Federal Experience Trends in 2022
Purpose-driven messaging will be prominent in talent acquisition strategies
Since the onset of the pandemic, organizations across industries have been dealing with a number of labor challenges. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans left their jobs in July 2021. As the great resignation continues to unfold, it’s clear that people are seeking deeper purpose and fulfillment in their work and their lives.
Many government organizations have inherent purpose-driven missions and values. We predict that we will see these organizations capitalizing on this natural goodwill by infusing purpose-driven messaging into their marketing recruitment strategies. Not only is greater purpose-driven messaging great for talent acquisition, but purpose-oriented staff can also be an organization’s greatest asset. According to recent research, purpose-driven professionals have a leg up on their peers when it comes to leadership ability, performance, and tenure. Moreover, they are 47% more likely to promote their company and employers. Finally, purpose-driven messaging drives greater trust and loyalty. According to a report by Porter Novelli and Cone Communications, brands who communicate their values see high numbers of public trust (89%) and loyalty (83%).
Remember, it’s not enough for government agencies to tell the story of great purpose; instead agencies must live their purpose day in and day out by empowering employees with the right tools, training, and technologies to be successful along the way. Focusing on the federal employee experience will be key to retaining staff and improving employee satisfaction in 2022 and beyond.
4 million Americans left their jobs in July 2021.
–U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
89% public trust toward brands who communicate their values.
Purpose-driven professionals are 47% more likely to promote their company and employer.
Focus on Retention
Understand the Employee Journey
While purpose-driven messaging is key for attracting new employees, it’s also important to live your values by investing in the professional growth, training, opportunities, passion projects, and skills of your current employees. Remember, many people are seeking greater purpose – and that includes your current employees.
From onboarding new employees to enabling and empowering long-term employees, ensure you understand the employee journey and arm your employees with the right tools and technologies throughout their journey. Take the time to execute an employee journey mapping exercise to help you uncover the various personas across your organization.
Build a Culture Around Your Purpose
Create Open Feedback Loops
Ensure that you are recognizing employees who are living your purpose day in and day out. Reward employees who go above and beyond what is expected of them and show deep respect for employees’ viewpoints, opinions and ideas. Plus, make sure to remind your current and future employees about your purpose through internal communications.
Listen to and understand your employees. What does it take for them to live your purpose? Stay in tune with your employees’ expectations and consider developing an official Voice of the Employee program that integrates employee surveys, active listening, reward programs, and more.
Avtex Thoughts on Purpose-driven Messaging
Government agencies should lean into the purpose the federal government has baked in as they build out marketing recruitment strategies. The rules are quickly changing for attracting, hiring, and retaining federal employees. Strong employee experiences are key to winning the war on talent.
Remote service delivery becomes a permanent reality
When the concept of social distancing was first introduced in 2020, we saw about two-thirds of U.S. federal employees transition to remote work. Federal organizations and government agencies were quick to develop strategies for enabling remote work as workspace evolved from a single office to a combination of kitchen countertops, dining tables, and even closets. While remote work may have been a response strategy for many organizations, it’s clear that remote service delivery is a permanent, viable option for the public sector going forward. In fact, Forrester predicts that one-third of global civil servants will become permanent hybrid workers in 2022.
In November 2021, the Office of Personnel Management delivered a telework and remote work memo to agency heads encouraging them to make telework a permanent part of their workforce policies. Ultimately, government agencies that fail to adopt long-term strategies for hybrid and remote work options risk falling behind and losing talent to other public sector or private-sector organizations who offer that option to employees.
"The government serves everyone, so treating everyone, including your employees, as customers will help put and keep CX practice front and center.”
AARON MOSBY – DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT | AVTEX
62% of employees say they are happier when working remotely.
1/3 of global civil servants will become permanent hybrid workers.
2/3 of business executives believe that remote work will continue in some form as the pandemic recedes.
Remote Service Delivery
Empower Your Employees to Deliver Exceptional Experiences
Foster a Positive Remote Work Culture
Culture and connection are just as important if not more important for widespread teams. Ensure you are fostering a positive culture by checking in with employees, recognizing them, hosting virtual get-togethers, and even providing unique opportunities like yoga, meditation, and other life enrichment activities.
Understanding your employees is one thing, but empowering them to deliver exceptional experiences is another. It’s very clear to customers when companies value the highest quality customer experience and empower their employees to deliver it.
Provide Effective Onboarding, Training, and Employee Development
Enable Your Employees with the Right Tools
To ensure your remote workers are set up to thrive, assess your current employee solutions and double down on those that maximize your employees’ productivity, meet their unique needs, and maintain safety and security. Cloud environments are powerful foundations for remote team collaboration.
Your employees need support to properly onboard, learn, and use your technologies and tools. Ensure you are providing virtual opportunities that will set them up for high efficiency and productivity. Remember, employee experience is inextricably linked with customer experience - so happy employees mean happy customers.
Avtex Thoughts on Remote Service Delivery
Of course, not all jobs in the public sector are well suited for remote work. Implementation of hybrid work options will depend on an employee’s role, department, and location. Remote employee experience matters – not only does it affect turnover and recruitment, but it has a direct impact on the functionality of your organization, and that, in turn, has a direct impact on your customer experience.
Citizens require and expect seamless digital experiences
For years, consumer expectations have been molded by the Amazon’s and Google’s of the world. Consumers expect to seamlessly weave in and out of channels – moving effortlessly between chat, email, phone, and social media. Now, consumers are taking their omnichannel expectations with them when they engage with government agencies. In fact, 85% of citizens expect the same or higher standard of quality from government services as they do from commercial organizations. While the public sector has been slower to digitally transform than other sectors, government agencies are now expected to meet citizens’ expectations for accessible information, smooth transactions, and seamless digital experiences.
Apart from keeping up with citizen expectations, providing a seamless digital experience is now the law. In order to meet growing customer expectations, The 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act emphasizes the need to make agency websites and digital services accessible, usable, securely hosted, connected, searchable, mobile-friendly, consistent, original, and more responsive to user needs. Agencies will also have to show their progress in a series of annual reports and move paper-based systems online. In 2022 and beyond, ensure you’re developing omnichannel experience strategies that are built with a strong technology mix and take into account all the possible customer interaction channels.
33% of government organizations are feeling increasing urgency to digitally transform.
85% of citizens expect the same or higher standard of quality from government services as they do from commercial organizations.
63% of leaders say COVID-19 made their organizations embrace digital transformation sooner than they expected.
80% of government organizations are still at the initial or developing digital maturity stages.
Addressing Seamless Digital Experiences
Automate, Automate, Automate
Consider Your Menu of Digitally Driven Enhancements
Streamline processes, improve resolution, and increase both employee and citizen satisfaction by leveraging automated capabilities that free up your employees to focus on more impactful, human interactions.
Intelligent automation, AI-enabled learning, chatbots, and cloud-based systems are just some of the digitally driven enhancements you can deploy across your government agency today to meet citizen expectations.
The Importance of Agility and Speed Can Not be Understated
Understand the Citizen Journey
To better understand your constituents, consider a journey mapping exercise or voice of customer program. Delivering the most effective digital experiences requires an intimate understanding of your customers.
Agility and speed to digitize is critical. Consumers already expect seamless digital experiences. If you aren’t meeting them, you’re falling behind. You will need the right digital transformation tools and infrastructure backed by agile platforms and transparent data to succeed.
Avtex Thoughts on Seamless Digital Experiences
Citizens deserve and expect seamless digital experiences from government agencies. Complying with regulations and guidelines is one thing, but differentiating the citizen experience opens up an entire new realm of possibilities in terms of more satisfied employees, higher citizen trust, and increased efficiencies. The perfect storm of a public health crisis, advancements in technology, heightened citizen expectations, and economic uncertainty has put pressure on government organizations to accelerate digital transformation. Resilient organizations quickly responded to this disruption and now it’s time to craft long-term digital experience strategies.
Unlocking citizen data results in stronger, more personalized experiences
At the heart of any exceptional, personalized experience is data. But many government organizations face data silos, inaccessibility, privacy regulations, and lack of transparency. In 2022, we’ll see an increased focus on unlocking citizen data as organizations work to consolidate data platforms, establish formal data sharing practices, provide mandated data transparency, and make data management a core business strategy. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2023, 50% of government organizations will establish formal accountability structures for data sharing, including standards for data structure, quality, and timeliness.
In order to deliver the experiences citizens expect, government employees need access to real-time citizen data that can inform quick decision-making. Agencies will want to consider other facets of data and analytics strategy like data exchange, security and privacy, and data driven technologies. Innovative technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics will help government agencies unlock citizen data and deliver personalized citizen experiences at scale.
50% of government organizations will establish formal accountability structures for data sharing by 2023.
60% of government AI and data analytics investments aim to directly impact real-time operational decisions and outcomes by 2024.
$1.9 billion in AI-related service obligations was spent by U.S. government agencies between 2018 to 2020.
Unlocking Citizen Data
Map the Citizen Journey
Embrace the Cloud
Assess your current customer experience across every channel of interaction with your organization. Note where you lose your customer’s interest, where you might have integration gaps, and where customers seem most compelled to continue their relationship with your business – and capture important data points at every phase of the journey.
For government organizations that know how to leverage it, the cloud offers significant potential. With cloud technology, government agencies have access to more sources of data and new ways to analyze it. Moving to the cloud also enables organizations to leverage the latest advanced technologies like AI and machine learning.
Complete a Data Inventory
Unify Your Data
Determine your current data landscape by analyzing your data sources, customer touchpoints, technologies, and data collection processes and strategies. After completing a data inventory you’ll be ready to build a data plan mapped to your north star citizen experience.
Consider adopting a citizen data platform that unifies all your data into a single location and enables you to churn out a singular record for each citizen. Giving your employees access to holistic views of your data will allow them to focus on delivering an exceptional and seamless experience when interacting with your constituents.
Avtex Thoughts on Unlocking Citizen Data
The ability to make informed, data-driven decisions will be an essential part of success for organizations in the public sector in 2022. A strong customer experience rests on a foundation of data and analytics– you can’t have one without the other. A great place to start is by focusing on your customers and citizens. Understand what matters to them, map their journey, and identify areas of opportunity for improving the experience.
Measuring service effectiveness becomes essential to creating meaningful experience improvements
Employee experience and customer experience are inextricably linked – you can’t have one without the other. In order to ensure you’re delivering satisfactory experiences to both employees and citizens, you need to measure your effectiveness.
On the employee side of the equation, government-wide federal employee voice pulse surveys were announced in October 2021. These pulse surveys invite federal employees to provide feedback on employee engagement, inclusion, and the reentry process. Results are set to have major impacts on the federal employee experience.
Citizens can expect to benefit from mandated experience improvement measures. The U.S. Federal Customer Experience Initiative team at the Office of Management and Budget has updated its federal customer experience guidance, aiming to raise the standard of experience across government. 33 of the nation’s highest impact service providers (HISPs) will be subject to OMB Circular A-11 Section 280 activities including an annual enterprise-wide CX capacity assessment and action plan, focused improvement efforts for designated services, customer feedback collections and public reporting. Agencies will need cohesive data to show accurate service improvement results and effectiveness.
“The government’s approach is a good model for CX pros to follow: to find ways to fold measurements into every place feasible. A lot of CX pros create metrics only to measure how well their CX initiatives are going and then only share them with decision-makers inside of the company, rarely making them public. But when shared widely, more ideas for improvement and innovation can come forward.”
AARON MOSBY – DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT | AVTEX
Measuring Service Effectiveness
Invest in a Fully Integrated Tech Stack
Build Voice of Employee Programs
Understanding the big picture of how your experience strategies are performing relies on a fully integrated tech stack that connects the frontend experience to the backend business systems.
Your employees possess invaluable insight into your customers, including their general needs, preferences, and pain points. Empower those employees to share this information through a voice of employee program.
Build Voice of Customer Programs
Align People, Processes, and Technology
Gauge the effectiveness of your CX efforts by implementing a voice of customer program that helps you identify your customers’ needs and expectations and build improved experience strategies.
Powerful reporting structures are possible when you align your people, processes, and technologies around them and adapt to increasing citizen engagement.
Avtex Thoughts on Measuring Service Effectiveness
Failing to provide exceptional employee experiences will undoubtedly lead to downstream effects on citizens. Capturing a holistic view of how well your citizen and employee experience strategies are performing is no easy task. Rest assured, Avtex can meet you where you are to design and orchestrate world-class citizen experiences.
Through our expertise in CX disciplines, strategies, applications, and technologies, we've helped a number of leading government agencies transform the citizen experience. Ready to join the leaders?
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