HR Insights
Quick Read
February 8, 2024

New research: Workers say lack of employer empathy is hurting their job performance

Dayforce’s 14th Annual Pulse of Talent explores one of the latest workplace challenges – carefully balancing driving the business forward with employees’ needs. But our findings reveal that many employers are struggling to find that balance, and it’s costing them.

The Great Resignation was an era of big gains for employees. Organisations were doing everything they could to attract and retain great talent and support job performance, from boosting retirement contribution matching and parental leave to offering greater flexibility in where and when people work, as highlighted in this 2021 SHRM article.

But as the economy and labor market became less predictable, the mass employee exodus slowed, and employers regained ground. Facing complexity and uncertainty, many organisations have scaled back on their efforts to please employees with a renewed focus on driving organizational performance. The only problem with that plan is that labor shortages and skills gaps never actually went away, so employee experience is still mission critical.

The result of all of this is that today’s employers are caught in a balancing act between a series of competing priorities:
  • Offering employee flexibility while managing meticulous compliance
  • Demonstrating empathy while maximizing efficiency
  • Meeting workers’ expectations within budget realities
How do employees think their employers are faring at walking this fine line? Not so well, according to the 8,751 respondents from around the globe in Dayforce’s 14th Annual Pulse of Talent survey. And that imbalance could upend employers’ efforts to boost organizational performance.

For one, employees are facing the same uncertainty that their employers are, and they aren’t always set up to thrive in it. Change is central to the workforce experience today, with 81% of surveyed workers saying their employer made organizational changes in the past year. Stress is high from all this uncertainty.

With today’s renewed push for productivity, more aggressive performance goals are among the changes at many organisations. And 70% of respondents whose organization made such a change said this increased their level of stress.

Not meeting performance goals also caused nearly half (43%) of surveyed workers to lose motivation and 37% became a flight risk.
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While expanding performance goals are part of business growth, it doesn’t mean employee stress, demotivation, and flight risk have to come along for the ride. By providing the right resources and support, employers can balance business and employer needs.

An overwhelming majority of the workers we surveyed said their employer could be doing more to increase their productivity.
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And empathy is also important to employees. Ninety percent of respondents said more empathy from their company’s leadership would make a positive difference in their work life, including improving job satisfaction, levels of burnout, and loyalty – all of which can drive the results today’s employers seek.
To learn more about bringing business and employee needs more into balance, let the data and insights in our 14th Annual Pulse of Talent report be your guide. In it, you’ll find out how to balance innovation and change management, productivity and flexibility, and empathy and efficiency in ways that will help drive sustainable higher performance.

Download your copy now.

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