Lauren Huntington eyes Singapore employee experience

Updated: Nov 3

INTERVIEW: Employee experience, pre and post-pandemic, has shifted, with employees putting a high value on good working relationships at the workplace to achieve overall positive results in terms of performance and outcomes.

Chief of Staff Asia recently spoke with Lauren Huntington, employee experience (EX) strategist from Qualtrics. We dug deep into why a majority of Singaporean workers would take a pay cut for a company that has shared values, and what values they find the most important for a good employee-employer relationship.

Huntington shared Qualtrics’ Employee Values survey and the findings showed that:

  • 60% of respondents in Singapore believe it is more important than ever for leaders to speak out about social, environmental, and political issues

  • Nearly two-thirds of the 1,015 respondents said they would likely look to leave their employer if the company did not prioritise work-life balance or well-being

  • In contrast, 86% of respondents said they feel motivated to go above and beyond what’s expected of them when their employer’s mission, values, and vision align with their own

“Many people are looking at their jobs, their companies, and work in general through a completely different lens than they were before the pandemic. For employers, this new perspective represents a significant opportunity to strengthen relationships with their teams, which can lead to improved wellbeing, higher engagement, greater retention of high-performers, and better outcomes for customers,” Huntington says.

COS Asia: What steps should HR leaders take to address the latest survey results?

Huntington: HR leaders must focus on the essentials – attracting, retaining, and enabling employees. The most important step they need to take right now is to regularly tune into employees' evolving and diverse needs. Then, take swift targeted action on what’s important to them with empathy, speed, and scale. When organisations do this, they are twice as likely to retain employees. The insights make this possible by helping them effectively respond to unexpected events, spot risks and unmet needs, prioritise investments, and deliver the right support and services to employees.

For example, as employers continue to evolve their hybrid work environments, regular insights into employee needs can help them deliver environments and technologies that maintain productivity, engagement, and well-being regardless of location.

Similarly, as Qualtrics research shows the impact of company values, employee feedback can help the business create shared social responsibility programs and actions. This can cultivate belonging and a greater sense of purpose among the workforce.

Empathy is a major force in the workplace

COS Asia: Why is empathy a major driver for resignation?

Huntington: The last few years have highlighted a need for empathy in every part of our lives, especially as people seek out experiences and roles that align with their individual needs and preferences. Leaders should take a deeper look at why employees seek such changes to be able to identify the root cause of employee needs and then build a culture that values people’s interests, well-being, and health from the outset.

A good example of this in action can be seen around the four-day workweek discussion in Singapore. Despite recognising some benefits of working one fewer day a week, three-quarters (78%) of Singaporean respondents to a Qualtrics study said they would expect to work longer hours under this model, while many expected it would frustrate customers and that company performance would suffer.

These findings highlight the importance of being able to understand and meaningfully deliver what people want and ensure everyone benefits from ongoing transformations.

COS Asia: Many say employees resign because of their bosses, not their jobs. Do you think your survey proves this to be true?

Huntington: It is important to look into concrete employee feedback and data surrounding employee exits to avoid any blind spots and enable the organisation to productively improve workplace practices and talent retention.

In a large-scale study across 20 countries, Qualtrics validated the top three drivers of the intention to stay as a culture of belonging, feeling positive about oneself at work, and feeling like career goals could be met. While we certainly found that factors like "trust in the manager" were critical, there are others that influence people’s decisions.

This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Lauren Huntington, employee experience strategist at Qualtrics. For further coverage please see the link below:

Lauren Huntington underscores DEI in Singapore’s workforce

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