Grace Smith
November 27, 2023

Employees are the driving force behind any organization. Engaged employees tend to be more productive and passionate about their work than disengaged employees.

A report by Gallup on employee engagement shows that business units with greater engagement experienced higher employee productivity, better retention, fewer accidents, and 21% higher profitability.

That's how important it is to keep your employees engaged.

We've included some more employee engagement trends to help business leaders and HR professionals,

  1. Anticipate changes in the work environment.
  2. Strategically plan their employee engagement initiatives,
  3. Align the workplace with employee expectations.
  4. Enhance the overall employee experience.

So let's dive in.

Let’s unpack the top employee engagement trends for 2023

Organizations want to prioritize constructing a significant engagement level for their employees if they're to preserve a happy, effective workforce. Employee engagement is at the pinnacle of the list of many companies as they seek to fill open positions and retain top performers.

To create a culture of effective and efficient employee engagement, non-stop learning, and a happy workplace, we provide you with a number of our best employee engagement trends for 2023.

1. People-centric culture 

Having a human-centric way of life is no longer a nice-to-have benefit for people; it is an essential factor when retaining and recruiting highly talented employees.

Organizations, both new and established, are working to ensure they have the right culture and that it is visible and felt throughout. Every employer has its own unique culture, whether you're intentional about it or not, but now more than ever, it is essential to take the time to cultivate and nurture a positive culture.

Cultures must be embraced and communicated by leaders at every level of the organization, and every employee should feel that they are valued and treated with respect.

You may like: 15 proven strategies to enhance employee happiness in the workplace

2. Flexibility with timings and location

Over the past few years, the significance of work-life balance has risen on employee priority lists.

During the pandemic, it has become very clear that not every job requires employees to be in a physical office every day. Fears that productivity may decline with a remote workforce were proven wrong as companies everywhere were able to maintain their work in an efficient and effective manner.

Offering flexible work hours, locations, and updated policies will go a long way with employees.

75% percent of employees stated they experience more productivity at home. They mentioned encountering fewer distractions (74%), less stress from commuting (71%), and fewer office politics (65%).

[Source: FlexJob]

A culture grounded in trust is a significant part of flexible work arrangements, but a bonus – when people feel trust, they are more engaged!

3. The switch to hybrid work models

In recent times, the traditional perception of work has undergone a significant transformation. The rise of remote work, fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, has paved the way for a new approach called hybrid work models.

This paradigm shift involves integrating the best of both worlds—remote work and in-office collaboration. By embracing hybrid work models, teams can create a flexible work environment that not only boosts morale but also improves work-life balance.

In a recent study, Gallup evaluated the benefits and challenges of hybrid work.

The findings revealed that work-life balance held a significant weight, accounting for 76%, while the productivity benefit amounted to 52%.

These factors positively influence employee engagement. Moreover, organizations will likely see this as an effective employee engagement trend and would encourage the same.

4. Creating employee brand ambassadors

Your employees are your biggest asset, and they can also help build your company and enhance engagement.

Social media is all around us, and it has amplified word-of-mouth exponentially. Certainly, the company can tell its story and share pictures, but employee postings get 561% more engagement than when the same message is shared by the company.

A brand's message posted by an employee on social media gets 561% more reach than a brand's social media account.

On rare occassions, some of your employees may have more followers than the corporation as a whole does, and their message packs a powerful impact. If they love where they work and they share it with their networks, the message goes even further.

And it's not just their friends and connections; according to a 2017 study, 41% of job seekers rate employee reviews higher than any other source.

A few things to keep in mind before selecting and deploying ambassadors, though.

First, they need to be well-versed and live the company’s core values. Make sure that every employee knows what you're all about and can tell the story of working there.

Brand ambassadors should come from all levels and areas of the company, not just leaders. And it should be authentic; look for those individuals who naturally and organically live the company’s mission and values and ask them if they would like to help spread the word!

5. Appreciating employee efforts

Expressing gratitude to your employees for their noteworthy contributions is a great way to enhance engagement. Positive results can be observed from such engaged employees who put in efforts for the company's growth.

40% of employed Americans say they would put more energy into their work if they felt they were recognized more often.

[Harvard Business Review]

Sincere appreciation messages boost employees' motivation, leading to even greater strides in effective business enhancement. Employees deserve your "thank you," and you benefit from increased employee engagement.

Providing awards to employees can inspire and motivate them even further. This can lead to employees being more engaged, causing them to perform better at their jobs.

Here are a few fun award ideas that organizations can use to boost employee engagement even further.

This could be worth your time: How to build an effective employee recognition award program that boosts both happiness and job satisfaction.

6. Providing exciting and challenging work

Engaging and challenging tasks can serve as a lasting motivator for every employee, thereby resulting in employee engagement. Often, people feel bored with a monotonous work schedule. Some complex assignments or more challenging tasks provide them with job satisfaction and boost employee engagement.

With interesting and challenging work, employees can not only enhance their skills but also apply them to overcome challenges. Hence, creating challenges in work can be an employee engagement trend that every employer should acknowledge.

7. Focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives

In a recent study by PewResearch, the majority of employees surveyed (around 56%) said that focusing on increasing DEI initiatives at work is a good thing. This underscores the growing importance of fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment.

In another CNBC survey, 80% of respondents said they want to work for a company that values DEI efforts.

This clearly suggests that employees increasingly appreciate and seek out workplaces that prioritize workplace and diversion.

8. Employee voice and feedback culture

Fostering a culture of transparency by promoting open communication channels, anonymous surveys, and employee feedback loops empowers and engages employees.

Regular feedback helps employees feel a stronger sense of connection to work and review their performance, leading to greater engagement and satisfaction at work.

Employees crave feedback.

75% of employees who receive feedback say that it is crucial to their work.

Organizations should make feedback an essential part of one-on-one meetings, as they will give a boost to employee development and confidence. It would also lead to greater engagement among them.

There is a close relationship between feedback and engagement. According to Oak Engage, 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week as compared to their disengaged counterparts (18%).

Moreover, a study by EY revealed that 63% of Gen Zers want timely and constructive feedback throughout the year.

To align with these preferences and foster continuous improvement, organizations should prioritize weekly feedback over the traditional annual appraisal model.

9. Learning and development opportunities

Offering robust education programs, upskilling initiatives, and e-learning structures to guide professional growth and career advancement is paramount.

76% of employees are more likely to stay with a company that provides continuous learning and development.

[Workplace Learning and Development Trends Research Report by SHRM]

Moreover, 55% of employees surveyed in the same report expressed a need for more development opportunities to enhance their work. These statistics underscore the significant impact of Learning and Development (L&D) on retention and engagement in the workplace.

10. Flexible benefits and perks

Individualized benefits packages are an innovative way to boost employee engagement. Flexible hours, health benefits, parental leave, and remote work allowances are some creative examples of the same.

Customized perks are an essential trend in employee engagement. Organizations are realizing that a one-size-fits-all strategy may not suit employee needs. Companies must show they care about employee well-being and work-life balance by giving flexible hours, health benefits, parental leave, and remote work.

11. Building a thriving and adaptable subculture

In recent years, work arrangements and employee interactions have so much. Many employees have seen a change in office culture since the outbreak.

Surveys show that 42% of employees think their workplace culture has improved. This shows that a large percentage of the workforce has seen the changes as good, which can match their adaptability and resilience during difficult times.

What this means is that building a thriving subculture is quite essential when it comes to keeping employees engaged, as it has a direct link to employee motivation as well.

ThriveSparrow fosters such a positive workplace culture by facilitating peer-to-peer recognition. With centralized appreciation spaces and Kudos cards, both big and small achievements can be celebrated, ensuring every employee feels acknowledged. It unites the entire organization for seamless collaboration and communication.

A screenshot of ThriveSparrow's Kudos cards facilitating peer-to-peer recognition
Sending Kudos Cards with ThriveSparrow

Empower your employees to give public shout-outs, nominate employees, and celebrate birthdays and achievements across the organization. Create a culture where your employees smile and your organization thrives.

12. Harnessing the power of flexibility to attract and retain top talent

Workplace flexibility plays a major role in enabling employees to meet both their work and personal commitments, effectively manage stress levels, and feel empowered to make decisions that impact their work.

However, it's important to note that the concept of "flexibility" can vary from one organization to another and even among individual employees. Understanding what flexibility means to your workforce is crucial, as it can encompass adaptability, performance focus, autonomy, work-life balance, and even location.

13. Improve manager effectiveness

In a current look at Harvard Business Review, employees named managers as the most significant barrier to deriving better rates of employee engagement, and

42% stated their managers don’t realize the right way to have powerful conversations with employees.

Great managers can educate a team toward achievement and assist their employees in locating pathways to develop their skills. When employees have favorable perceptions of their managers, they're a lot more engaged.

14. Work-life integration

If your employees feel that their work life is often overflowing into their personal lives, there is a high chance for them to resent their workplace. It is integral for companies to make sure that employees have the opportunity to integrate their work life and their personal life in a balanced manner. Only then can they work efficiently, and only then can companies see an increase in the level of engagement.

15. Continuous listening and action

Finally, staying abreast of industry trends and developing a growth mindset can aid employees in developing a higher level of engagement in the organization. And not just learning but actually taking the right action can help companies achieve this. Give employees to learn new skills and offer them real-life situations to put these skills into practice. 

Wrapping up

It is evident that organizations must prioritize meaningful connections with employees to maintain a productive workforce. The days of employees being mere numbers, clocking in and out, are long gone.

The post-pandemic era has highlighted the need for employers to establish a more human level of connection with their employees. It is time to create a work environment where employees feel like part of a community, engaged in something larger than themselves, a team where they have a sense of belonging and share the organization's culture, mission, and values.

Allow ThriveSparrow to help you with the pulse and feedback surveys to continuously keep up with what your employees think of the changes you bring to your company.