Workplaces of all types have evolved to remain competitive and even thrive amid challenging environments.
They have become accustomed to doing more with less and expecting the unexpected. As businesses continue to move forward, employee engagement is gaining more attention and it’s on the mind of companies large and small. People want to feel invested in their work and be part of an encouraging culture.
Here are three critical employee engagement trends you can expect for 2021 and beyond.
Employee Engagement Trend #1: Widespread burnout demands increased attention and actionable remedies
For many people, the sharp rise in remote work schedules has blurred the line between professional life and home life. This excessive and prolonged stress is causing them to feel less connected and productive in their work. In fact, a recent study by FlexJobs and Mental Health America revealed that 75% of workers reported experiencing burnout over the past year. That staggering statistic is amounting to a significant employee engagement challenge and is a central concern to business leaders due to its widespread nature and direct impact on the bottom line. So what’s the solution? There’s no simple remedy, but many companies are responding by giving employees opportunities to decompress. Google, for example, has created “No Meetings Weeks” that allow workers to shorten their to-do lists in favor of other priorities or to switch off entirely for a bit. Another popular option is the establishment of perk programs that cover employees’ costs up to a certain amount so they can periodically enjoy treats that combat their burnout, whether that’s a massage, some good books, or whatever else they choose.
Employee Engagement Trend #2: An increased emphasis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
Studies have repeatedly shown that diverse work teams perform better and that inclusive companies tend to be more innovative and profitable. But now, DEI initiatives have reached new heights of importance in relation to employee engagement. In today’s digital world, companies can no longer conceal exclusionary business practices and workers are paying close attention to whether their employers are fostering a company culture of inclusion. To support diversity, equity, and inclusion in a way that positively impacts employee engagement, it’s essential that employers examine their workforce, identify the shortcomings, and learn how to not only build teams that are diverse, but ones that a truly are inclusive from the top down, particularly in remote work settings.
Employee Engagement Trend #3: Recognition takes on greater significance
Although business leaders have long realized the importance of workplace acknowledgment and appreciation, many companies still struggle with it. Now that workers are no longer regularly gathered in an office and spontaneous gestures of appreciation—such as a verbal “thank you” or a pat on the back—are things of the past, recognition efforts have become a higher priority and a bigger challenge. Remedy this shortfall by considering creating programs to acknowledge your employees’ accomplishments in ways that aren’t generic and aren’t just about money. Studies show that the most effective recognition is authentic and individualized, so incorporate phone calls and online chats, which allow for one-on-one interaction. In today’s digital world, there’s something special about receiving a physical letter or package in the mail. Consider sending each member of your team a handwritten thank you note and be specific about their individual contributions. If budgets allow, you can even include a gift card suited to their preferences, such as the Book of the Month Club for avid readers, Best Buy for electronics enthusiasts, or Chewy for pet owners.
Business success can’t happen without employee engagement. If you want the best results from your workforce, people must feel involved and appreciated. By identifying engagement needs and responding with sincere efforts, you’ll benefit from happier, more fulfilled team members.
Will 2021 be a landmark year for your organization’s employee engagement initiatives? The HR Team is here to help with an array of valuable resources and insights to facilitate your efforts. Please contact our knowledgeable professionals to learn more.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit https://www.thehrteam.com/.