Why the Automobile Industry needs to prioritize Employee Experience

February 5, 2021 at 6:30 PM
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The definition of employee experience in the automobile industry has changed significantly in 2021. After a turbulent first half, there was a brief hiatus in 2020 where things seemed to look up. This gave the automobile industry a glimmer of possibility that it could stride over the challenges brought on by the worldwide recession, oil crash, and pandemic-induced lockdowns of 2020.

But unfortunately, this was not meant to be.

The disruptive effects of the pandemic have redefined customer expectations and employee experience for 2021, and new trends are now set to rock the industry. That’s not all. With the second wave of COVID-19 hitting the shores of the EU and the UK, and with lockdowns reinforced in many locations, it seems the downward spiral will continue for a while. However, 2021 came bearing some good news in terms of vaccines and cautious optimism – for example, in the US automobile industry, there is even hope for an audacious 10% growth this year.

For an industry like an automobile, with a significant part of the workforce on its frontlines, employee experience matters a lot. This is a year that automakers, OEMs, and auto dealers across the globe need to navigate cautiously. They need to invest in a definitive strategy that will help them cut their losses and move on. Employee experience is key to that strategy.

In terms of employee experience, the industry is expected to adopt a few drastic measures this year to connect and engage with its employee base. Here are three reasons why:

1. The impact of going remote

The auto industry has not been the biggest fan of the remote work culture. But with the pandemic, things have changed dramatically. Coupled with this, fears of being affected by the pandemic – both health-wise and financially – are rampant among employees. In the US alone, the industry cut down its employee strength to around 905,000 in August 2020, down from almost one million a year earlier. This is a time when companies need to appreciate and reassure their employees more than ever. Building a solid HR strategy centered on employee experience will be vital to keeping employee morale high.

2. The impact of going digital & diverse

No matter the industry or product, customers are growing increasingly rooted in digital experiences. Experience-driven industries, like automobiles, need to groom their employees to embrace digital and equip them to leverage the digital tools at their disposal to garner more traction with customers. Diversity is another great investment automakers need to make. In the next normal, diversity of backgrounds and experiences will be crucial to stimulating new and original ideas. A diverse workforce is a sounding board for more creativity and innovation, both of which will be critical to help the industry power through hardships.

3. The impact of going automated

Even before the pandemic, the auto industry was booming with the buzzwords of automation and RPA. With automation being the biggest threat to employees in transactional or repetitive jobs, in particular, employees need to upskill to thrive. There is a lot of paranoia and uncertainty around automation, and not all of it can be dismissed as baseless. In its 2020 report, the International Labour Organization talks about how automation in production lines, driven by robotics, digitalization, and AI, can cause significant job losses across the value chain. New and upcoming product innovations, such as in the case of EVs, which require fewer hours to produce, longer lifespans, and less maintenance, also stand to affect jobs.

The automotive industry is like none other. This is an industry that presently runs on its front-liners. Employees are a critical asset and their well-being matters to the long-term success of the industry. Investing in a great pool of talent means companies have access to employees with a refreshing game-plan, to bring innovation and originality to the canvas, double down on a bold roadmap, and counter digital with digital.

The same goes for engagement sessions that help break the monotony of remote work, or training programs that upskill employees. Whatever transactional experiences they have acquired over the course of their career in the industry can translate to valuable strategic insights, just a couple of levels up the ladder.

Creating great employee experiences with Dropthought

In the era of remote work and uncertainty, it is critical for employers to invest in creating great employee experiences. A platform that encourages discussions and promotes open feedback is the need of the hour. Dropthought is one such highly effective platform. It is ideal for capturing employee feedback, emotions, and insights in real-time, to enable quick action and reduce churn.

If you’re interested in incorporating actionable insights into your daily operations, get in touch with us to request a demo today.

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