Was the employee experience as good as it could be during the pandemic? It depends on who you ask.

Employers and workers have dramatically different perspectives on the quality of employee experience during the pandemic, according to a report by WorkForce Software. This was especially true for deskless workers, who make up about 80% of the global workforce.

Across the board, WorkForce found significant gaps between what organizations believed they were providing and what employees actually experienced. That suggests employers haven’t been providing employees with the solutions needed to fully connect with the new world of work.

Bear in mind that, despite all the attention given to the shift to remote work, many hourly workers continued to report to their employer’s facilities—assuming, of course, they weren’t furloughed or laid off. Workers in industries such as airlines, healthcare, oil and gas, retail and gaming took the brunt of pandemic’s impact, WorkForce said. For these workers in particular, felt the impact of their employer’s struggle to adapt to the changing landscape.

Shift Scheduling, Lack of Flexibility

Employees looked less favorably than employers about their company’s approach to scheduling shifts throughout the pandemic. In addition, their opinions diverged significantly on employers’ willingness to offer flexibility over the past year.

  • 81% of employers said their company effectively adapted to pandemic-related scheduling issues. However, only 64% of employees felt their organization successfully adapted their approach to scheduling.
  • Meanwhile, 82% of employers believe they offered scheduling flexibility, compared 59% of employees. At the same time, 87% of employers said they helped hourly workers deal with personal circumstances that impacted work schedules, while only 60% of employees agreed.

Not surprisingly, more than half of employees said they’d prefer to work for a company that offered more flexibility in scheduling.

There’s more. As the pandemic generated uncertainty around business operations and a company’s path forward, hourly workers felt their employers could have done more to communicate with and support them. For example:

  • 81% of employers believe they adapted effectively to the pandemic, compared to 64% of employees.
  • 70% of employers reported that some hourly employees were paid different rates depending on which task they are performing at any given time. However, only 26% of employees said they receive task-based pay.

Outdated Tools

WorkForce also found that many companies continue to rely on outmoded systems to manage their workforce. For example, just half of employees said they access an online portal to track  time and attendance. About 56% said they used outdated methods for time tracking, such as wall clocks, paper forms and punch cards.

That impacts perceptions. Employees who use online portals believe their company offers more scheduling flexibility and is more helpful as they address personal circumstances, noting the adoption of more immediate contactless screening.

Mark Feffer

Mark Feffer is executive editor of RecruitingDaily and the HCM Technology Report. He’s written for TechTarget, HR Magazine, SHRM, Dice Insights, TLNT.com and TalentCulture, as well as Dow Jones, Bloomberg and Staffing Industry Analysts. He likes schnauzers, sailing and Kentucky-distilled beverages.


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