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Employee Engagement & Recognition Trends to be Ready for in 2022


Want to know how employee engagement and recognition trends are going to be affected by global events in 2022? This article discusses the latest trends. Read more.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created new ways of working and accelerated employee engagement trends that have been building momentum for years. Some of these trends have caused widespread disruption in almost every industry, but they have also created opportunities for companies to rethink their employee engagement and recognition strategies for 2022 and beyond.

The Hybrid Workforce is Here to Stay

More and more companies are embracing the hybrid workplace with employees working remotely from home, in the office, or a mixture of both. This approach has many benefits, such as giving employees flexibility around when and how they work and reducing overheads by not having to lease as much office space. But you also need to overcome some challenges to ensure your employees stay motivated and feel appreciated.

Here are some employee engagement tips for the hybrid workforce:

Clearly Define Roles

It’s essential that your staff have clearly defined roles that set out your expectations and their responsibilities. This is important because your employees will need to learn (if they are not experienced working remotely) to work with less direct oversight. Meet with your employees to level set expectations and develop concise job descriptions so that you both know exactly what is expected from each other.

Provide Growth Opportunities

When you have a hybrid workforce, employees may feel there are fewer opportunities to grow and be promoted. To address this concern, companies can provide online learning and development opportunities through seminars, guest lectures, and training courses. In turn, this will let employees feel valued and optimistic about their future growth opportunities and professional development.

Embrace Flexible Work Hours

Workers of all ages value flexible work options. If you have a distributed workforce, it’s difficult to maintain standardized office hours across the organization. Don’t try to fight it, instead embrace it and provide employees with the ability to work when they want. However, to make this successful, you will need to change some of your business processes and systems and provide good oversight. One of the key benefits of flexible work schedules is making your staff feel empowered, which in turn makes them feel trusted and valued.

Celebrate Individual and Team Successes

To boost team morale and keep everyone motivated, it’s important to celebrate  individual and team wins together. Virtual meetups can be a great way to recognize high-performing individuals and team wins. Additionally, managers should leverage employee recognition tools and resources to ensure employees feel appreciated for their work.

Prioritize Team Culture

It’s crucial to invest resources into building your team culture to make employees feel valued and part of a more significant mission/cause. This can be achieved through having regular team meetups and social events (online and offline) and by sending swag kits and company branded merchandise to employees. Branded company swag is a great way to make employees feel valued and part of a winning team.

The “Great Resignation” is Real

Whether you call it “The Great Resignation“, “The Great Reshuffle” or “The Big Quit”, retaining your best talent will remain a huge focus for organizations in 2022. Earlier this year, 40% of employees who responded to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index said they were considering looking for another job in the new year.

Given the rise in opportunities available for employees in most industries, you won’t be able to stop every individual from leaving, but there are a few key strategies you can invest in to reduce the chances of your business losing a large percent of your employees.

Here are some employee engagement tips for managing the Great Resignation:

Offer Work-Life Balance

As millennials and Gen Zer’s become more prominent in the workforce, they bring a strong desire to have a meaningful work-life balance. A recent study by Gallup found that millennials and Gen Z workers consider a company’s ability to look out for the well-being of their employees to be the most important characteristic when they are applying for jobs.

It’s Not Just About Money

Many businesses think one of the easiest ways to reduce employee turnover is to offer higher salaries. While many companies are setting aside a record high 3.9% of their payroll budgets for raises to existing employees in 2022, they should not lose sight of the impact non-monetary benefits have on their teams. Extra time off, wellness initiatives, and providing time for volunteer work can go a long way in keeping your employees engaged and reducing turnover.

Build a Great Team

Another way for companies to reduce employee turnover is to build a great team environment where every employee feels valued and part of a larger mission. When you create this type of environment, employees become more engaged, build stronger connections with their peers, and feel like their work has purpose.

Some ways to build a great team culture are to have regular team meetups, embrace organizational transparency, and allow regular opportunities for staff to give feedback and ask questions. The good news is that most of these strategies don’t cost much to implement, but the benefits can be massive.

Putting Employee Wellbeing & Mental Health First

Employee mental health and well-being continue to be a major focus for companies of all sizes. If you want to retain and develop your top performers you need to invest in strategies and programs that improve your staff’s wellbeing and mental health.

Here are some great tips for how to put the well-being and mental health of your employees first:

Give Employees More Autonomy

Many businesses still have very hierarchical management structures that don’t allow individual employees to have much discretion and autonomy when it comes to making decisions. This has been shown to cause unnecessary stress and cause adverse health outcomes for employees. A study of call center employees found that when workers were given more authority to make decisions their overall well-being and job performance increased significantly. For business owners and managers, giving your staff more autonomy not only reduces costs but boosts productivity.

Manage Workloads

Unsurprisingly, extensive research shows working long hours and under extensive pressure harms people’s mental health and general well-being. To combat employee burnout, companies should put systems in place to ensure employees can manage their workload. These systems will not only make them happier and healthier, but it will also increase the quality of their work and make them less likely to leave.

Develop Support Systems

When employees are stressed out and suffer from poor mental health, they must know they can confide in their managers and co-workers. Promoting a culture of openness around mental health and wellbeing will ensure your staff gets help when they need it, which will significantly reduce staff turnover in the long run.

Promote Healthy Lifestyles

When your employees are healthy, they will produce better results for your business. There are many simple ways to promote a healthier workforce, such as offering wellness incentives, and giving your staff regular breaks.

The Bottom Line

2022 is shaping up to be another year of disruption. The most successful companies will understand and embrace these unprecedented and changing times and implement strategies that will help them engage, grow and retain their people.