Six essential employee engagement trends your business needs to follow in 2022

Creating a highly engaged workforce and a thriving workplace continues to be a major goal for all HR leaders. And the reason is simple. Every business needs what employee engagement creates: happier, more productive employees.

As we move towards 2022 and life gets closer to normal in a “post-covid” world, employee engagement will prove more important than ever. So whether you work at an ambitious tech company, a growth-focused healthcare organization, a fast-paced hospitality company, or elsewhere, putting people first should be your top priority. If you really want to put employees first, here are six employee engagement trends you need to practice and master this year.

Trend #1. Employee experience

The employee experience is everything an employee experiences about your business. The journey begins before they even apply for a job and continues long after the employee has left the company. This also includes the physical environment in which your employees work and the culture of your company. By focusing on the employee experience, you can actively prepare employees for success with the right technology tools, influence your company culture, and build workplace policies that resonate with today’s workers.

So while employee engagement and the commitment of your employees to your company and their work is the end goal, employee experience offers the most direct means to get there. And just as customer experience professionals optimize customer journeys for better customer engagement, your role as an HR manager is to create an optimal employee experience. And with that, happier and more productive employers, higher retention rates and lower employee turnover follow.

Takeaway key:

Employee experience has the potential to become a major competitive advantage for companies in high-tech sectors where the war for talent is raging, or for those in sectors such as healthcare or elderly care services which require skills specialized but do not offer too attractive an offer. compensation. Providing a superior employee experience can help you attract and retain top talent. Just as optimizing the customer journey leads to happy customers, a great employee experience produces happy employees.

Trend #2. Employee career path

It’s no secret that Millennials and Generation Z are looking for opportunities to learn and grow. This is a major factor that distinguishes them from other generations. Millennials and Gen Z workers, in particular, won’t stay if they don’t feel like they can grow in your company. So, rather than tackling high millennial turnover as a fact of life, put your employees’ career development aspirations first.

The art of keeping Millennials and Gen Z engaged at work is letting them know what opportunities exist within the company. Invest in employee career development and take advantage of the opportunities you provide your employees to learn and grow. This is your chance as a human resources manager to ensure that you (and your people managers) have developed goals and career paths for each of your employees to support them throughout their journey and to their career advancement.

Talk to your employees about their aspirations, goals, and ambitions to further boost employee engagement. Find out what your employees want to become, then figure out how to align their personal passions with company goals.

Takeaway key: The goal of embedding career development opportunities into your company culture is to allow employees to see for themselves where they can go in their careers within your company. Setting up continuous promotion cycles and keeping your employees up to date on internal opportunities could prevent them from seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Trend #3. flexible work

If you’re still not allowing your employees to have a say in how, where, and when they work, consider it a priority in 2022.

Whether it’s working from home, job sharing, part-time hours or anything else, it’s important that you, as an employer and your employee, agree on the conditions. Flexible working is only effective if it works for all parties. Plus, with a greater focus on wellness this year, it’s more important than ever to provide a healthy work-life balance.

Takeaway key: Embedding a culture of flexibility by offering flexible working allows you to attract, retain and develop the best possible talent, and ensure a positive work-life balance for employees. It’s also important to keep in mind that employees often value flexibility over other, more traditional forms of compensation such as raises.

Trend #4. Acknowledgement

Receiving praise and recognition from managers has always been a powerful motivator, it is also the backbone of employee engagement. By adopting different ways of recognizing employee performance, you not only motivate individuals, but you help increase the productivity and quality of results of the entire team. Most employees prefer real-time feedback over annual performance reviews simply because real-time feedback enables meaningful action to be taken when it matters most. A culture of continuous feedback also leads to more transparent performance expectations. Experimenting with technologies like Pulse feedback tools will give you an immediate understanding of the employee experience and how you can improve it.

Takeaway key: Don’t wait for an annual review to focus on areas for improvement or development opportunities. Start using social recognition platforms and provide an appropriate platform for your employees to reward and recognize everyone’s contributions.

Trend #5. Make learning more accessible

Small businesses have no excuse to shirk their obligation to continuously train and develop their staff. There’s also no excuse for forcing your teams to attend boring and irrelevant PowerPoint presentations. E-learning platforms make it easy and affordable to give staff more choice about what, where and when to learn. It’s a great way to motivate people to take responsibility for their own professional development – ​​and you get feedback on how they’re progressing.

Trend #6. Corporate culture

Large corporations are now looking to entrepreneurial start-ups for how to innovate, making agility the name of the business game. If you remove the fear of failure (within reasonable performance parameters), you can give people a chance to realize their ideas or challenge the status quo. Your most talented employees want to be inspired. They want to feel the passion behind your primary goal. If they’re not feeling excited, they’ll probably soon leave you for a more nimble business — or start their own. We also looked at the neuroscientific approach to ensure your workforce is full of engaged employees.

Put your employees first with the right HR technology tools

It’s important to remember the relationship between HR and employee engagement. Ensuring your employees have the technology and tools they need to be efficient and productive is an important foundation for employee engagement. It’s an investment in your people and in the business.

Michelle J. Kelley