Several interesting pieces of research were published this week. They included research from Precisely that look at how CX has changed during the pandemic and is unlikely to revert back now.
Pega also showed that business complexity is a growing challenge for staff and has an impact.
Based on a survey of 1,006 Brits, CIPHR found that only 1 in 5 has planned to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee over the weekend, June 2-5th. Perhaps surprisingly, the report found that 31% of adults will have to spend some time over the long weekend working. Even for those with the day off, 17% will spend some time working. The survey asked how people would spend their time, and the top five were:
- 35.4% plan to do nothing but relax and take it easy.
- 34.9% plan to meet up with family
- 32% will spend time with their partner or significant other
- 29% will meet up with friends
- 26% plan on doing cleaning and household chores
David Richter, director of marketing at CIPHR, says: “However you’re planning on spending the Queen’s Jubilee bank holiday weekend, do try to make sure you factor in some downtime. Research shows that taking a proper holiday, or break from work, if you can, is important for maintaining work-life balance and your health and wellbeing. It can help counter stress and burnout and help you feel more energised and engaged.
“So, next time you’re reaching for your phone to check your emails out-of-hours or while on holiday – think twice. Because it can probably wait, and everyone needs some time away to relax, take it easy, and disconnect properly from work.”
Deltek published its 13th annual clarity government contracting industry study. It identified four key themes:
- Business development emerged as a key investment area: One in three respondents perceived increased competition as a critical challenge in 2021.
- Diversification into new markets was used to drive organic topline growth: 55% of respondents indicated the number of federal contracts increased in the last 12 months.
- A critical growth area in the manufacturing sector is digital transformation: 60% of respondents cited supply chain issues as the greatest risk concern.
- The increasing complexity of government contracting is underscoring the need for technology and contract management integration: 54% of respondents noted that their companies are actively hiring to address contract management challenges.
Kevin Plexico, Senior Vice President of Information Solutions at Deltek commented, “This year, we heard from many businesses that although 2021 was not a superb year, results moving into 2022 were surprisingly positive with increased win rates expected. The challenges companies reported include growing in headcount while facing increased competition, citing business development and digital integration of functions as key areas of growth and investment.”
Economic disruption poses the largest threat to businesses in 2022, according to a study conducted by Hanover Research and sponsored by OneStream. The survey of finance leaders across North America identified the key factors impacting their budgets, planning and technology adoption for 2022 and 2023. Economic disruption (30%) is now seen as a higher risk than cybersecurity threats.
New initiatives for 2022 include:
- 51% of the respondents are increasing prices, possibly increasing disruption to others
- 48% plan to leverage new sales initiatives and campaigns (up 13% YoY)
- 47% will expand their supplier network (up 12% YoY)
Other findings included how organisations prioritise DEI initiatives, countering the Great Resignation and the investments they are making in predictive technology.
Bill Koefoed, Chief Financial Officer, OneStream, commented: “We are in an economic landscape where the ability to be agile and pivot quickly is still as much a necessity as it was at the start of the pandemic. These findings reflect what is top of mind for CFOs and finance leaders across industries as they work to make informed business decisions in a time of disruption.
“Leveraging data and automating processes to support this agility and business resilience is something OneStream is passionate about delivering to our customers. We will continue to be the partner our customers need as they work to adapt and achieve their business goals.”
NICE published its 2022 Digital-First Customer Experience Report. It highlights the gap in perceptions between sellers and customers. The key gaps identified were:
- 81% of consumers say they want more self-service options
- Only 15% of consumers expressed a high level of satisfaction with the tools available
- Businesses believe 53 % of consumers are very satisfied with their self-service.
- 36% of consumers say they would like to see companies make their self-service smarter, less than 11% of businesses are making that a priority.
Paul Jarman, NICE CXone CEO, said, “Avoiding friction is the key factor today in shaping opinions and differentiating between brands consumers love and those they feel are not worth their time. We undertook the 2022 Digital-First Customer Experience Report in order to provide companies with the consumer’s viewpoint and to help them set priorities that drive frictionless experiences.
“While focusing on digital-first interactions, our report underscores the importance of both agent-assisted and self-service channels, with businesses primarily wanting the ability to choose whichever option they prefer at any given time. This confirms the need for CXi–Customer Experience Interactions–a new approach that focuses on the end-to-end digital customer journey, requiring a complete customer experience platform that only NICE CXone offers.”
Nearly 2 in 3 startup founders and CEOs (63%) say their business has declined or stalled due to the pandemic, according to new research from Qualtrics’ Delighted. The economic pullback is slowing hiring growth among startups – only one in three (32%) is planning to grow its employee base by 10% or more this year, and 12% plan to pause hiring or even downsize.
Qualtrics’ Delighted CEO, Caleb Elston commented: “It was easy for start-ups to raise capital in recent years as markets valued growth over profitability. During an economic shift or downturn, knowing what matters most to customers is mission critical. The companies that get that right – quickly – stand to pick up outsize gains in market share, and experience management is at the center of getting it right.”
Inflation is a key concern, 79% plan to raise the prices of their product or service in the next three months to combat inflation and rising costs. To avoid inflationary pressure on wages 1 in 4 will look to hire in less expensive markets.
SD Worx revealed that 68% of UK companies are committed to removing unconscious bias from the recruitment process. However, many are still falling short in implementing a systematic reporting system that tracks against solid ED&I objectives. The UK ranks behind Ireland (74%) and Belgium (69%) in the European rankings. It ranks lower in access to training and development opportunities.
Colette Philp, UK HR Country Lead at SD Work says: “It’s no longer enough for businesses to say they prioritise diversity and inclusion. Instead, they must prove their commitment to achieving a more diverse workforce, both internally within their business and externally to attract talent.
“There is more awareness than ever before regarding diversity in the workplace and it’s a deciding factor for many when it comes to searching for a role or staying with a business. A diverse workforce brings new experiences and perspectives and an inclusive environment allows individuals to thrive. If businesses aren’t already putting ED&I as a top priority, it’s essential they act now to do so.”
Key findings from Tradeshift’s ‘Are Friends Electric?’ include:
- Six in ten finance and accounting professionals believe automation will lead to higher morale and more interesting work.
- Half say automation will lead to higher earning potential and reduced stress.
Employees who had experienced the highest levels of automation were also the happiest and most optimistic about their career prospects.
- 62% of respondents would be more likely to apply for a job with a company that had already invested in automation.
- 40% believe a software program would make a more effective line manager than their current boss.
Mikkel Hippe Brun, co-founder and General Manager Payment Automation at Tradeshift, commented: “If you believe the doom-mongers, you’d think today’s workers are terrified that automation will steal their jobs, but our research shows the reality is very different.
“Employees who have embraced automation in their day-to-day work have found that any residual fears around robots stealing their jobs quickly fade away. Not only are they more productive, but they’re also happier, less stressed and more optimistic about future career progression.”
Xero published its Small Business index for Australia, the UK and New Zealand. Wage increases are accelerating across all three nations: In Australia, it hit a record 4.1%, and growth was also seen in the UK (4.5%) and New Zealand (4.8%).
Sales slowed in Australia to 5.8% after several months of double-digit growth. Growth slowed to 6.3% year-on-year (YoY) in the UK after 13 months of double-digit growth. In New Zealand, the drop was larger. In April, growth slowed to 2.9% YoY, coming down from 7% YoY in March 2022.
The index fell in the UK to its lowest level since February 2021, late payments a factor as SMEs had to wait 29.9 days to be paid. The New Zealand index also fell, while it rose a few points in Australia. Is the UK perhaps signalling what is likely to follow across the globe?
Alex von Schirmeister, Managing Director UK & EMEA at Xero, said: “This is a warning sign of what’s to come. Small firms are being hammered by a slowdown in consumer spending and a slowdown in getting paid what they are owed. Late payments should be referred to as ‘unapproved debt’.
“Small businesses are pushed to the cliff edge by large firms who hold on to their suppliers’ money. Even a single unpaid invoice can set off a chain reaction that leads to delays, instability, and dire consequences across entire supply chains.
“With a recession looming, the government must provide appropriate incentives for large businesses to pay their suppliers on time, and stricter penalties when it comes to paying late.”
Research from Zellis shows that 19% of job applicants are hiding their social media profiles or posts in an attempt to pass background checks. While 70% of organisations carry out such background checks, 45% of applicants believe they shouldn’t. Data privacy seems to be the key reason with:
- 9% believe they could be used to uncover confidential medical history.
- 12% believe it could reveal protected characteristics such as age or sexuality.
David Crewe, Customer Operations Director at Zellis commented: “The job market has never been as competitive as it is today, but that doesn’t mean hirers can get complacent. Background checks should be commonplace for any organisation, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be mindful about how they feel for candidates.”
“It is crucial to offer candidates reassurance about the process, particularly the steps being taken to eliminate unconscious bias, or information about protected characteristics which should never be used in the hiring process. Background checking is not about catching applicants out or looking into their personal life, but rather about building confidence for the best candidates and ensuring a safe, accepting and positive workplace.”