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Top 10 Employee Experience Articles of 2021

December 30, 2021 Employee Experience
Mike Prokopeak
By Mike Prokopeak

In early 2021, many employers looked forward to a return to the office in the not-too-distant future, but the rise of Delta and, later, Omicron pushed pause on all that. New COVID strains are causing many employers to delay their plans or, in some cases, elect not to return to the office at all.

Employee experience, for better or worse, continues to be mediated mainly through technology. This new reality of work, exacerbated by The Great Resignation and the turnover in the job market, is forcing employers to re-examine their employees’ experience of work and continue to refine and make fundamental changes.

But in the midst of any real challenge lies opportunity. Opportunity to reset and try something new. Opportunity to re-engage employees. Opportunity to create a sustainable model for boosting employee experience. Here are 10 employee experience articles from 2021 to help shape your thinking:

1. Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce Lead the Charge Back to the Workplace

While remote working is an attraction for those looking for new jobs, it is also clear that expectations of a fully remote workplace are fading. There is increasing talk of hybrid workplaces — a mix of remote and physical working — and the move is being led by some of the major tech companies, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Salesforce. Writer David Roe surveyed the scene in April 2021.

2. How Your Company Can Avoid the Great Resignation

The statistics are startling. According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 4 million people left their employer in April 2021, and another 3.6 million did the same in May 2021. Those are the highest numbers ever recorded by the BLS since it started counting quitting rates. The Great Resignation is upon us. In this article, writer Scott Clark details the the ways companies can retain their best workers by improving the employee experience.

3. Lack of Social Interaction Tops Remote Work Challenges

Widespread and sustained remote work forced many companies to embrace new ways of working. As businesses develop strategies that can help them emerge from the pandemic on a confident and stable footing, the voice of the employee is becoming more pivotal than ever, writes Reworked contributor Angela Ashenden. In this article, she highlights the results of her firm’s annual survey of employees on topics such as remote work, collaboration, employee devices, security and privacy, artificial intelligence, automation and other emerging technology trends.

4. 5 Ways Diversity and Inclusion Changed in the Last Year

Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) initiatives are playing a growing role in enterprise transformation, and anecdotal evidence indicates a surge in hiring for diversity roles at companies. Yet, even with a renewed focus on DEIB, many workers are still feeling left out, in greater numbers and with worse effects since the pandemic began, writes Scott Clark.

5. Meet the 2021 Employee Experience Leaders of the Year

Reworked revealed the finalists and announced the winner of its inaugural Employee Experience Leader of the Year in October. The award, developed by the editors and researchers at Reworked, aims to recognize the work of senior leaders who are pioneers in the field of employee experience. Here’s a look at the five finalists and this year’s winner.

6. Why Employee Listening Matters So Much Right Now

We're at a pivotal moment at work, writes Scott Clark. As economies shake off the effects of the pandemic and snap back to growth, employees are at a crossroads. To successfully navigate this next phase of work, some companies are implementing employee listening programs to gauge employee sentiment. Here are a few considerations for employers as they take on employee listening.

7. How to Create Culture in a Hybrid Workplace

Workplace culture is a critical element of a successful business. Yet, in the hybrid working environment that blends remote and in-office work, the way employees see culture and the way organizations build it is changing. Kaya Ismail offers up six ways companies can build culture in a hybrid setting.

8. How to Reimagine Onboarding for Remote and Hybrid Workers

The hybrid workplace may be here to stay, but the traditional onboarding process won't cut it anymore. Companies need new strategies and techniques to improve the onboarding process for both remote and hybrid workers, writes Scott Clark. Here are six ways to reimagine your company’s onboarding experience.

9. Does Your Company Need Onboarding to Return to the Office?

Back in May, we imagined that a return to the office was just around the corner. Yet for many, the rise of COVID variants and the ongoing health risks from the pandemic mean employees stayed home. Assuming a return to the office happens in 2022, should companies create an onboarding initiative for returning employees to smooth the transition to the next normal? Some companies are doing just that, writes Scott Clark.

10. Microsoft Viva Marks Next Step for Employee Apps, But Challenges Remain

Reworked contributor Angela Ashenden writes that Microsoft tapped into the broader employee experience zeitgeist when it launched Viva, its new employee experience software platform, in February. In many cases, the capabilities on offer have been available in disparate applications, but the reorganization into a single platform casts them in a new light geared at business users beyond the IT department.

Bonus Get Reworked Podcast Episode

An Inside Look at How Unilever Builds Award-Winning Employee Experiences

Tom Dewaele, global head of employee experience at Unilever, shares how the London-based consumer goods maker creates a unified employee experience for 150,000 workers across 190 countries. It's a journey that can easily become fragmented across functions and multiple departmental initiatives, with the end result being frustrated employees, but Tom, the winner of Reworked's 2021 Employee Experience Leader of the Year award, shares what others can learn from the journey Unilever's been on over the past few years.

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