Over the years, employee engagement trends have come and gone. The generational shifts that occur over every ten years or so ensure that each new wave of workers in the global labor force develop different needs and expectations from those before them.
Employee engagement is often confused with job satisfaction. But they are not quite the same thing. Job satisfaction is about employees finding contentment in the work they do. Meanwhile, employee engagement pertains more to the emotional state and level of personal happiness that an employee experiences in the workplace.
To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace.
A highly engaged workforce can uplift company profits by 21%, and is indicative of a productive, enthusiastic team of individuals whose needs are being respectfully heard, seen, and met.
In 2021, employee engagement is more important than ever. The awareness around it has increased to such a point that employees are more likely than ever to leave a job if it does not meet their personal mental and emotional needs.
Successful managers and employers need to regularly adapt their employee engagement strategies to keep up with the constantly evolving needs of working adults.
With Millennials (age range 24—40) currently making up the vast majority of the global workforce, the qualities and traits defined by their generation are what employee managers need to focus on accommodating. In doing so, they’ll see a high level of engagement and productivity.
Employee managers may even want to start preparing strategies that accommodate Gen Z (the generation which comes after Millennials). This generation will soon lay claim to a large portion of the global workforce, too.
Moving from 2021 into 2022 and beyond, the following guide highlights employee engagement strategies. These strategies are designed for meeting the personal and professional needs of the workplace.
1. Upskill Your Employees
Upskilling is one of the most effective ways to boost employee engagement. The employees of today seek opportunities for growth and skill development more than anything. And for good reason—we are facing some of the biggest and most disruptive years of our decade.
To Millennials and Gen Z workers, the space to grow, evolve and learn is a top priority. In addition to upskilling being a preference for modern employees, it is also something that can significantly boost employee loyalty. In turn, this increases your business’s bottom line.
Upskilling can be a solution to work scarcity for employees and employers alike. Providing your employees with the option to continuously grow within the company and expand their skill set at the same time is a win-win for everyone involved.
If an employee is provided with the tools and resources to hone in on new skill sets and continuously improve their value as a team member, the experience is wholly positive. They’ll feel like their needs as an individual are being recognized and that the company cares about their future.
2. Recognize and Reward High Performers
If you want your employees to consistently perform well, you need to incentivize them. Some people are able to incentivize themselves via sheer willpower or discipline. But those personality types are few and far between. Most people need a little push—or the prospect of reward to get them going.
Setting up a recognition or employee incentive program is an employee engagement strategy that has been utilized for decades. Yet, it will probably never stop being effective. There’s no shame in admitting that a little bit of reward incentive can go a long way.
After all, it makes sense—why should employees push themselves to their performance limit if nobody will notice or express gratitude for it? People need positive affirmation and appreciation for their efforts– especially with Gen Z.
You can facilitate an incentive program by setting up a peer-to-peer recognition program or an employee service awards program. You can also put your current managers and managerial hires through an employee recognition training program.
Employee engagement softwares like Profit.co’s employee engagement module make it easy to recognize and reward employees– even if you’re working with a fully remote team. Check out the entire suite of productivity modules and sign up for a free trial today!
3. Offer Flexible Work Schedules
Millennials and Gen Z employees prize flexibility and the opportunity to create a healthy work/life balance. With 87% of employees expecting their workplace to support them in balancing work and personal responsibilities, offering flexible working hours is an excellent way to optimize engagement.
There are numerous ways to allow for elements of flexibility in your employee’s work schedules. You can offer the opportunity for them to work remotely on certain days or under specific circumstances. Or you can give them the ability to adjust work hours based on lifestyle factors. Doing so not only affords employees the flexibility they crave, it also enhances the sense of consideration and respect they crave from the workplace.
Having a degree of flexibility reduces the negative effects of a busy schedule and helps boost employee satisfaction. It also contributes towards creating a positive workplace culture, which has proven to play a major role in improved employee engagement. With improved engagement comes an increase in performance and productivity, which further enhances the work environment.
4. Facilitate Mental and Emotional Health Resources
As many as 60% of companies offer some form of wellness program for their employees. But only 14% have identified and amplified the culture of health in all its various forms.
Poor mental health is becoming a societal norm, costing the US up to 70 million working days every year. Anxiety, depression, and burnout are amongst the most common. This means that a large percentage of your employees are bound to experience these issues in varying degrees.
Employees are now seeking more than just a run-of-the-mill physical wellness program. They want to see that your company understands the mental and emotional pressures of the workplace. And that you intend to support them in that area too.
You can facilitate and support the mental and emotional needs of your employees by making sure they have access to an approachable and trustworthy Human Resources manager. Additionally, you can offer mental health days and accommodate employees who struggle with mental illnesses.
Engaged Employees Equal Success
It’s easy to see why a business that focuses on employee engagement is on the road to success. The workforce is an incredibly valuable asset, and if employees feel valued, they’ll add value.
If you want to see how you can manage your company’s employee engagement with an intuitive and highly effective software, book a free demo with the experts at Profit.co today!