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How data powers employee experience in the world of work

Blogs Business Transformation

by Inna Wahlberg, General Manager for Ascender Asia Services and Krishna Ramalingam, Head of Account Management for Ascender Asia Services

It’s being called the great resignation of 2021 – employees are itching for change and workplace experts have predicted a post-pandemic resignation boom. Stats like these from Microsoft Work Trend Index suggest up to 40% of people want to change jobs this year, and this has many leaders wondering how to avoid losing their most valuable people.

One of the most well-known ways to retain employees is through employee engagement. And this fact is not lost on today’s executives.

Ceridian, a global human capital management software company, found in its 2021 executive survey that 72% of executives recognised employee experience as a high priority, yet only 24% agreed that their companies were agile in addressing today’s EX challenges.

One of the keys to unlocking this agility is having trustworthy data backed up by intelligent processing and analytics to support decision making. Without knowing what it is that’s driving your employees, it’s hard to know which initiatives are going to make an impact.

Data is powering a personalised employee experience

Employee engagement in 2021 extends beyond one-off and short-term perks. It’s less about yoga classes and fruit bowls, and more about a holistic approach to wellness, flexible working practices, building financial resilience and development opportunities.

A good example of this holistic approach is Ascender’s “Give, Get, Grow” programme. Ascender, acquired by Ceridian in 2021, is the leading payroll and HR software solutions provider in the Asia Pacific and Japan and employs 900+ staff across 12 offices throughout the region.

They have created a three-tiered initiative that offers employees the chance to engage in less-traditional engagement opportunities and enrich their work-life in a range of ways.

  • Give: Ascender employees can choose to give a portion of their wage to a nominated charity.
  • Get: Ascender employees can obtain early access to their wages to help gain more financial freedom by removing the dependency on pay cycles that can be a constraint when faced with unexpected expenses.
  • Grow: Ascender have developed personalised development programs and internal career ladders to ensure a clear path to personal career growth is in place.

Offering a blanket engagement strategy or one-off program is no longer enough. Forward-thinking organisations are offering employee engagement initiatives and programs tailored to personal preferences and goals.

Measure engagement success to iterate and improve

It’s not enough to simply engage employees, you need to measure it too. Otherwise, iterating and improving your engagement initiatives is impossible.

The good news is, we’re getting better at measuring our efforts. Ceridian’s research found that 89% of organisations are tracking employee sentiment every six months or more. This is a significant improvement from the old days of the once-a-year employee survey.

Ascender runs frequent engagement pulse surveys which allows them to gather employee feedback on multiple aspects of work life including connection with the purpose and direction of the organisation, trust in management, impact of change programs, and perceived fairness of compensation.

However, measuring employee engagement doesn’t have to be limited to employees themselves. Clients can be an excellent source of feedback on levels of employee engagement and service delivery. After all, we know that happy employees = happy customers.

Ascender runs bi-annual customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys to gather customer feedback and client Net Promoter Scores (NPS). In addition, the account management team regularly meet with clients to ensure Ascender employees are meeting their needs.

This information is used to inform decisions around improving product and service delivery and gives a good indication of how engaged employees are by the level of service they’re offering, as rated by customers.

Ascender has improved its overall net promoter score by more than 32 percentage points in the last three years. This has been a direct result of increased focus on employee experience as well as direct actions taken to improve its customer satisfaction score.

Use data to embrace flexibility and resilience

If you had to choose one word for the workplace of 2021, it would surely be flexibility. Businesses need to be flexible in their implementation of strategic initiatives in order to sustain business growth. Employees are showing a strong preference for flexible work practices, and businesses are responding by adapting their workplace strategy to accommodate hybrid work preferences.

One of the keys to being flexible and adaptable is using data-driven intelligence to inform your direction. Only by knowing where you are and where you need to flex and change, can you start to move your business forward.

For more insights and guidance on managing the world of work in 2021, watch the on-demand webinar “The future of work is flexible: A practical guide for business leaders” featuring Inna Wahlberg, General Manager of Asia Services, and Krishna Ramalingam, Head of Account Management, Asia Services at Ascender who will share their experiences navigating the new normal and give practical guidance on strengthening business resilience in order to adapt and grow.

Watch on-demand webinar here.