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  • Véronique Méot

"Employee satisfaction is falling"

Jean-Jacques Gressier, President of the Service Academy, comments on the results of the 2023 National Barometer of Attitude Symmetry conducted with Better World. Focus on the stumbling blocks.

The 2023 National Barometer of Attitude Symmetry reveals that employee satisfaction is in free fall...

This is an alarming collapse (54% in 2023 compared to 66% in 2022, down 12 points), which illustrates the evolution of the relationship with work (the search for meaning, the balance between private and professional life, etc.). We are studying 14 sectors on 11 dimensions (1), some of which are more affected than others. I see contextual causes, in the energy market for example (down 20 points), weakened by the arrival of new players, the evolution of prices, environmental issues, employees are no doubt questioning the meaning of their job. Specialised distribution fell by 18 points. It is going through an unprecedented crisis, raising the question of its future. The brands that are resisting, such as Decathlon, have been able to reinvent themselves and move from the trade to the service sector (with equipment rental, maintenance and repair services, etc.).

Four sectors have been added to this barometer (tourism and hotels, health and medico-social establishments, public service and administration, and education), why this choice? And what lessons do you draw from it?

We felt that the customer and employee experience was becoming strategic in these sectors. Groups of schools and retirement homes are asking us questions, which is new. After the post-Covid rebound and with the Olympics approaching, the tourism sector is concerned about the experience and needs to be enlightened.

In healthcare, patients are complaining about long waiting times, linked to the lack of autonomy of staff, denouncing the lack of staff and suggesting better communication between services.

In the hotel industry, where customers are satisfied with the service, employees feel that brands do not take their opinions into account enough, even though they are in direct contact with customers.

What about customer satisfaction? How do you explain the differences in perception in certain sectors between customer satisfaction and its evaluation by employees?

Overall customer satisfaction remains stable (52% in 2022 and 2023). But consumer demands are increasing at least as fast as the progress made by companies.

Insurance has dropped by 12 points. The number and cost of claims have increased, leading to a tougher reception and reimbursement conditions. The sector lags behind in harmonising digital and human experiences, as the digitalisation of insurance contracts is complex.

Perception gaps (+15 points) are offset in insurance, catering, specialised distribution, energy, real estate and automotive. Employees overestimate customer satisfaction, either because they are unaware of the results of the measurements or because, in the absence of an improvement plan, they forget them.

In total, the dimensions with the largest gap are Facilitation and adaptability (19 pts), Values (15 pts), Autonomy and initiative (12 pts), Environments (10 pts).

Only one dimension was rated positively by customers and employees: behaviour and manners, a good start!

(1) A total of 2,056 panellists were asked about their perception, as customers and employees, of the 11 dimensions of the Symmetry of Attitudes: Autonomy and initiative, Competence and support, Behaviour and manners, Consideration, cooperation, Listening and feedback, Commitment to the environment, Facilitation and adaptability, Harmony of human and digital experiences, Trusting relationship and Values.

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