8 Global Employee Engagement Trends Every HR Manager Should Know

Fads come and go but trends make a lasting impact. We researched and gathered the Top 8 Global Trends impacting HR Managers and Employee Engagement across industries to make you more informed and knowledgeable about the HR opportunities for your company.

Did you know that only 15% of employees are engaged globally? A great deal of potential and productivity is being wasted by not capturing the remaining 85%. We believe that can be improved. Implement this knowledge and boost your performance in 2020.

1. Embrace the Mobile Revolution

It is no news that technology is transforming the communication landscape. 80% of the workforce is deskless, and there is a big need for leadership to more effectively reach these employees. Mobile devices are leading the digital revolution as they provide quick access and the most effective solution for direct communication. Across all industries, companies plan to increase their spending on technology by 31% to reach their deskless workforce better.

2. Invest in Employee Development

Investing in the development of your employees means helping them effectively execute their tasks as well as recognizing their need for personal and professional growth. Recent studies show that most managers only spend about 7% of their time helping develop their talent. Moreover, 58% of employees said their companies do not offer enough growth opportunities to entice them to stay long-term.

If you want to retain quality talent, focusing on providing career and personal development is crucial. A Gallup study surveying 1.2M employees across 22 organizations showed the value of facilitating development for your employees. On average, these companies increased performance and engagement, lowered turnover, and saw a 9% increase in sales and 15% increase in profits.

3. Adopt Transformational Leadership

Leadership is more than just management — it requires exemplifying the company’s values, and encouraging and mentoring employees so they can be self-dependent. Unfortunately, many leaders fall short of the task. To counteract this, leaders should adopt transformational leadership.

Transformational leadership encourages knowledge sharing among employees and enhances team identification by having employees commit to a shared goal and share a collective identity. Research shows that team identification is a consequence of the leader’s behavior in interactions and ultimately depicts how invested an employee will be into his/her work. To learn more about how to create team identification and dedication to a unified goal, consider checking out the book 7 Principles for Transformational Leadership.

4. Treat Your Employees as Brand Ambassadors

For better or worse, your employees are your key brand ambassadors. How can you positively harness the power of this? Employees are becoming more vocal about their perception of their employer’s ethics. A Bloomber report showed that 38% of employees have spoken up to support or criticize their employer’s actions over a controversial issue. It is crucial to internally engage your employees. Update them first on any major changes before going public, stay consistent in living out the company’s values. If you transparently communicate with your employees, they can be your strongest brand ambassador. In return, they will help you externally align your intended brand message to your customers.

5. Create an Enjoyable Work Environment

The demand for more enjoyable workplaces is rising. Employees are seeking environments that feel rewarding, fun, and interesting. They are are subconsciously basing their levels of engagement, turnover, and productivity on how enjoyable it is to spend ⅓ of their life working. It is important to keep a pulse on how employees are defining “enjoyable” and what attributes they are prioritizing.

A survey assessed by Harvard Business Review revealed that employees are seeking wellness perks (after meeting their basic needs like better air quality, natural light, or personalization of their work area) in their place of employment . It is worthwhile to stay up to date with global trends on the look of the future workplace and move your organization towards these. Overall, employees who are satisfied with their work environment are 16% more productive, 18% more likely to stay, and 30% more attracted to their company.

6. Specify and Narrow Your Messaging

We live in a fast-paced environment where everything is trying to have a piece of our attention. Your employees are swamped with work, so relevant messaging is key.

This can be established in two main ways:

First, it is important to tailor messaging to smaller segmented groups of employees instead of the whole company. More and more significance is being placed on specificity of content.

Second, content that is snackable (easily understood, short, and engaging) is leading the way, specifically with visuals and illustrations instead of long paragraphs.. Did you know that 90% of what we remember is based on visual content?

7. Lead with Purpose

Employees stay with a company because they feel connected to it. More than ever, a company honestly living out its mission, vision, and values is critical in resonating with employees to retain quality talent. 83% of employees are seeking meaning in their day-to-day work, but 69% believe their employers could better utilize their skills and abilities.

A study by PWC concluded that 79% of business leaders think purpose is central to business success, however only 34% of those leaders believe their organization’s purpose is a guidepost for decision-making of their leadership team. There is a clear disconnect between intention and execution, and this will no longer be accepted by the employees that are driven to perform based on the deep-rooted level of connection to the company’s mission.

8. Improve and Automate the Employee Journey

Employees go through life cycles throughout their time in a company ranging from onboarding, role changes, trainings etc.. It is vital to take the time to plot the steps of the journey, to form a strategy for controlling the process. This will enable full support of the employee throughout the journey.

In some cases, leaders from large tech companies have built a whole HR system that centers around employee segments and their transitions. Emphasis is being placed on improving the smoothness of these road-maps, which is where automation can play a significant role. Consider looking at your employee journey, assessing the nature of its flow, and automating the repeating steps that require the managers to unnecessarily watch over.

Bonus: Start a Mental Health Program

Here is one last point for you to keep in mind. Some of the top leading companies like Google and JP Morgan are investing in on-site therapists or mental health programs for their employees. Currently, 1 in 3 employees have considered leaving their job due to work-related stress with 54% of workers saying they brought that stress home into their personal lives.

According to a study by National Stress Awareness Day, 24% of people surveyed said they did not believe their wellbeing was supported by their employer. As more Gen Z’s enter the workforce, their threshold for accepting this gloomy fact is lower. As shown in a Mental Health Report 2019, half of Millenials and 75% of Gen Z’s have left a job due to mental health concerns. Investing in solutions for companies to provide support programs or address workload stress issues is becoming fundamental.

Conclusion

Companies with engaged employees experience 41% lower absenteeism, 24% lower turnover and 17% higher productivity. These facts alone show the immeasurable value of investing in your people.

Most importantly, your employees will see these drivers from their own perspective. That means they may be more motivated by one trend versus another. The employer’s goal then becomes to activate/follow as many key trends as possible to capture more value in your workforce.