5 employee engagement trends for 2021
Employee engagement is based on trust, honesty, two-way commitment, and regular communication between the organisation and its members. Engagement can be measured by interviewing staff and then statistically evaluating the responses received. This metric has never been more important.
The main task for 2021 is to maintain the physical and mental health of employees, effective team building, and maximum motivation. According to many researchers, the involved team can generate 2.5 times more profit. So engagement is useful not only for employees in terms of their motivation and condition, but also for the company. This metric is becoming more and more important when choosing a place of work, and after all, qualified personnel is a big plus for overall success.
If the engagement is low, what can you rely on? What to improve and change to make the staff more efficient? What are the employees missing? What to do?
One of the most effective and commonly used ways to measure engagement is anonymous surveys. There are many questionnaires. You can either choose questions to your liking from the available ones, or formulate your own. We recommend using the Gallup Q12, which was developed in the late 1990s based on numerous focus groups and interviews. In total, 87 thousand divisions of various companies and 1.5 million employees took part in the study. As a result, out of hundreds, 12 questions, or key expectations, were selected, which, if met, form the basis for a sense of involvement.
- Do you know what your employer expects from you?
- Do you have the materials and equipment you need to work?
- In the past year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow at work?
- Does anyone at work contribute to your development?
- Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
- Does your company’s mission and purpose make you feel like your job matters?
- Do your colleagues consider it their duty to do their job well?
- Is your point of view taken into account?
- In the past six months, has anyone at work talked to you about your successes?
- In the past seven days, have you received recognition or praise for your good work?
- Do you feel that your manager or someone at work cares about you as a person?
- Do you have a best friend at work?
The questions go in a row, but they can be conditionally divided into four semantic groups and, depending on the answers of the respondents, determine actions to correct the situation in each of the groups. By counting the number of positive responses, you can get the degree of engagement. A good indicator is a level above 70%.
- Development. Questions about the role of the employee in the company, about the career, about the realisation of the employee’s potential.
- Mission. It is vital for team members to see how their efforts, which they put into their daily work, contribute to the fulfilment of the company’s mission. The company’s success will depend in part on whether team members understand not only the mission itself, but also their importance in its implementation.
- Confession. Questions about whether the employee receives recognition and praise from his manager and from the company as a whole, whether his contribution to the development of the company is valuable.
- Team and relationships. People do their best when they have friends at work. Assessing how colleagues generally relate to each other is also critical to improving productivity and efficiency.
Errors and mistakes
You can also create your own questionnaire by choosing topics that are burning for you, formulate several questions on them regarding the state of individual employees and the team as a whole, distribute questionnaires and collect information.
On the one hand, this method seems simple, but it also contains pitfalls and common mistakes:
Too many questions. Do not try to solve all business problems at once by assessing engagement. The optimal number of questions is 15–20, otherwise employees will start answering just to “finally end it”.
Lack of anonymity. For example, you can restore the destination by the IP address. And then the immediate supervisor, finding out that the subordinate told about the negative situation in the unit, will begin repressions. Unfortunately, often the survey participant’s questionnaire contains too detailed questions about the respondent – this should be avoided.
Different questions every time. Try to keep the list of questions, their number and order unchanged. You can change the wording if you need to make the question more precise. However, you will receive more information for analysis from the same questions, but in the dynamics of answers.
Employees don’t see any positive changes after the survey. Having answered sincerely and not noticing any changes, employees cease to trust such questionnaires, they believe that the management simply “does not care about our opinion.” The paradox is that it’s more difficult for people to perceive situations in which they were asked about the problem, but did not begin to solve it than those when their opinion was not even asked.
Actions to take
The most important process at this stage is making a decision based on the received data. For each block, it is necessary to think over actions to improve the situation. Here are top 5 employee engagement trends for 2021
1. 100% digital
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the already begun digitalisation of most business sectors. For many, remote work has become permanent, so the ability to do business from anywhere is a major advantage for any company in 2021. After all, there are many examples when the transition to remote work not only saved the company in a difficult situation, but also increased the efficiency of work.
For example, according to a study conducted in a call centre in China, productivity increased by 9% after some employees switched to remote work. This was due to the reduction in interruptions during the working day, as well as due to an overall increase in staff satisfaction.
2. Everything is online
2020 has put us tightly behind laptop screens, and has also brought innovation to communication. Conferences, summits and exhibitions – they all take place online and are available to specialists from all over the world.
Unfortunately, only those who manage to transform and rebuild to the online format survive in the coronavirus crisis. Many have learned not only to develop, but also to have fun online – now you can arrange a corporate party without leaving your home. Thanks to this flexibility, you will be able to reduce business losses to a minimum.
3. Diversity, equality, inclusiveness
Events in 2020 showed: no more empty talk and promises. Each self-respecting company will have to attract candidates from different countries, cultures, representatives of different religious movements and social strata of the population to the maximum. Many in 2020 have focused on promoting cultural diversity among their employees, highlighting the benefits of this approach, and this trend will only intensify in 2021.
For example, IT giant Intel has declared inclusiveness as one of the main goals of its own development program RISE 2030. Borders are blurring – today those who previously did not have access to highly qualified positions get the chance to work in the world’s largest companies from home in suitable conditions.
4. Innovation is everything
Cool and bold ideas that grab media attention, connect the virtual with the physical, engage employees and reinforce corporate culture are more important than ever. Therefore, it is important to choose the most effective tools for the explosive year.
The market for IT products and services for personnel management is growing by leaps and bounds. How do you choose the one that’s right for your team? Carefully assess the main problems in internal communication, the resources that you are ready to invest in the development of corporate culture, and conduct a survey among employees.
This way you’ll find the most suitable employee engagement software for you. In 2021, it is worth choosing a centralised tool that combines several useful features at once.
5. The power of data
Various HR metrics will strengthen their role in making key business decisions, as well as in building plans and forecasts for the future. Good data analytics will also help HR teams develop high-value retention strategies, which in turn will strengthen team resources, especially during challenging times like these.
There are a lot of indicators, and each specialist chooses the key ones based on the specifics of the company’s activities, its staff and his own experience. The most important metrics are staff turnover, labour productivity, staff involvement, labour and training costs, and others. It is worth noting the importance of simplicity in assessing such indicators – the best option would be an automated analysis.
Internal communication has undergone perhaps the biggest transformations over the past year. It is obvious that flexibility and the ability to quickly adapt and make decisions is a must-have for any HR team. Make sure to follow trends, try new things and work on employee engagement. Now, more than ever. It will definitely have good results.
Morgan Rose Elliott graduated marketing from The University of Sydney. Hobbies include yoga, reading, home renovation. Rookie blogger who loves writing about business and lifestyle equally. She is happily married, stay at home mother of three.
Twitter account: https://twitter.com/MorganRoseElli1