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As the work landscape continues to evolve, one thought stands out for me as I think about the year ahead: In the workplace, the voice of the individual continues to gain strength—perhaps because of our increasingly intertwined work and personal lives, and the climate we operate in today.
People are a company’s most valuable resource, and in this tight talent market, there is even more responsibility on organizations to create a culture where workers can have meaningful experiences and bring their best selves to work. Business leaders everywhere, particularly CHROs, are recognizing why this is so important: it’s better for all employees and it’s better for business.
A positive employee experience can impact the level of trust workers have and, ultimately, improve performance and retention. This, in turn, impacts the customer experience and helps increase a company’s bottom line. Focusing on a few areas in particular, including diversity, digitalization, and an employee-first culture, can help meet workers where they are as their needs continue to shift.
We’ve been focused on diversity since our inception at Workday, but as social issues continue to take center stage in the world, we’ve been reexamining and broadening what the term means to us. Diversity, in our view, really means difference.
Our chief diversity officer, Carin Taylor, explains that diversity is a blend of unique attributes in each of us, including our differences in background, perspective, race, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, nationality, location, function, and more.
Shifts in the nature of work, new technologies, and the needs of new generations are driving the digitalization of HR, which organizations must embrace to create modern people practices. These shifts often bring uncertainty, but this is an incredibly exciting time to be in HR. We can help guide companies as they navigate these changes, helping them determine what to automate so that they can elevate the many tasks that are uniquely human, and free up time for teams to tackle this higher-order work, such as figuring out the right approach to a particular strategy.
According to a study from Accenture, “The parallels between a superior customer experience and employee experience are striking. An optimized customer experience generates loyalty and additional sales. A stellar employee experience attracts talent and boosts workforce engagement, productivity, and retention. This, in turn, directly improves a business’ financial performance.” More simply, happy employees lead to happy customers, so at Workday, employees must come first.
There’s another benefit to happy employees: Happiness is important for productivity. For years research has told us that when our teams are happier and more fulfilled, they are more productive. And just as customer feedback helps us inform our focus for new product features and improvements, our employee feedback helps us think about how we structure people programs and experiences that will contribute to positive employee sentiment.
But most importantly, like much of what we do at Workday, creating meaningful employee experiences isn’t just the right thing to do because of business value; it’s the right thing to do because, well, it’s simply the right thing to do. As we continue to innovate ethically, make people’s working lives easier and more productive, and put employees first, I look forward to sharing more about our journey.
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