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Empower people managers with data insight to improve employee experience and engagement with Unit4’s HCM solution

With a largely disengaged workforce, Gallup reports that over 50% of the global workforce “do the bare minimum”. It’s clear that people managers are currently ill-equipped to optimize the employee experience.

69% of organizations interviewed by UNLEASH report line managers play either an ‘integral’ or ‘make or break’ role in developing a positive employee experience. But, only 25% of HR and business leaders feel sure that line managers have the right tools to enhance employee experience.

UNLEASH’s research suggests there is an absence of advanced data insight within HR, and that people managers need succinct employee data to gain actionable insight on how to turn around employee engagement rates.

In this blog, we will explore why HR leaders need to empower people managers with d tools, and how Unit4 can supply the right solution for your organization.

Why HR leaders are currently unequipped to optimize the employee experience

More than half of surveyed organizations (55%) currently believe their people managers are having an ‘average’ impact on employee experience. While less than half (41%) of businesses UNLEASH surveyed were confident that people managers understood how they contribute to organizational performance. 

UNLEASH it clear that managers are unequipped by digging into the processes where organizations draw employee data:

  • Exit Interviews (63%)
  • Pulse surveys (50%)
  • 1:1 sessions (50%)
  • 360 performance reviews (35%)

With exit interviews being the main way that most organizations are gathering employee data, people managers lack the data to initiate proactive change before it’s too late – losing an employee can cost up to 2 times their annual salary.

Just 55% of organizations provide performance data to line managers, with only 54% having access to employee engagement data – it’s evidently a struggle for people managers to gain insight into where actions are needed to turn around employee engagement rates.


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People managers need the right digital tools to turn data into action

In their report, UNLEASH quotes Ben Eubanks, CRO of Lighthouse Research, who points out the current challenge for digital transformation in HR: “The money is there but greater justification is required […] What they [executives] spend it on needs to be seen as mission critical.”

A study from Harvard Business Review reported an improved employee experience increased revenue by more than 50%, and profits by nearly as much, presenting a business case for digital transformation.

This statistic also implies that supporting line managers to improve the employee experience can directly lead to better organizational performance as a result and that executives should have a keen interest in empowering people managers with data tools.

The value of feedback is clear as UNLEASH reports that a continuous feedback loop can provide “the chance to strengthen employee-manager relationships and align management practices with the wider mission of the organization.” Yet only 31% of organizations report maintenance of a feedback loop.

Moreover, UNLEASH adds that 70% of an employee's satisfaction in their job is dependent on their direct leader, how they interact with them (or don’t) or how they support them (or don’t).

Digital tools can provide scheduled and automated feedback loops that can help managers stay informed about what their employees feel strongly about, act on this, and then monitor how feedback can affect employee engagement.

When employees feel heard by their direct managers it improves engagement, motivation, and ultimately productivity. This can be further enhanced with internal pulse surveys, where employees can provide indirect feedback, with managers able to feedback anonymously.


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How can Unit4 HCM provide tools and insight to optimize the employee experience?

Global workforces can be managed from one place, with a single employee record across the whole Unit4 platform, which includes engagement, competency levels, and performance data. 

People managers are equipped with essential data insights to inform productive one-on-one conversations with their team members, define and track objectives, and provide employees with learning and growth - facilitated with tools to record and monitor progress. 

In a webinar with 3sixty Insight Kirsty Graham, VP of Global People Experience Operations at Unit4, spoke of her success case implementing Unit4 Talent Management internally among her own team.

Graham details how she used its features to boost employee engagement scores from 69 to 81, and participation rates from 82% to 93%, leading to data-led managerial decisions that made employees feel heard.

Nuclear Restoration Services (previously known as Magnox) found similar results after moving from a paper-based system to the Cloud, resulting in an engagement survey that saw 75% participation, with around 22,000 comments, a historic high for the organization.

Similarly, they found that thanks to other capabilities found in the Unit4 Cloud, NRS employees spend 50% less time on performance management. With a new system that is interactive, user-friendly, and promotes joint ownership, managers can easily communicate and request feedback, encouraging active participation.

Read the full report from UNLEASH to gain deeper insight into the current challenges to improving employee engagement or consult our website to learn more about Unit4’s integrated HCM solution suite or book a demo today

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