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Article 5 min read

The business imperative of supporting your people

All eyes are on HR to stem the tide of the Great Resignation, but more than half of internal teams say they don’t have the tools they need to make it happen.

By Maggie Mazzetti, Staff Writer

Last updated August 5, 2022


Companies are working overtime to win the “talent war,” but data from McKinsey & Company shows that they may be missing the mark on what employees really care about.

Turns out, feeling valued within their organization is a top priority. This feeling of being acknowledged was even more important than flexibility or an increase in pay.

Creating a culture where employees feel valued is not as simple as giving them free food or electric scooter subscriptions. It requires paying attention to what employees need when they’re at work, responding to their feedback, and stepping in to provide support.

As employee expectations evolve, all eyes are on HR. The ability to nurture employees and make them feel supported throughout their career journey will have a critical impact on the business.

The trick is: HR teams need support too. According to new Zendesk research, more than half of internal support teams say they don’t have the tools they need to be successful. Meanwhile, HR leaders have their own talent crisis to worry about–42 percent of managers expect churn rates to increase in the next year.

The cost of employee dissatisfaction

The cost of turnover is well documented. But hiring isn’t the only cost you need to manage.

Worker dissatisfaction and burnout are on the rise, resulting in a “Hidden Resignation” of workers who are resigned to feeling indifferent about their jobs. Meanwhile, 16 percent of workers self-reported that they were “actively disengaged” at work, according to a Gallup survey.

When employees are dissatisfied, the effects can be felt throughout the organization.

“Customers can pick up on whether employees are satisfied in their role, if their emotional well-being is being accounted for, and that’s so important to the bottom line.”
Brandon Tidd, 729 Solutions

“This not only impacts your relationship with your employees, but it trickles down to impact your relationship with customers,” says Brandon Tidd of 729 Solutions, a custom development shop and Zendesk implementation partner. “Customers can pick up on whether employees are satisfied in their role, if their emotional well-being is being accounted for, and that’s so important to the bottom line.”

Employee experience needs to be a business priority, and that includes documenting institutional knowledge, eliminating redundant tasks, and providing internal customer service.

As with customers, providing top-notch employee support requires consistent nurturing, re-evaluation, and responsiveness to feedback. And beyond EX, investments in technology or better processes can free up HR resources to focus on much larger strategic questions, such as:

  • What does the “future of work” look like for our organization?

  • Where can we provide more support so employees feel less stressed?

  • How can we evolve our benefits to better meet the needs of our employees?

“There are so many strategic things we need our people teams to tackle,” says Fidelma Butler, vice president of talent and organization development at Zendesk. “Using technology to take away some of the more repetitive tasks frees them up for this complex, important work.”

With strategic investments, employee experience (EX) could be your competitive advantage in a labor market that demands companies work harder to keep their best talent.

The benefits of investing in HR teams and employee experience:

  • Increased innovation and revenue

  • Increased workforce engagement

  • Increased employee retention, savings on hiring and training costs

  • Increased productivity and satisfaction, especially within the HR department

The consequences of not prioritizing HR teams and employee experience

  • Revenue loss

  • Decreased workforce engagement and satisfaction

  • Increased employee churn, plus hiring and training costs

  • Stagnant productivity, especially within the HR department


What HR teams need to be successful

HR teams have been put in a tough spot. They need to support employees who are returning to offices for the first time in over two years, and at the same time, they are under scrutiny from company leaders to stem the tide of resignations.

Meanwhile, HR teams face staffing issues of their own. According to Zendesk’s Employee Experience Trends Report 2022, internal support teams are more likely to feel like they aren’t being treated well compared to those serving external customers. It’s impossible for your HR team to support employees if they don’t feel supported themselves.

The good news is that internal support teams have a clear picture of what they need to be successful, and it starts with simplifying tools and workflows to make the job easier. For example, using help centers to cut down on back-and-forth between employees and HR.

If you want to improve your internal support, these are a few things HR and internal teams need:

  • A faster, more efficient way to find answers

    Your employees need to know where to find fast answers, without having to hunt around for the right contact or be bounced from team to team. This is especially important if policies or benefits are changing quickly. Cut down on the number of emails and alerts by sharing information in your company help center for employees to find as they need it.
  • More communication options to stay connected

    Customers aren’t the only ones embracing messaging, it’s also becoming the go-to tool for a younger, hybrid workforce. As more zoomers (aka Gen Z) enter the workforce, employers will need to update their tech stacks. This cohort of employees are true digital natives, and they’ll be expecting tools that fit their needs.
  • Data to understand what’s working and what’s not

    A ticketing system gives you valuable context about what employees need. “What are the things that our employees are asking about the most? When we know, we can get ahead of those issues,” says Butler. “We can provide an article proactively on that, or we can update a particular policy, or we can get some additional communications out.” Direct feedback from employees can also help you identify pain points and solve them proactively.

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