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Get Proactive with 9 Employee Engagement Trends That Will Stick Around
You can say that "An engaged employee in the hand is worth two disengaged employees in the bush." That's how valuable employee engagement is to any company's bottom line. And that's also why you must master a few employee engagement trends.
This article will unfold our selection of the most influential trends in employee engagement. We'll also tell you how to implement them with the approach and tools to make your personnel more productive and loyal.
In the end, you won't believe how happier your customers will become and how much more profit you'll cash in.
🕖 Talking about employee engagement in 2023: the Great Resignation & Great Reshuffle
The world of labor took a massive turn because of the COVID global pandemic. And two of the phenomena that emerged from the pandemic—the Great Resignation and the Great Reshuffle—shook companies worldwide.
Staff members started questioning their relationship with organizations. Consequently, those feeling disengaged started resigning, changing industries or careers, or choosing self-employment.
The thing is, 63% of employees quit their jobs because they had no opportunities for career growth. And this is too high of a number to ignore, but that's where you come in!
You can prevent resignation and reshuffle from happening at your company. Many people want to perform engaging roles within equally engaging teams and businesses, and you can live up to their expectations.
Retain your top talent by investing in their career development and a few trends that engage a workforce. It's time to talk about the global employee engagement trends you must master.
📈 9 Employee engagement trends in 2023 and beyond
It might feel a bit overwhelming to come up with a strategy to engage a workforce. And this might be especially true if you think of employee engagement as one big umbrella of other concepts.
Indeed it is, as many variables contribute to either increasing or diminishing employee engagement levels.
Still, knowing how other organizations are successful at engaging their people will help you in that crusade.
You'll find below a curated list of the latest trends in employee engagement. Think of it as a checklist to guide the planning of your employee engagement program and initiatives.
🧑🤝🧑 Create a people-first culture
Does your company craft business strategies intentionally? And does it back those strategies with comprehensive research and best practices? Perfect, but what's keeping you from doing the same with the company's culture?
In the contemporary workplace, employees treasure the company's culture as never before. And it won't come across as an overstatement if you position a healthy organizational culture as a business goal.
The same goes for employee engagement. But in most companies, employee engagement is a given and yet not in very good shape.
Now, if you pursue a healthy organizational culture as fiercely as other business goals, voilà! You'll get on track to building a people-first culture in your team, department, and the entire company. And that'll engage your whole personnel over time.
A people-first culture is very much appreciated by top talent because it:
- Considers employees' preferences;
- Satisfies their needs;
- Meets their aspirations;
- Is aware that by doing all of the above, financial returns will be waiting down the line.
On the other hand, a culture that doesn't care about its people is not sustainable. And gradually, it won't be able to retain top talent.
Employees worldwide are looking for organizations with a people-first culture right now. A culture in which:
- The work environment is positive and respectful;
- Stress is an exception;
- Flexibility is business as usual;
- Work-life balance is real;
- Work is meaningful and valuable within the company;
- Staff feels appreciated, connectedm, and fulfilled.
People-first cultures are all about the mindset. And they're visible through attitudes—they're not yet another handbook you read during onboarding.
They demand that everyone within the organization assesses and eventually changes their actions to match the culture. And the result is an organization that'll become more resilient to an ever-changing business landscape.
Tip: Engage each employee individually, from top executives all the way down the organizational chart.
And remember this: If a company's culture crashes, the whole business can fall apart too. A company needs employees to execute its strategy and couldn't survive without them.
👩🦼 Develop an inclusive workspace
A fair, respectful, and unbiased work environment is intimately related to financial performance. And in a recent study, McKinsey claimed that
- The companies with the highest ethnic and cultural diversity are 36% more profitable.
- The most gender-diverse executive teams generate 25% more profit in their organizations.
But an inclusive workplace means more than profitability. It also means employee engagement. It's a group of professionals feeling they belong in the company and have an important saying in the business's destiny.
Mixing different backgrounds, beliefs, and identities promotes employee engagement. And in turn, it stimulates innovation, which otherwise wouldn't see the light of day.
👀 Note: Diverse, equal, and inclusive teams approach problems from different angles. And the solutions they develop are more comprehensive. Ultimately, in an inclusive environment, all perspectives are valid, and that brings people together.
Plus, it would be impossible to expand a business worldwide without a global workforce. And a global workforce is necessarily diverse. In short, if you want to go global, there's no escape from fostering a culture of inclusion.
💡 Solution: Try out Zavvy's DEI Training to sensitize your employees on DEI topics by creating awareness and suggesting effective strategies everyone can include in their daily work.
🏅 Focus on employee recognition & provide ample benefits
A simple "thank you for your help" goes a long way for employee engagement. And doing it regularly—when it applies, of course—is extremely important to motivate your staff to perform at their best. You'll give them the confidence to raise their game.
Employees need to feel heard and appreciated to connect with the teams and organizations they work in. And if you grow the habit of celebrating their achievements, they might even go the extra mile for your business.
Tip #1: Praising your personnel when they do well at their jobs won't take long or cost you a budget.
Tip #2: On the other hand, even if you pay an unappreciated employee the best salary in the industry, you'll risk losing them to competitors.
Tip #3: Give shout-outs to your best-performing employees when they hit a goal or go beyond their obligations.
➡️ Need some inspiration? You're bound to find something to implement in your organization from our 42 meaningful employee recognition ideas.
On top of that, millennials and Gen Zs are hard to retain. And while you don't necessarily need to impress them with a fantastic salary, you have to go creative with employee benefits. Remember that you're competing against a myriad of companies with similar job descriptions.
Of course, it still makes sense to include these in the compensation package:
- Paid time off;
- Health insurance and retirement plans;
- Remote office-setup funds;
- Utility expense reimbursement.
- Paid fitness memberships;
- Free courses that appeal to them and align with their career ambitions;
- Subsidies for a sustainable lifestyle, which include public transportation and electric vehicle purchase incentives;
🌱 Offer staff more empowerment and growth opportunities
When you allow your employees to face clients or lead small teams in proofs of concept, you empower them. You engage your workforce with the organization by trusting their abilities and responsibility. And you propel the progression they wish for in their careers.
As an HR professional, you must add employee empowerment to your functions. Because letting them design and implement their own initiatives within the company's mission, vision, values, and goals.
In the last decades, younger generations realized that reaching high positions at work is increasingly possible. And so they grew as students and later as junior professionals with grand ambitions for their careers.
Consequently, modern employees long not only for career growth but also for personal growth. And they make strategic career moves that help them get where they want. That's why there's no way you could engage your personnel without giving them that opportunity.
Tip #1: Talk to your employees individually to understand where they want to get with their careers. Then, design the learning and development programs that'll get them there.
With learning and development initiatives, you'll close skill gaps through upskilling. This means you'll expand your staff members' skills to meet their career growth desires (as long as those desires align with your business, of course).
Here are some learning and development solutions you can design:
- E-learning courses;
- In-person and virtual instructor-led training sessions;
- Internships, rotations, and shadowing;
Tip #2: Ideally, assess your employees' training needs and address their skill gaps every quarter. And make sure to dedicate a portion of the organization's budget and the employees' time to training.
You'll build a workforce of highly skilled professionals and, as a result:
- Your clients will be willing to pay for that expertise level.
- You'll bring more sophisticated products to market, for which you'll charge more.
Upskilling and other career development endeavors retain high performers. But career development without the potential for upward mobility is pointless because, without progression, employees start performing less every day. And eventually, they walk away from the company.
Your staff promotions should be:
- Timely—not leaving them waiting for a promotion when they already hit the targets to own it.
- Fair—with known and objective promotion criteria.
- Consistent—so that those who hit the same targets get the same promotion.
Tip #3: Give visibility to promotions by, for instance, celebrating them with a company-wide email or Slack message.
💡 Solution: With Zavvy's career development solutions, you can track how your workforce improves their skill-set.
🎯 Define result-driving goals and provide effective feedback
Managers usually give employee feedback once a year during performance reviews. But that's not nearly enough to raise employee engagement and motivation.
Employees feel like they are performing higher 3.6 times more when they receive daily feedback from their managers.
You should ensure that your managers:
1. Clearly explain what they expect from their team members.
2. Timely communicate priorities.
3. Hold regular, quick individual feedback meetings with their staff to remove blockers and point them in the right direction.
4. Are positive and actionable, praising employees' strengths and what they did well but also advising on how they can:
- Advance their skills;
- Improve their emotional intelligence at work;
- Increase their performance to meet their career growth goals.
💡 Solution: Zavvy's 360 Feedback Software assists your managers with giving customized employee feedback that drives engagement.
🧘 Prioritize employee health and well-being
Employee well-being is a fundamental piece of the employee engagement puzzle. And it's also the reason why an organization's personnel is 69% less likely to search for a new job.
But surprisingly, only 33% of employees feel that companies contribute to their well-being.
Here are three factors that can make or break your employees' well-being:
Work-life balance is not a new topic, yet it's significantly more valuable now than ever. Randstad found evidence that 65% of staff members prioritize work-life balance over salary.
And one of the requirements of work-life balance is the flexibility of workplace and office hours. In fact, this is good news for employers because flexibility translates to productivity and employee retention.
According to a recent FlexJobs survey, 55% of employees are more productive when they work remotely. Also, Pew Research concluded that 45% of the workforce quit their jobs in 2021 because they couldn't choose their schedule.
2. Mental health
Mental health gained importance in recent years. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, employees are more aware of how serious work-related mental illnesses are. And in May 2019, the World Health Organization finally classified burnout as a work-related disease.
The 44% of personnel who feel great stress at work indicate that stress-free environments are not the norm yet. We're talking about:
- Empathic and competent leaders who set clear expectations;
- True teamwork and collaboration;
- Manageable workloads with room for frequent breaks and no work on weekends or holidays.
Mental health also relates to how your workplace addresses matters pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
Corporations are more aware of how DEI is beneficial to their bottom line. But they're also more aware that the lack of DEI at work generates mental disturbances in staff. And that's the same staff who expects a healthy work environment to engage with their employers.
💡 Solution: Zavvy's Wellbeing Booster is an initiative to show support to employees' mental and physical health with weekly nudges. We consider this a great initiative to boost job satisfaction and enforce a positive workplace culture.
Now, here's an employee engagement trend that works both ways for personnel because:
- A healthy body is a pillar of a healthy mind (personal benefit).
- A healthy mind turns a regular worker into a high-performer (professional benefit).
And let's not forget how healthy minds at work turn a regular business into a profitable one! It's not by chance that in 2020 81% of large organizations offered some sort of wellness program.
- Gym memberships;
- Office exercise sessions;
- Virtual yoga classes;
- Virtual guided meditation sessions;
- Lifestyle and behavioral coaching sessions;
- Wellness retreats;
- Nutrition education;
- Smoking cessation programs;
- Health screenings.
Wellness programs are a matter of mental health as much as physical health. And in the case of group activities—even if they're virtual—they bond employees with each other and the company.
💼 Ensure your leaders build trust
Trust in leadership is 63% responsible for employee retention and a key driver of employee engagement. But unfortunately, only 23% of staff members trust their leaders.
Besides advocating for employee recognition, empathic leadership, and transparent and consistent communication, evangelize for employee listening and feedback.
Your managers' listening ability increases 4.2 times the trust of their team members. And daily feedback raises trust in leadership 2.1 times. You don't want to miss out on building trust in your organization.
💡 Solution: Use Zavvy's leadership development system to help your managers become forward-thinking leaders.
👂 Listen actively to determine if employees are thriving
Actively listening to your personnel is halfway through, making them happy at work and loyal to your organization. And it's also a powerful tool for assessing employee engagement and investigating
- What your employees find exciting about their current jobs
- Whether they enjoy performing their roles at your company
- The extent to which they feel connected with their teams
- Their expectations for career growth within the organization
By actively listening to your staff members, you'll understand if they're considering leaving the company. And then, instead of being clueless, you'll know exactly what to do to keep them engaged and prevent their resignation.
💡 Solution: Use Zavvy's workflow builder and survey templates to send out pulse and engagement surveys on autopilot.
🤖 Redefine the "human" in HR with software solutions
HR tech is evolving at an astounding pace and contributing to boosting employee engagement. But HR tech is nothing without the human perspective of workplaces.
Effective HR software is designed to reinforce the tech with the necessary dose of compassion, recognition, human connection, and a sense of belonging. And here's why according to Ernst & Young's research:
- 87% of employees trust empathetic leaders more.
- 85% of staff members produce more because compassionate leaders lead them.
- 37% of the workforce resigned because they felt disconnected from their coworkers, and 48% because they didn't feel they belonged in the organization.
💡 Solution: Zavvy's Connection Programs focus on strengthening human connections at work.
And since team Zavvy loves these programs so much, we have created ready-to-use templates so your teams can enjoy them.
💡 Try out "Conversations that Matter" to strengthen human connections and feelings of belonging through meaningful conversations.
Get ready because your people expect this from your leaders:
- Empathy towards their struggles at work (54%) and in their personal lives (49%);
- Openness and transparency (41%);
- Fairness (37%);
- Promise-keeping and action-taking (37%);
- Consideration of others' opinions (36%);
- Ability to handle tough conversations (34%).
But in return, Ernst & Young found that your teams will be 87% more efficient and creative and 86% more innovative. And your company's revenue will grow by 81%.
➡️ Engage your workforce with Zavvy
To achieve a post-pandemic normal, you must follow the new trends in employee engagement. And in terms of tooling, you could approach that challenge in two distinct ways.
- Reactively—with tools that simply measure employee engagement.
- Actively—with tools that assist you in improving your engagement rates.
Now, what would be the point of knowing how much unengaged your employees are and doing nothing about it? Exactly! None, which places option number one off the table and leads us to Zavvy.
Zavvy's 360 Feedback will help you improve your employee satisfaction with concrete actions. And with those actions, you'll tick the boxes of the most recent employee engagement trends.
Book your demo right away!