Education And Healthcare Employees Are Most Impacted By Companies’ COVID Response

To understand the impact that COVID is having on employees, we surveyed more than 5,000 U.S. employees. While 11% have been laid off or temporarily furloughed, the remaining employees provided feedback on their COVID work environment. We found that:

  • Most people are working from home. Sixty percent of employees report that they’re working from home, and 31% have started to work from home for the first time.
  • There’s a small drop in effectiveness. Twenty-nine percent of employees report that they have been less effective at doing their job since the outbreak of COVID, while a slightly smaller 24% report an increase in an increase in effectiveness.
  • Employees are mostly satisfied with their employers’ responses. We asked respondents how satisfied they were with four aspects of their employers’ response to COVID. A majority of respondents are satisfied with all areas, and nearly two-thirds are satisfied with the company’s caring for and communications with employees.

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Educational Workers’ Effectiveness Drops The Most

We examined the change of effectiveness during COVID by profession, role, and age of respondents. This analysis uncovered that:

  • Educational professionals are the most affected. Forty-seven percent of educational professionals report that they are less effective at doing their jobs, the most out of the 13 professions we examined. When looking at the difference in percentages between employees being more and less effective, healthcare workers experience the second-largest negative gap. Financial services sales and relationship management professionals are the only group with a higher percentage reporting that they are more effective than are reporting to be less effective.
  • Only senior executives are more effective. We looked at five different roles, and only senior executives had a higher percentage of people who are more effective than less effective.
  • Older people experience the largest effectiveness drop. Thirty-one percent of employees who are 65-years-old and older report a drop in effectiveness, compared with only 11% who report an increase. That 20-point gap is the largest across age groups.

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Healthcare Workers Are The Least Satisfied

We also examined how different types of employees feel about their company’s response to the COVID pandemic across the four areas: caring, communicating, listening to employees, and taking action based on employee feedback. Looking across different groups of respondents, we found that:

  • Young employees are the least satisfied. Across the four areas we examined, the youngest employees were the least satisfied, falling well below the rest of the age groups. The oldest employees were the most satisfied with their employers’ caring, communications, and taking action on feedback. They tied with 25- to 44-year-olds for the highest satisfaction with listening to employees.
  • Senior executives are the most satisfied. Across all four areas, senior executives are the role that is most satisfied with their company’s response to COVID. Only about 5% are not satisfied. The least satisfied group are the managers of multiple departments, the next most senior group below the executives.
  • Healthcare workers are the least satisfied. Across three of the four areas, healthcare workers are the least satisfied. Factory and construction workers were the least satisfied with how their employees are listening to them. Executives, on the other hand, are the most satisfied professional group in all areas.

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Increase In Workplace Videoconferencing

One of the big changes within companies is the use of video conferencing, so we asked employees about this tool. We found that 47% of employees are using more videoconferencing, while only 13% report a decline. Looking at the different segments shows the most increase with:

  • 35- to 44-year-olds. Fifty-five percent of this group report an increase, the highest of any age group.
  • Senior executives. At the high-end of usage, 57% of senior executives are video conferencing more. At the low end, only 42% of individual contributors report using more videoconferencing.
  • Educational professionals. Seventy-two percent of educational professionals are using more videoconferencing. At the bottom of the list are factory and construction workers.

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Largest Drop In U.S. Well-Being Since 2012 Hits Females Hardest

Executive Summary: XM Institute’s U.S. well-being index sees its most significant drop since tracking started in 2012. The largest decline occurred amongst older females, who feel much less financially secure.
As part of our ongoing consumer studies, we’ve been tracking attitudes of U.S. consumers for most of the past decade. To gauge the overall quality of life for the U.S. population, we created a well-being index (WBi) based on a […] Continue Reading…

Consider the Employee Journey When Improving Workplace Experiences

Engaged employees make a big difference inside organizations because of the higher level of commitment and contribution they bring to their work. However, many organizations still struggle to manage employee experiences in a manner that results in engaged employees. In the XM Institute’s recent best practices report, Three Shifts for Employee Experience Success, I highlighted three ways companies should be adapting their mindsets and actions when it comes to […] Continue Reading…

HR Leaders: It’s Time to Build Your XM Skills

Over the last few years, it’s been great to see a rising number of HR professionals focusing on Employee Experience (EX) and driving more engaged, high-performing workforces. This has only enhanced my belief that EX represents a critical opportunity for the entire HR profession to increase its value.  

By definition, EX is the collection of experiences and interactions that employees have with their employers. But despite the increased focus on […] Continue Reading…

How Do You Engage Employees? Adopt The Five I’s

One of the key goals of any Experience Management (XM) program needs to be employee engagement. This is not only a critical outcome for Employee Experience (EX) efforts, but it’s also a critical input to delivering great customer experience. Why? Because engaged employees are the trigger of a “virtuous cycle” of good customer experience and strong business results.

So how can companies tap into this value? By focusing on a […] Continue Reading…

How to Provide Certainty Even During Times of Uncertainty

Last month, at the XM Institute, we held our second ever XMPN Virtual Meetup. We met with experience management (XM) professionals from around the world, with most reigning from the APJ region and Africa. 

The bulk of the conversation was centered around applying XM during this time of crisis. We anchored this part of the discussion around four experience design-based tips for leaders, one of those tips being “choose certainty […] Continue Reading…

Three Phases For Heading Back To Business

I’ve studied human behavior for decades, examining how people respond to their environment as customers, employees, and leaders. Humans are amazingly resilient—for the good and bad. Even after facing disruptive events such as an epidemic or a recession, people tend to revert to their old ways shortly after the shock dissipates. People will go back to congregating, shaking hands, shopping at malls, and going without washing their hands more […] Continue Reading…

Effective Communication: A Critical Skill to Propel XM Success

In a world where humans are inundated with messages 24/7 through a myriad of channels from a variety of sources, it’s a challenge to cut through the noise to reach employees with important information that helps them do their jobs better. Yet this is exactly the challenge experience management (XM) leaders must overcome if they want to successfully design and deliver great experiences to employees or customers.

In fact, effectively […] Continue Reading…

Tapping into the Six Traits of Human Beings During a Crisis

Experience Management (XM) is all about human beings. Customers are human. Employees are human. Partners, leaders, suppliers, prospective customers… all human. In the current environment, where many people are facing hard times, it’s more critical than ever for organizations to find ways to demonstrate their humanity and build deeper emotional ties with all the people who interact with them.

This, unfortunately, is easier said than done. Human beings are complicated […] Continue Reading…

Managing the Working-From-Home Employee Experience

Last week, my colleagues Steve Bennetts, Sally Winston, and I held a webinar (watch it here) focused on how organizations should manage their employees’ work-from-home experience. While we covered several meaty topics, we also tried to keep the discussion light and lively. In fact, we covered this topic while working from our own homes and at certain points during the webinar, you can clearly hear children playing and laughing […] Continue Reading…

Adjusting Your Employee Experience Program In Times Of Crisis

In times of organizational crisis and change, the company looks to their HR leaders for guidance and reassurance. This is especially the case, now, given the disruptions associated with COVID-19 and the related economic crisis.
So how can HR and employee experience (EX) leaders help their organizations appropriately manage employees’ experiences during these trying times?
The same way that all experience management (XM) professionals can: “by enhancing the capability to continuously learn how people are thinking and feeling, propagate […] Continue Reading…

Announcing The XM Journal

This is a busy week for the XM Institute. On Monday we launched the XM Professionals Network Online Forum and now we’re starting a monthly newsletter, The XM Journal. We sent the first edition out yesterday (see below). If you didn’t receive a copy, make sure to subscribe here.

The Journal is a great resource for keeping up to date on leading-edge XM research, tools, and community activities. And if […] Continue Reading…

Applying the Four P’s of XM Insights in the Current Environment

The way we live has changed due to COVID-19. As a result, organizations face the dual challenge of meeting dramatically different customer, employee, and partner needs while operating in a new economic environment.

The discipline of Experience Management (XM) can help successfully navigate through this time because it enables organizations to continuously learn, propagate insights, and rapidly adapt to meet new and evolving needs. XM leaders better understand and more […] Continue Reading…

Introducing the XM Professionals Network Online Forum

I’m thrilled to announce that the Qualtrics XM Institute is launching the XM Professionals Network Online Forum (“XMPN Online“). It’s an online community where XM professionals from around the world can connect with each other, learn from each other, and tap into the latest thinking from the XM Institute. Our goal is to help XM professionals successfully design and manage their XM programs.

I explain a bit more about XMPN […] Continue Reading…

Experience Management In A Crisis: Shift From Trending To Sensing

The world we live in has changed, at least for the moment. People are practicing physical distancing for COVID-19 while organizations are responding to a radically different economic reality. It’s critical that leaders make significant adjustments to this new environment. Can Experience Management (XM) help? Absolutely. But the emphasis needs to abruptly shift from the current rhythm of trending to an obsession with sensing.
Adjusting Your Leadership For A Downturn
Having […] Continue Reading…