With the end of the year soon upon us, thoughts turn to plans for 2016. With employee engagement still a hot topic and continuing to develop every year we wanted to focus our thoughts on those organisations thinking about or planning to undertake employee engagement projects in 2016 and share a few nuggets of knowledge from our vastly experienced team such as: what are the trends and key themes? What should you be thinking about when planning a project?
It is unclear whether there will be any significant new engagement trends emerging in 2016, but there will undoubtedly be an acceleration of certain existing trends and a maturing of others.
Because I’m happy
One trend to be aware of in 2016 is the concept of ‘happiness at work’. This is not a particularly new concept but one that has gathered pace as organisations seek to understand the real drivers of employees’ happiness. As more and more employers improve their efforts to make employees happy, so the expectations of workers rise, especially with stories coming out of the US about companies that have provided climbing walls and bowling alleys for their employees.
Now you may not need to go to such extremes to begin to cement or improve the feelings of your employees. Understanding workplace happiness in your business and taking action where appropriate could have a considerable impact on your employees’ levels of engagement and productivity. From our experience we know that feeling proud to work for an organization and feeling valued are key drivers of engagement. Recent survey data suggests that 1 in 4 employees are not proud to work for their organisation and with over 40% reporting they do not feel valued by those organisations, there is plenty to focus on in 2016.
I don’t like Mondays
Flexible working hours are still on the agenda for employee engagement although this is a much longer standing topic than some. More and more organisations are using flexible hours as a means to keeping valued employees and enticing new hires. With so many different outside influences over employees’ time, and this year’s legislation entitling all to request flexibility, offering flexible options has become much more the norm. Greater emphasis is now placed on flexible location as well as ‘non-standard’ hours. Improved communication technology continues to increase the scope for remote working and companies are having to adapt their processes to better manage and engage a dispersed workforce.
If you love me prove it!
Saying thank you will never get old nor will it become ‘something we just don’t say anymore’, and it’s no different in the workplace. Recognising or appreciating a job well done is a practice that creates a culture of positivity. This doesn’t mean negative behaviour is not addressed, it simply means we are more encouraging to our teams and look to reinforce positive behaviour. From our experience how authentic the act of recognition is perceived to be depends on a few key factors. Is it timely? Does it express the reasons why the award or praise has been given? Is it linked to company values? These are just a few questions we could ask ourselves to ensure our recognition moments are positively received.
Our benchmarking database tells us that nearly a third of employees don’t believe that they are recognized or rewarded adequately for the work that they do, so there is also room for improvement here in 2016.
Just trying to keep my customers satisfied
Another concept that is gathering pace is the connection between employee engagement and the customer experience. Customers’ feedback is heavily influenced by their interactions with employees and there are strong links between how engaged a workforce is and the levels of service they provide. By combining these two powerful sources of intelligence you can gain insights into critical challenges within your business that are impacting on your customers. This enables the creation of action plans that can empower your workforce to deliver the best customer experiences.
Again from recent survey data we see that 25% of employees report that they would not recommend their organisation’s products and services, so how can they deliver great service when they don’t believe in what they and their employer are delivering?
Let’s make it happen
In summary there are many levers that you can pull to affect employee engagement and it may not be possible for you to tackle them all. The driving force behind your engagement strategy and creating lasting change is to formulate a culture which ‘makes engagement happen’. One person or team alone cannot possibly be expected to change or create an organizational culture. For success to happen engagement has to feel right, it has to be supported and ultimately it has to matter.
Survey Solutions can help you to listen to and understand your employees and customers. We help identify challenges and celebrate success. Our tools help businesses to take action from the insights we deliver, enabling leaders to execute their engagement vision.
Is employee engagement and customer satisfaction important to you? Contact us to see how we can help you to grow your business. +44 (0)20 8943 1445 or email firstname.lastname@example.org