Employee expectations aren’t what they used to be. Organisations are struggling more than ever to attract new talent and build truly productive, engaged workforces.

We decided to find out why that is.

In a recent survey, we asked over 1000 people the following question: ‘How could your next employer differentiate themselves in order to become an attractive place to work?’ 

The participants had four options to choose from:

  1. Clarity of company vision and its position on key social topics.
  2. Hands-on experience, showing how your employee experience is frictionless.
  3. Career development and performance management are personalised.
  4. Everyone that engages with you during recruitment is joined up and portrays the company consistently.


We expected most of the respondents to lean towards 1, given how much value is associated with having a solid company vision that everyone can get behind. But the results said otherwise – 46% of people voted for option 2, and 50% voted for option 3. The message was loud and clear: today’s employees don’t look for a vision when choosing a place to work. More than anything, they look for frictionless, personalised experiences. 

But what does ‘frictionless’ mean exactly? And what kinds of personalisation do employees expect? Scroll on to find out.


Frictionless experiences

‘Today’s employees don’t think about the traditional employee journey – they think holistically.’ Santosh Carvalho, Salesforce Innovation Partner at this year’s HRD Summit

The concept of ‘frictionlessness’ basically comes down to this: employees want the same well-connected, holistic, seamless experiences at work that they get as consumers. 

Take Amazon for example – a consumer can get a laptop delivered the same day without having to go anywhere or speak to anyone. Yet an employee who needs a new laptop often has to log a task with IT, wait for confirmation, wait for someone to approve that confirmation then wait indefinitely for the laptop to appear on a desk.

The disparity between frictionless consumer experiences and clunky, siloed employee experiences is huge – and if it continues, the number of organisations able to attract and retain talent will only get smaller.

One way that organisations have tried to get around this problem is by offering more free “perks” to employees, like childcare or dry cleaning. And that’s definitely a good move, but it’s nowhere near enough to drive the kinds of frictionless experiences that today’s employees are demanding. 

To really hit the mark, you need to go the extra mile. That means tapping into things like:


  • Social - Giving people the power to communicate effectively and seamlessly over smart, enterprise-grade business apps – from any location.
  • Wellbeing - Prioritising employee healthcare and optimising work-life balance at every opportunity. 
  • Alignment - “The stories and narratives that live and breathe throughout your organisation are what inform the beliefs and actions of every single person on your teams” – Sally Earnshaw of Blue Sky Performance Improvement, who also attended this year’s HRD Summit. We couldn’t agree more – if your people are aligned, the chances of there being friction between people or departments are minimised. And that doesn’t just mean having a vision, it means filtering that vision down to every single interaction you and your people make, across every single channel – during recruitment, in announcements, at events, on trips, in marketing materials...


Once you have social, wellbeing and vision all unified and working together harmoniously, you’ll stand the best chance of achieving a frictionless employee experience.


Personalised experiences

“Too many businesses are full of talent that’s hidden. It’s why we need to flip the frame – put ourselves in the shoes of our employees, find out what they actually need to do their best work” – Santosh Carvalho, Salesforce Innovation Partner at this year’s HRD Summit

Again, there’s a huge disparity between the consumer and employee experience when it comes to personalisation. 

Consumers can leave their houses with their journeys planned out and managed on Google Maps, commute while listening to music recommended on Spotify, then come home to films recommended on Netflix. Yet at work, personalisation fails to feature in critical processes like onboarding, selected training programs, and even progression paths. 

The irony is, the data’s all there – there’s no reason why we can’t know our people better, and make recommendations based on what we’ve learned. It’s just a matter of acting on that data.

Luckily, leveraging your business and employee data is something we’re super passionate about at Salesforce. Using both the Salesforce Platform and Community Cloud, we help businesses leverage their internal data all the time, and build personalised communities that give each employee the tools they need to be more productive, collaborative and most importantly, engaged. 


Other ways to attract and empower your people

Employee engagement is such a dense topic – we’ve only just scratched the surface here. To learn more about other ways to attract and empower your people, check out this blog post on what it takes to deliver high-quality employee experience today or download our free report to learn how productivity and satisfaction can be boosted with technology, the importance and impact of the growing demand for equality, strategies for attracting, recruiting, engaging talent, and enhancing the wellbeing of employees.