Employee engagement has become a trending topic of discussion amongst companies and employee wellness brokers. It is pretty much evident that companies with an engaged workforce are more likely to be successful than their competitors.
Despite knowing the importance of employee engagement, many companies have failed at keeping it right. And this oversight has impacted the business growth and ROI of the employee wellness programs.
The past few years have seen a lot of disturbances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and employee engagement was hugely impacted by uncertainty. For companies to get back on the right track, the workforce must be engaged and motivated.
Conventional vs. Contemporary Engagement Strategies
Traditionally, organizations offered annual appraisals, incentives, and conventional workplace benefits to keep the workforce engaged. However, times have changed now. The more contemporary employee engagement strategies have evolved to address the latest workplace wellness trends.
Previously, organizations conducted pulse surveys, polls, or discussions to measure employee engagement, identify concerns, and plan interventions to address these concerns. Although they were effective to an extent, it was all done at a low frequency, and it also did not give a complete picture of the employee requirements. Modern corporate wellness technology supports multiple tools that can provide real-time engagement data. It also allows technology-driven performance management to recognize employee efforts and other HR tools.
So, to make sure your employee engagement strategies are effective, they must be aligned with the current trends and workforce interests.
Here is a quick glimpse of the top 5 employee engagement trends in the post-COVID-19 era.
Top 5 Workplace Engagement Trends
1. A Harmonious Workplace Culture
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has made remote working the new normal. Companies have realized that employees need not be present physically at the workplace to get their job done. The current situation has also made employees and employers realize the importance of having a work-life balance. Studies showed that many employees were ready to take a pay cut to work with an organization with amicable workplace culture.
So, the onus lies with the employers to treat their workforce with a people-first approach. They must plan their strategies to elevate their workplace culture and ensure work-life harmony. Flexible working hours, remote working, paid leaves, maternity/paternity leaves, etc., can be good options to start with. In short, when employees have a better work-life balance, they will be satisfied and engaged at work.
2. Adopting Advanced Digital Technology
The growing digital technology has become a necessity in all aspects of running a business. Also, with many millennials and Gen Z being a part of the current working generation, it has become vital for organizations to include the latest technologies as a part of their company’s integral strategy. Not only does digital technology keep the workforce engaged, but it also improves their efficiency at work.
Many companies have started investing in employee experience platforms powered by AI and Cloud to ensure better performance and workplace engagement. Digital technology will become an essential factor to boost workplace engagement and employee experience. And so, it must be adopted sensibly and regularly.
3. Using Performance Management Tools
For a long time, employee performance and contribution to the company have been directly proportional to their annual appraisals, bonuses, promotions, and workplace benefits packages. However, most employees have just been sporadically happy about these evaluations. With changing times, performance management has become a holistic process.
The new generation of employees wants to be heard and feel valued. So, workplaces must seek employee feedback and reviews more frequently (monthly or at least quarterly). Also, employees must know their performance progress and understand where they stand in alignment with the business goals. Knowing this will encourage them to do better and stay engaged. Using an advanced performance management system with tools to give accurate and real-time insights can improve the employee experience.
4. Rewards and Recognition
While workplace benefits, health insurance, and reimbursements made employees highly satisfied in previous times, COVID-19 has changed employee expectations at the workplace. Although monetary benefits will always be welcome, non-monetary factors like appreciation and recognition have become more noteworthy. The modern working generation, including Gen-Y & Gen-Z workers, wants to be appreciated and recognized for their efforts. They are ready to work for a lower pay package in return for better workplace culture and appreciation. And so, this has become a top priority for employers now.
Businesses must understand the different factors that can keep an employee engaged. Be it their out-of-work issues like student loans, debts, or other wellbeing issues to chalk out the right rewards and employee engagement strategies. Most organizations with a happily engaged workforce implement tailored rewards and recognition programs that align with the company culture and employee requirements.
5. Occupational Wellbeing and Development
Occupational wellbeing is considered one of the key dimensions to achieving holistic health. The new generation of the workforce is keen on skills development and professional growth to ensure they are aligned with the growing technology and corporate trends. Gen-Y and Gen-Z workers are bound to leave a company that shows stagnant growth opportunities for greener pastures.
Organizations must foster a healthy workplace culture that promotes the constant development of their employees. They must identify the skills and interests of the workforce and provide learning opportunities that can also help with higher productivity and business growth. They can also offer prospects to fill in the skill gaps. All these reflect the employer’s intention to improve employee wellbeing, thus reducing turnover rates and improving engagement.
With the changing times, employee engagement strategies have also evolved. While the pre-COVID workplace benefits were limited to promotions and bonuses, the current employee expectations have expanded to flexible work culture and employee benefits that focus on their holistic growth.
By keeping up with the latest employee engagement trends, organizations can successfully retain their skilled talent and grow exponentially.