Employee Engagement, Recruitment & Retention | Article

Employee Engagement Trends & Tips You Should Know

The workplace changes from the last few years have been tangible. Employee engagement, on the other hand, tends to be not-so-tangible.

We all know how much the pandemic has shifted work and life. Plus, we’ve witnessed social justice movements, the Great Reshuffle, and rapidly rising inflation. All this has caused employees to really think about what matters to them.

With this new age of work (and employee wants/needs) comes a new approach to engaging employees. We’ve compiled a few trends to keep an eye on, and tips to keep in mind for 2023 and beyond:

Curate a positive candidate experience

Recruiting high-quality candidates can be a daunting task, but a great place to start is with the hiring experience. One element is transparency about pay and expectations. It ensures you get the right candidates through the door and establishes trust. Another element is streamlining the process. A slow process is frustrating, and many candidates will ghost employers, then move on to other applications. An efficient process keeps candidates interested and engaged.

Employee engagement starts even before you know who your employees will be. The candidate experience is the first experience any new hires will have with your organization. It affects the way they view and engage with your workplace from the start. So make sure it is a positive experience for all potential future employees.

Focus on employees that stay

While putting time and effort into recruiting is important, don’t let it overshadow engaging current employees. Investing in current employees is the best way to simultaneously retain them and save money. Lean into learning and development to help employees gain new skills. They’ll be more engaged and more likely to see a career path forward at your company. Find out why your current employees have stayed with you through stay interviews. It’ll help reveal how they prefer to be engaged. At the same time, seek constructive feedback to pinpoint your weak areas of engagement.  

Broaden your DEI programs

The AON 2022 DEI report has suggested that companies with high levels of employee engagement are much more likely to have well-defined DEI policies. Many of these highly engaged companies have clearly defined diversity, equity, and inclusion. They often aren’t limited to one aspect of DEI. Many address some combination of the following categories:

  • Gender
  • Sexuality
  • Ethnicity
  • Age
  • Ability
  • Neurodiversity
  • Parental status
  • Veteran status
  • Religion
  • Education

Ensure your DEI policies are all-encompassing. You may not know which employees are affected by, or fall into, some of these categories. Many of today’s employees want to see their organizations investing in DEI. When their values don’t align with the company’s, there may be disconnect and disengagement.

Make work meaningful

Much of today’s workforce is seeking out meaningful work. In a recent survey, applicants cited “meaningful work” as a top reason they wanted the job. It landed above pay, location, and professional development in the results. To make work more meaningful for employees, remind them how the company’s mission has a positive impact. Then, most importantly, connect how their specific role ties into that mission.

Highlight the efforts and small wins daily. Send eCards, post to your company’s internal feed, and recognize them in other ways. You’ll reinforce how meaningful your employees’ work is every single day. There’s no better way to leave them feeling engaged and inspired!

These four topics are only a few of many emerging employee engagement trends. As an HR or people leader, strive to stay informed on the latest tips and trends. Because doing the best you can to engage your employees will benefit them, your team, and your organization at large.