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Optimizing Your 2021 Budget to Support the Employee Experience

We all know that many of the best laid out plans for 2020 never materialized…so how do we best plan for 2021?


Traditionally, the last quarter of each fiscal year is when many organizations conduct their budget and planning process for the new year. And this year, we’re all ready to move on to 2021, as the pandemic has disrupted many of the planned projects and initiatives set last year at this same time.


However, the COVID-19 crisis brought transformation to the way we work. What was once called the “future of work” is quickly evolving to the “now of work.” And, with these changes, opportunities to shift budgetary dollars (once earmarked for in-office employee perks, certain benefits, and other culture-building activities) can now be allocated to programs, systems, and tools to support the employee experience and remote work.

According to the 2020 PWC Workforce of the Future Survey, 74% of companies surveyed plan to increase spending on HR technology to address pressing employee needs. New investments in talent acquisition (49%), improved user experience for employees (48%) and skills mapping/career path tools (46%) were some of the key budgetary categories…all focused on improving the employee experience.


As your team plans its goals and the related budget for next year, here are three focal areas that you can leverage to maximize your spend.

1) People Analytics Results from Surveys and Feedback

Without a doubt, the pandemic affected daily business operations, including employee acquisition, retention, and overall satisfaction. Understanding the new landscape of the workplace is crucial to make informed decisions about your 2021 budget

By using employee surveys (pulse, quarterly and annual), collaboration tools, exit interviews, and other key employee satisfaction performance indicators, you can determine what needs employees have and which programs to reinvest in, new solutions or tools to adopt, and legacy solutions to minimize or eliminate that no longer provide value.


Many leading companies are adopting techniques for a more holistic form of people analytics data collection, called Organizational Network Analysis (ONA). According to Professor Rob Cross, industry expert, describes ONA as “an x-ray into the inner workings of an organization—a powerful means of making invisible patterns of information flow and collaboration in strategically important groups visible.” By surfacing this new form of data, high performing organizations are able to further identify areas to focus both time and budget dollars to benefit the organization as a whole.


2) Discover Opportunities to Streamline and Automate Processes


Improving efficiency, automating routine tasks, and streamlining processes are aspects of continuous improvement objectives that businesses strive to achieve, and 2021 will place a more vigorous focus on them. Organizations were forced to embrace a work-from-home policy, yet it became the impetus for much-needed transformation toward future-proofing, by driving innovation and introducing new solutions.

According to a recent Gartner report, most of companies' financial leaders say they will move at least 5% of their office-based workforce to permanently remote positions after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the role remote and distributed teams will play in the modern workplace in future years to come, investments in solutions that provide employees with collaboration solutions and tools to support easy ways to access information (no matter their location or time zone), will be of utmost importance.

Solutions like MeBeBot, providing automation, consistent communication, and 24/7 global support by answering employee questions, deliver the benefits of instant gratification and efficiencies to drive a strong ROI. Plus, our AI Platform and curated knowledge base can streamline support needs between employees and HR and IT staff.


3) Audit the Employee Experience by Identifying the Gaps

A vital piece of attracting and training top talent is to create a memorable employee experience.


The best practice to measure the employee experience is to audit the employee life cycle based on moments during the journey, from hiring to even alumni relationships. These moments can better be understood through continual performance management processes, opportunities for learning and development training (much of which can be delivered online and via video platforms), as well as programs that build diversity and inclusion.


By analyzing these moments and listening to employees, HR leaders can learn from the people analytics data and the valuable insights produced and shine a light on what areas of the employee experience require new investments and which areas many need to be further enhanced. Using weighted averages to each key area can help to identify priorities and specific budgetary dollar allocations.


Diving into these three areas can help you craft your budget more accurately for next year. Additionally, your organization will be in a better position for whatever 2021 may bring.


Click here to receive your budgetary proposal for MeBeBot’s Intelligent Assistant for your 2021 planning of improving your employee experience.


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