Key Employee engagement trends that Reshaped the industry

Raj Tanwar brings over two decades of global, cross-cultural HR expertise in geographies like Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and Europe, working across diverse industries such as IT/ITES, Engineering, Manu- facturing, Oil & Gas and Pharmaceuticals to name a few.

The business landscape has been evolving, and it is becoming imperative for the HR professionals, together with the leadership of the organisation, to rebuild and reenergize employee engagement initiatives to match the pace of external change and stand out as an Employer of Choice. There has been a greater focus on employee engagement in recent years, not only because of higher attrition rates but also because companies want to attract the best talent from the market and build a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP). In their attempt to have a holistic approach, organisations have been trying to adopt an evolved model to engage with the employees in various ways and levels.

Companies are taking a practical approach to developing inclusive workplace cultures, leading to significant improvements in work structures and employee interactions

1 Personalised Wellness and Wellbeing:

Given the political instability globally and also since the pandemic outbreak, organizations have become acutely aware of the need to support employees in various ways to combat mental pressures, precariousness, and turmoil. The intent of care from the employer's end is an attempt to offer greater emotional and mental health by way of giving on-demand and varied initiatives support across diverse needs. Companies have introduced newer support measures in their programs catering to Physical, Mental, Social, Spiritual, Environmental and Financial well-being aspects. In some cases, even the parents and family members of the employees are included to achieve the true impact of their programs. In-office programs are no longer the only way to deliver these programs; rather, they are offered at will and through counselling if an employee is observed to be in need at the pre-assessment stage proactively.

2 Hyper-Flexibility:

They are offering freedom in work time and place, which is further gaining momentum in hiring model flexibility due to the impact of the Gig economy. Companies have truly realised the significance of providing increased flexibility, and it is in 2023 that they became hyper-flexible in letting the employees choose a schedule or engaging model that best suits them. In the post-pandemic era, the demand for work flexibility has become a crucial aspect for most employees. Companies are not shying in any way from offering versatile and hybrid working options to acknowledge and appreciate their employees' requirements.

3 Cultural Momentum:

Companies are taking a practical approach to developing inclusive workplace cultures, leading to significant improvements in work structures and employee interactions. Recognising the profound impact of culture on engagement and employee retention, organisations are embra- cing adaptability and forward-thinking strategies. Some ways they're doing are forming Enterprise Resouce Group (ERG) across varied diversity Initiatives, Structural change to build Inclusive Leadership, Training and Education, Feedback Mechanisms such as listening circles, Inclusive Policies, Celebrating Differences and Community Engagement. By adopting these approaches and more, companies are actively reshaping their cultures to create environments where every employee feels valued, respected, included and engaged.

4 Digitization: Impact on Recognition:

There has been a marked acceleration in the digitisation of employee recognition efforts in 2023. Organisations have begun to use the right kind of employee recognition software to simplify and modernise the process, especially for Gen Z employees, who constitute a significant portion of today's workforce. This digital approach has also helped companies in enhancing the efficiency of recognising remote-working employees. Digitisation of recognition programs has also proven to be highly cost-effective for organisations and bring higher transparency as well as acceptance in the workplace.

"In the era of "quiet quitting", organisations have begun to recognize the drop in per- formance of the employees and adopt various ways to keep them motivated"

5. Quantum & On-demand Development

As the trend of "The Great Resignation" persists in selective high-potential talent, organizations continue to face growing challenges in luring and retaining the best; they have started to acknowledge the efforts of the employees in myriad ways to show they care in various ways, which strengthen their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) too. Additionally, Huge investments are made in employee learning experience platforms and new-age content for employee’s skilling and upskilling through quantum and on-demand learning. In the era of "quiet quitting", organisations have begun to recognize the drop in performance of the employees and adopt various ways to keep them motivated. They are going the extra mile to develop and commemorate the achievements of the staff members, including celebrating and sharing it on social media so that employees remain cheerful, equipped and feel encouraged to perform and learn simultaneously.

6 Employer Branding:

Organisations have begun to transform the workplace experience for employees quite signi- ficantly in 2023 by undertaking a cohesive effort to improve employer branding. Even before an offer is made, they use On-boarding Experience Platforms to engage with potential employees to build an employer brand. They have made use of formal and well-structured employee onboarding kits as well as company-branded merchandise in their effort to provide richer experiences to the new employees. For existing employees, they have made sincere efforts to express gratitude to the employees and strengthen their connection with the company. They have also placed heightened importance on contributing to the well-being of both society and the planet and also employees in these initiatives. All the above initiatives are well packaged and offered as a single offering under the umbrella of a brand campaign to fortify their presence as an Employer of choice.