Research from employee experience company isolved details the plans and priorities of employees this holiday season. The data revealed that 70 percent of full-time employees will not travel out of state this holiday, accounting for 38 percent of staff taking less paid time off (PTO) this holiday season than before – a number slightly higher than the percentage of employees who want a bonus most from their employer to end the year (37 percent). The respondents, however, were clear that job security was not the reason for taking less vacation days.

Eighty-one percent of respondents to isolved’s survey, detailed in “Holidays 2020: The End-of-Year Employee Experience Report,” believe their job is secure this holiday season (November and December). They have experienced first-hand, however, the effects of COVID-19 on the economy. Fifty-four percent of employees report their job was negatively impacted by the pandemic. When asked how, the top way was a reduction in pay (15 percent) followed by a cut in hours (14 percent). With job security high regardless of previous job-impacting events, many employees are focused on how an employer can make their tenure more positive.

Defined as “the end-to-end communications and capabilities that a person has with an employer before, during and after their tenure,” the majority (56 percent) of full-time employees said that employee experience (EX) is more important to them heading into 2021 than it was this year. Companies have work to do, however, with 45 percent of survey respondents rating their employer’s EX as “average.” Company culture – the values and beliefs a company promotes and performs – has also seen an uptick in awareness with 40 percent of full-time employees ranking its importance higher this year than ever before. With employees requiring more from their leadership, businesses must re-think engagement tactics particularly when in-person activities are limited or non-existent.

“Traditionally this time of year, many companies would be ramping up office holiday festivities,” said Amy Mosher, isolved Chief People Officer. “Due to the pandemic, the last frontier of normalcy either is not happening at all or happening virtually in some capacity. The future of work is here, and employees need leaders to make the right decisions about collaborative and self-serve tools to amplify their experience – empowering them to engage regardless of the circumstances.”

When asked what they would like most from their employer this holiday season, holiday gifts (6 percent) and in-person and virtual parties (1 percent) were ranked far behind a bonus (37 percent), job security (35 percent) and an annual merit increase (21 percent).

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