According to Gallup, businesses that have engaged employees are 22% more productive. However, improving your employee engagement levels isn’t just about improving productivity. When people want to come to work and understand their roles, they contribute to the overall success of the organisation. This post will examine seven of the best employee engagement trends in 2019.
1. People Don’t Quit Their Jobs, They Quit Their Bosses
This quote about people quitting bosses instead of jobs makes me think of an in-between job I had in a cabinet-making factory. It was tough work — I was on my feet, on concrete all day; there was no air conditioning so it was hot and stuffy during summers, and I’d have to shower as soon as I got home because I was covered in sawdust.
But in spite of all that, I worked with a great crew. My boss regularly gave us pizza lunches, and we celebrated everyone’s birthday with lunches and treats in the break room. The scheduling was also incredibly flexible so I could essentially set my own hours.
Those reasons are why I stayed there longer than maybe I should have — I didn’t want to quit my boss, even though it was tough, low-paying work. I looked forward to coming into work every day and it was because management went out of their way to create that atmosphere.
It’s also one of the strongest employee engagement trends for this year, and it’s something you should strive to copy in your own workplace. Give your team a welcoming, compassionate place to work, and you’ll find their engagement shoots up.
2. A Job Should Provide Wellness Opportunities
One of the toughest times for giving in my notice to a job happened several years ago. I didn’t want to leave, but layoffs were approaching on the horizon and I wanted to make the most of what was going to be a lousy situation.
What made it so tough was I felt like my workplace truly cared about my health and wellbeing. Several times a year, they’d bring in massage therapists, our department held monthly picnics in the park during warm-weather months, and there was a small gym in the basement where I could work out during lunchtime classes.
I knew these perks were rare features at any job, so I was incredibly hesitant to leave a second before I had to. At the next place I landed, the only similarity to the previous place was a kitchen stocked with semi-healthy snacks. There was no gym, no monthly picnics or lunches and definitely no massage therapists. And it definitely affected my engagement. I felt less motivated to perform at my highest level because it didn’t feel like the company was giving me their highest in return.
3. There’s Diversity in the Workplace
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many different cities and countries, exposing me to so many cultures and various ways of doing things. And I’m even luckier that that’s reflected, on a smaller scale, at my current work. Looking around me, I’ve got team members from all over the world and we’ve congregated here at this exact moment in time. And each and every one of us feels like we’re on the same playing field as the rest. It makes for a really inclusive environment and I’ve noticed we get more accomplished than at other jobs I’ve worked.
Diversity and inclusion are more important than ever when it comes to employee engagement. When your team feels like their voices matter, they’re happier — and happier to contribute — as a result. Plus, having different backgrounds in the workplace tends to correlate with more innovative methods and solutions.
4. Flexibility and Work-Life Balance are the Norm
The new job I went to in point #2? There was very little flexibility and work-life balance. We used desktop computers instead of laptops because management didn’t believe in working from home. And if you had personal matters to attend to, you had better hoped that they occurred during evenings and on weekends.
I remember one brutal month where it seemed like everything was going wrong in my life: my car died and I needed to get a new one, I was going through a breakup, and I was sleeping really poorly. At a time when I could have used more give from my employer, I was told to leave it at the door and take care of it once I went home.
Needless to say, I didn’t stay there very long.
If you want your team to give maximum engagement, understand that they’re humans who need to take care of themselves before their jobs from time to time. Giving them that breathing room can go a long way to getting much more loyalty and engagement in return.
5. There are Development and Advancement Opportunities
Let’s revisit my cabinet-making factory job for a second. One of the reasons why I did want to quit was because there were next to no chances of me moving up. It was a small workplace where everyone had a very dedicated role, so pretty much my only chance of gaining more development and responsibility was if someone else quit.
Nobody quit while I was there, so I stayed in the same position the whole time.
Part of me wanted more development opportunities so I could parlay that into a new, higher-paying position, which is a risk you’ll be taking with your own team. But it’s a bigger payoff to invest in them because you’re banking on human capital. And even if a couple of your employees do use that investment to go somewhere else, the fact that you still offer it is a bargaining chip for the next people you take on. Employees want to work at places where they know they can move up, and you don’t want to be on the wrong side of the fence with that.
The workplace is changing, and it’s changing fast. But if you stay on top of the latest employee engagement trends, then you can ride the crest onto the next wave of great leadership, an engaged team and enviable results. People no longer view jobs as a place they go to clock in at, do their work and head home — they want workplaces that foster a sense of belonging, inclusion and caring. And if you can provide that, then we’ll bet 10 to one you’ve got a team working their butts off for you.