• Weeve

2020 Employee Engagement Guide

Introduction


Employee Engagement can often be a very hazy and ill defined concept. What exactly does it comprise of? What can I do to tackle it? What are the benefits of having an engagement workforce? These are common questions that our clients have before starting with the Weeve platform, but fear not because we are here to help!


Weeve thinks of employee engagement as an employee or group of employees willingness to actively participate in the ongoings of an organization. Think of it as the connection between an employee and the organization. Values, actions, and decisions that make an employee feel more closely connected to the organization are the same ones that will shape the culture of employee engagement within that organization.


However just defining it is not enough. We live in a period of high transition; where trends and values that employees hold in high regard change very rapidly. A practice that influences engagement that worked merely 3-5 years ago may not be applicable in the future. With newer and younger generations entering the workforce, engagement trends have also changed drastically. We here at Weeve think that all leaders, executives and managers should keep up to date with the ever changing world of employee engagement, so we bring you this guide. Here you will find help trends that we think will define employee engagement in 2020. Enjoy!


Work-Life Blend


Flexibility is king in the 2020 work environment. Though the term “work-life” is rather stale at this point from overuse, the importance placed on it by current employees is anything but! The desire that newer and younger workers have to sacrifice compensation, promotion, or company goodwill to achieve a suitable “work-life” blend is at an all time high. Many job functions don’t require employees to be physically present and this new age of employees are fulling taking advantage of that proposition.


Policies such as work-from-home (WFH), flex hours, remote working options will be more important than ever in the eye of the 2020 workforce. And this should be read as a good thing for company advocates. In fact, when surveyed, more than 75% of workers said they experience greater productivity while at home, citing reasons such as fewer distractions, less wasted time in meetings, and less time commuting.


AI/ML Technologies


New emerging technologies have already altered almost every facet of the HR world. Tools to increase the effectiveness of employee benefits, reviews, feedback, and much more have populated the market and made it easier for organizations to deliver a better company environment. None of these types of tools is as effective or sophisticated as tools based on Machine Learning (ML) or Artificial Intelligence (AI) (like Weeve - click here to learn more). These technologies can make it easier and cheaper to boost communication, personalization, and engagement in the workplace. With these tools in your 2020 HR tool belt, all organizations can make more informed and data-driven decisions.


Recognition


It is long since known that the more positive social and professional connections an employee has at an organization the more productive, engaged, and happy they tend to be. Boosting interconnectedness is therefore a powerful lever that People leaders can often utilize for the betterment of the workforce. While there are a lot of ways to increase connectedness at work, providing avenues for recognition is one of the most powerful. Rewarding employees publicly and recognizing their accomplishments has very high ROI in terms of retention and engagement. From simple “well dones” in the office to more sophisticated reward systems, recognition is going to be a large driver of engagement in 2020.


Diversity & Inclusion


2020 is certain to be a year of transformation. With many uncertain macro, political, and environmental changes occurring, one thing that can be said with certainty is that the top companies are going to be doubling down on building a global work environment. As these external influences force companies to think further on a global scale, getting a better handle on diversity and inclusion is going to be a necessary pillar HR to tackle. As companies become more diverse with people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and traditions, employees bring new and unique ideas to the table. This mixing of different perspectives often offers fresh insights and different ways of problem-solving.


Inclusion is an important part of the puzzle, however. All too often people with differing backgrounds tend to group themselves with self minded individuals. This can create cliques that are often counterproductive to the benefits of diversity in the workforce. Diversity can unlock important synergies within an organization only when there is a sense of belonging and inclusion. We here at Weeve believe that D&I activities and technologies will be a big part of employers 2020 engagement strategy.


Gender Equality


The past few decades have brought about an incredibly powerful economic force in the US and across the globe: unlocking more of the workforce through less gendered societal and workplace biases. The role of women, and the inclusion of non-binary individuals, in the workforce has radically changed the makeup of the workforce Literacy rates, graduation rates, % of the employed individuals, etc - almost across all major metrics women have made substantial ground toward workplace equality.


However there are still many challenges women face in the workplace. From blatant sexual misconduct and harassment, pay disparity, pregnancy discrimination, etc the list goes on. Businesses have made lots of strides in the past decade to break down the internal norms that result in some of these actions, but there is still much more to do. To really unlock the economic and engagement potential of this segment of the workforce, companies will have to rely on anonymous tools to identify, act, and get rid of acts of gender discriminations. We here at Weeve are hopeful that 2020 will see more investment into these technologies.


Career Growth and Trajectory


Employees have always wanted job security and growth opportunities. However, today’s employees are seeking faster and higher career progression more than ever before. And not just in the traditional sense. They want to be in a career and company that invests in them as individuals, both professionally and personally. They want to shape their careers on their terms and don’t mind leaving organizations that don’t align with their growth ambitions. Most employees will leave an organization with an ill-defined or limited career progression for better opportunities.


This is especially true of millennials and Gen Zers. Stagnation in the workforce is synonymous with lack of evolution and growth. To retain these employees, organizations need to build an environment where they can grow and advance. Learning and development programs, mentorship programs, and setting clear career goal posts will be crucial in 2020.


Physical and Mental Wellness


Employees spend a larger percentage of their waking hours at the workplace. To make sure that this time is as rewarding as possible, employers will need to invest in physical and mental wellness programs in 2020.


Health has a direct correlation with productivity, engagement, and performance of employees. Investing in initiatives that promote this has proven to positively impact the bottom line of companies. Offering a comprehensive wellness program is the key to unlocking those benefits.

And we are not just talking about physical health. While that has to be part of the equation, mental health has to be a priority for companies in 2020 as well. Poor mental health access, availability, and education are one of the biggest issues facing organizations in recent years. As much as we all like to believe that our work environment is stress free, we know that isn’t the case. This stress can often cause sleeplessness, physical illness, anxiety, weight gain and a whole host of other issues that causes an enormous loss of working days and productivity.


But there is good news! The discourse surrounding mental health has never been so rich as it is now. Individuals and organizations are becoming more aware and concerned about mental well being. The stigma is slowly fading and as a consequence, now is the time for employers to take a special role in supporting mental health for all of their employees. Weeve hopes that 2020 brings with it more awareness, more action, and less strain on the mental health of employees.