Angelina Gentili, from Personio: “Employee experience will be a key factor, increasingly linked to business results”

Employee experience and performance will be crucial this year to running a productive business with a motivated workforce. This is the main result of the Personio study on HR, which provides a vision of the issues that concern this department, both in Spain and throughout Europe.

This premise that underlines the growing importance and focus that companies must adopt to retain talent, even more so in the face of an imminent economic recession in 2023, and the need to improve the employee experience as well as the communication channels that are implemented to interact with them. To find out more about this study and delve into the needs of the workers, we have spoken with Angelina Gentili, Head of People Operations at Personio.

MuyPymes: What will be the main challenges that workers will face in the short and medium term?

Angelina Gentili: There is no doubt that 2023 is shaping up to be a year full of challenges in which workers will face challenges such as the imminent economic recession or the search for a paradigm shift in line with their new values ​​and demands such as spending more time with their families, a better work-life balance or having more flexibility in their work schedules. Premises already present in recent years, but recently developed to deal with the rapid and forced digitization and adoption of hybrid work presented during the pandemic.

However, we have faced economic contexts like the current one before, and we are better prepared than ever to take on these challenges and build on what we are already doing well to form a solid foundation on which to prosper.

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Challenges are still opportunities for growth. Given the need to keep up to date, benefits arise such as personal and professional growth. By expanding their knowledge, which in turn affects the competitiveness of employees, they open up new and better opportunities. Something especially important in the face of the current digitization scenario.

MuyPymes: How can the HR department help you with these challenges?

Angelina Gentili: Recently, Personio has carried out a survey together with leading experts in the sector in Spain, thanks to which we have been able to synthesize the main trends for this 2023: keeping employees as a priority, directing human resources towards business objectives, rethinking the tools used , review and analyze the current procedures and frameworks for action.

In this sense, digitization will be one of the best allies for HR departments. H H. enable teams to face current challenges. Technologies not only improve the way of working, making processes more efficient, but also the experience of workers. The employee experience will continue to be a key factor, increasingly linked to business results. During this year and next, HR teams will be faced with the great need to keep their employees engaged and satisfied in order to retain them.

As an example, in the case of the Personio software, it allows these departments to offer advantages such as not having to sign documents in person (now possible virtually), or request vacations more quickly (from the comfort of a smartphone or any computer), among many other examples. Generally speaking, this HR software It offers relevant time savings by eliminating administrative and repetitive tasks to focus on more important things and what matters: people.

MuyPymes: What is the penetration of technology in the HR? H H. In our country?

Angelina Gentili: Little by little, a change of mentality is taking place that encourages this leap to digitization, and it is worth noting the importance of the application of these technologies being accompanied by a change within the corporate culture and the methodology of the departments of RR HH., who play a fundamental role in consolidating the digital transformation in companies.

The new tools allow management through software, so that certain processes are streamlined and more time and resources can be devoted to other issues. Due to the crisis, many companies are emphasizing the importance of savings achieved with tools and automation. They have the ability to manage the HR function more intelligently, ultimately saving time and money.

MuyPymes: How can you motivate employees today?

Angelina Gentili: According to one of our latest studies, despite the fact that salaries continue to be one of the five priorities of employees around the world, including our country, other factors beyond economics are increasingly taken into account when looking for or keep a job. Therefore, although companies must ensure that their compensation packages are competitive, this is no longer enough. The question now is: what broader rewards can you offer to increase engagement and motivation in teams?

An answer that we can find in this same study, which reveals that there are three areas in which entrepreneurs, HR. H H. and managers need to focus. Almost a third of European employees mentioned balance improvement between work and personal life (29%) and internal communication (27%), while almost a quarter want better development opportunities (24%).

It is increasingly important to create a work environment in which one feels safe, heard and supported. For this reason, conciliation practices, good internal communication and the improvement of development opportunities are becoming not only desirable, but practically essential for all companies.

In addition, companies can open or improve internal communication channels, increase career progression opportunities, and focus on helping employees. find meaning in their work and careers. Ultimately, not focusing on the people experience can set a company back years in productivity and revenue.

MuyPymes: How important are HR? H H. to achieve a productive business?

Angelina Gentili: The employee experience is and will continue to be a key factor, as their satisfaction is increasingly linked to business results.

Listening to and understanding workers is more important than ever. If a person does not feel cared for, they will not worry about their company either, which could have an impact on their performance, and finally, on a company’s figures. Despite this, any concern can be easily resolved, and there are concrete solutions that organizations can do to remedy this situation even before it occurs.

At the end of 2022, Personio carried out a study with a sample of 1,000 employees and more than 500 HR managers. H H. of Spain, which revealed that more than 80% (82.5%) of Spanish SMEs affirm that digitization makes them more resilient because leaves them time for strategic tasks, positioning Spain within the European average for next year. In relation to this, almost 40% (37.4%) of the respondents mention that their teams are well prepared to help the business stay strong during an economic downturn, due to good HR and business tools.

MuyPymes: What are the most appropriate communication channels to interact with the workforce in large and small companies?

Angelina Gentili: You cannot measure the “health” of a company if we are not able to communicate effectively with our employees. Faced with a hectic economic outlook, companies need to be able to better manage their internal resources. Never before has the precise management of clear and frequent messages been vital to the future stability of any company.

The number of channels has become a new actor to take into account when planning, taking an even greater role by 2023. But the HR departments. H H. often are not meeting the expectations of employees to respond to inquiries, and 84% of employees in Europe say they typically have to wait more than a day for a response.

Data taken from a Personio study that also shows us how detrimental this premise is to the experience of workers: 59% of European employees say that this whole situation makes them feel frustrated, while 54% of Spanish workers stress to wait a long time for answers to HR-related questions. H H. It hurts the business in general. A scenario that is postulated to be even more challenging for this new year, taking into account that 46% of Spanish employees admit that when they are not happy at work, this negatively affects their interactions with customers and colleagues, which translates into a greater negative impact on the results of the company.

This study also shows that there is a lack of digitization in the communication process: 59% use email, 47% the telephone and 44% speak in person with HR. HR may be missing out on the opportunity to engage with employees on the platforms they already use as Slack or Microsoft Teams.

However, 82% of European workers know where to turn if they have a question about an HR-related topic, and 61% of employees say they feel comfortable approaching HR. H H. with sensitive topics or comments, which shows that this department is the trusted partner for both the company and the employees.

It is clear that the day-to-day running of a company is essential and, at a time when costs and uncertainty are increasing, it is essential that businessmen focus on ensuring that processes are even more efficient and productive.

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