why? Well, largely due to the ongoing global restrictions but also to plug emerging talent gaps and diversity shortfalls. It goes without saying that some parts of the world will find this policy much easier to implement than others but we expect to see an increase in truly remote roles and flexibility.
3. A landmark year for EX tech investments
Despite the fiscal challenges presented by COVID-19 and 2020, our clients are still ramping up their experience tech investments and we're confident that will continue. Whilst many organizations got by last year with manual solutions combined with their existing EX tech stack, we think 2021 will be a landmark year for EX tech investment.
Why? For many organizations, the changes 2020 introduced are now largely permanent. The shift to a hybrid working environment is an integral part of this year's organizational strategy for many. Driving permanent change and a successful transition to new ways of working requires an enterprise experience portfolio that isn't temporary. We'll see an increase in EX analytics, digital service experience and connected communications platforms.
4. An increased focus on measuring the impact of the Employee Experience
This one has always been important but we think 2021 will bring about a real spike in the EX measurement debate. Many organizations made quick and necessary investments in digital tools and cultural programs to support their employee experience in 2020. This year we'll be looking to understand the impact those investments had and where investments should be made this year and beyond. Tools like Qualtrics will continue to thrive in 2021 but I'm sure we'll see a few more players emerge as we learn more about remote and hybrid experience drivers.
5. A more consistent push for enterprise-wide employee experience
Companies in the pre-Covid era typically worked in silos, addressing issues independently and directing relevant parties to their respective departments to raise concerns.
In 2021, we're sure connected enterprise experience strategies will emerge as priority #1. Why? It makes commercial and experiential sense. The more we work from home, the more we want the easiest and most consistent route to getting work done as employees. Bringing together internal service functions like HR, Finance, Legal and IT will unlock a wealth of benefits for your organisation. We'll see the ESX portfolio flourish within leading organizations as these projects kick-off.
6. Increased DEI Investments
2020 was a remarkable year for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. We'll dedicate a separate blog post to this topic but we're confident that investments in DEI will increase this year but in new ways. We think consulting spend to drive internal change will be on the rise as organizations look internally to evaluate the impact of remote/hybrid working on their employees. We're confident we'll see a more connected DEI approach too with marketing, HR and commercial affairs developing an integrated strategy around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
That's it! Let's see what 2021 brings for the #EX world. Let us know what your plans are in the comments below or reach out to us for a chat.