Today we are excited to launch Leapsome’s first research report. Helping more than 1500 companies drive employee development, productivity, and engagement, we know that forward-thinking CEOs and HR teams believe in data-led decision-making – as do we. The entire Leapsome team keeps a close eye on HR and workplace research and industry trends to ensure the latest thinking in the world of work informs our culture and our product. To supplement this body of research and document what we observe working with global HR leaders and people teams every day, we carried out our own study.
Leapsome’s 2023 State of People Enablement Report is based on a global survey of 750 professionals. It aims to deliver insights into HR leaders’ and employees’ experiences and perceptions on employee engagement, retention, readiness to face the challenging macroeconomic climate, and the impact of people enablement software in tackling the above. Some of the findings really surprised us, some reassured us, and some validated our expectations.
The way we work has undergone a fundamental shift and is further shaped by a turbulent market landscape. High levels of resignation, layoffs, and market stagnation cast a shadow of uncertainty over both business leaders and employees. We conducted this survey to explore the factors driving employee engagement, turnover, and HR decision-making and to unearth how business leaders can improve retention, build resilience and drive productivity in times of change.
Let’s explore our key findings.
The majority of employees plan to change jobs within the next year
This surprised us! Despite the uncertainty of the current economic climate, four in five employees surveyed shared that they “have plans to change jobs in the next 12 months.” Almost half (46%) are planning to leave their company within only 6 months. When we first saw this stat, we almost didn’t believe it. Then we discovered similar findings in other research (by Monster and LinkedIn) and realized we were observing a trend.
Even with the challenging macroeconomic environment, employees are taking matters into their own hands. Many cite their compensation and benefits (76%) and work-life balance (74%) among reasons to leave. In a challenging economic climate, it’s not surprising that employees are seeking higher salaries and more boundaries between their personal life and workplace stresses. HR and business leaders unable to offer salary raises should consider what other benefits could improve employee work-life balance.
HR leaders and employees believe their companies are positioned to weather the down market
Four in five employees report that their company has either conducted layoffs in the past six months (27%) or is planning layoffs (54%). This is a sober stat but, unfortunately, not one we were entirely surprised by, given ongoing coverage of mass layoffs in the tech industry. However, a pleasant surprise was that most employees (85%) and HR leaders (91%) nonetheless largely believe their companies are set up to weather the unstable economic climate.
We found a stark disconnect between HR and employee perspectives
The survey revealed a significant gap in perception between HR leaders and employees regarding employee engagement. While 95% of HR leaders believe employees are at least somewhat engaged, 64% of employees say they are at least somewhat disengaged. This discrepancy suggests companies need to ensure they’re investing in their employee listening programs and internal communications. We recommend, for example, conducting well-structured engagement surveys and following through with action plans to uncover disengagement early and identify and address its causes.
Both HR leaders and employees agree: People enablement software drives positive change
We were glad to learn that most HR leaders (84%) and employees (87%) report using people enablement software at their companies, and that both groups (97% and 89%, respectively) agree on the benefits of such software. However, with other issues at play, it’s clear that a digital solution is not a panacea — it needs to be underpinned by a strong culture and well-designed internal processes to unlock its full potential.
People enablement is becoming a strategic C-suite function that influences employee turnover
There is a correlation between companies where the C-suite sees the value in people enablement software and companies with less than 10% annual employee turnover. In fact, not a single HR leader at companies with the lowest turnover rate says their C-suite does not see the value in people enablement. In at least 50% of all cases, people enablement is owned internally by the C-suite — a reassuring sign that decision-makers increasingly consider it a strategic business priority.
Get your copy of the 2023 State of People Enablement Report
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Outlook: planning for uncertainty
High levels of employee disengagement and the surprising fact that most employees plan to change jobs within the next 12 months will be a worrying sign for many. After years of abundance, the current economic shift is a new challenge for all of us — the C-suite, HR leaders, people teams, and employees. Managing that change is difficult: It requires a careful balance of renewed focus on productivity, performance, and stability while fostering engagement at times of uncertainty.
We believe companies that value their employees and prioritize these topics will be the most resilient and best suited to outperform the competition in an economic downturn. And we hope Leapsome’s 2023 State of People Enablement Report helps inform your decision-making in these times of change.
Learn more about our State of People Enablement Report via the press coverage below 👇
Why younger employees will switch jobs for an employer who invests in them, by Marc C. Perna, Forbes
The Great Resignation continues: 4 in 5 employees plan to switch jobs in the next 12 months, by Miriam Partington, Sifted
Most employees plan to quit this year: Here’s what tech and HR leaders need to know, by Owen Hughes, Tech Republic