Employee Engagement Trends
As we come to the end of 2019, we thought we would discuss some of the employee engagement trends over the last year. With low unemployment levels, and employee’s length of service at a company continuing to drop, it is important to review engagement trends to ensure you are retaining top talent.
In August this year, Forbes released ‘4 Employee Engagement Trends That Leaders Need To Know’, the first article in a series discussing employee engagement. In this post we are going to outline some of the points highlighted and inform you of why you should be monitoring engagement within your workforce.
Trend 1: Money isn’t the only answer
Employees look for more than salaries and bonus opportunities in workplaces nowadays. With flexible working becoming mainstream, employers must look at how they can provide more trust in employees to support their lifestyles.
Flexible working can be hard to define, as there are many forms of working patterns outside the 9-to-5 hours; government guidance states “flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs”.
The CIPD released a ‘Mega Trends’ report in January delving into flexible working, and outlined the typical flexible working agreements as below:
Compressed working hours
Working from home
According to employees, the benefits of flexible working come through a better work–life balance, the reduction in stress and pressure, and that it helps them stay in a job or with an employer (CIPD 2016).
Trend 2: Agile environments
The policies and processes behind how work gets completed in the workplace can have a great impact on the engagement of the staff. The trend of ‘agile working environments’ is rapidly growing in the workplace, but what does this actually mean? Agile working means removing the concept of ‘traditional office layout’ to allow employees to work in a more dynamic and collaborative space. This could include removing fixed seating plans and opting for hot desking, having spaces for both collaborative and individual work and allowing employees to work where their productivity is higher. Employers could also consider having an office layout that easily adapts to fit around the changing structure and needs of the team.
Not only does this increase employee satisfaction, it can have a variety of benefits the employer. Some of the benefits with this style of workplace includes reduced real estate costs and facility management, staff retention and easier accommodation of contract workers, consultants and new hires as the company grows.
Trend 3: Be the change you wish to see in the world
Employees want a purpose that reaches outside of the office walls. In fact, 53% of under-35s want to volunteer more than they do, with this figure increasing to 60% amongst 18-24-year-olds (report by City Philanthropy). Employees want to make a difference and want their employer to take corporate social responsibility. So, what are the benefits of employers taking this on board?
Company voluntary programs result in improved employee retention; “When employees are actively involved in giving back it can lead to a deeper commitment and connection to the work,” Elizabeth Stocker, consultant at Great Place to Work.
Improved brand awareness; employees can be your biggest asset to raising brand awareness on social media. Employees who are proud of their work are more inclined to share these achievements online. They get to enjoy being a part of something positive, you get enhanced publicity of your great social responsibility.
Trend 4: Organisational Culture
Organisational culture outlines the values and behaviours that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organisation. This can include expectations, experiences, philosophy, self-image and inner workings.
The type of culture you create within your company can have a great impact on the engagement and retention of your employees. Younger employees in particular have a greater desire to be a part of a flatter hierarchy, with emphasis on inclusive decision-making.
The most successful way to achieve a strong company culture is to listen to your employees. The companies who see high success from this review how employee needs shift over time and build an environment where staff thrive in the workplace.