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In a landscape full of expensive work laptops, catered lunch, and other fancy benefits, engaging employees today is harder than ever. Despite these perks, however, the New York Daily reports that 70% of US employees are miserable at work. This is a large indicator of how leaders are still having trouble stimulating engagement with today’s employees, which is a workforce more diverse and younger than ever before.

As new developments in technology and social norms occur at such a rapid pace, keeping up with the changing workforce and knowing how to engage employees can get a little difficult. That said, we’ve outlined a few ways you can stay ahead and have listed the incoming employee engagement trends of 2020.

Be sustainable

The millennial generation, who are in-line to be the next executives, want to work for companies who are sustainable — and the numbers don’t lie. A survey conducted by Swytch found that out of 1,000 employees, 70% are more likely to work for a company that has a strong green footprint, with 30% leaving a company due to not having a corporate sustainability agenda.

Fortunately, it’s not that hard for companies to adapt — even using renewable energy is something that most companies can do, as it’s not as hard nor as expensive as it was before. In fact, thanks to decades of improved technology, Marcus notes that it's cheaper than ever to generate power from a solar grid. This is mainly because the cost to make it has lowered, making it possible for solar-powered projects to thrive, and companies to get into sustainability. While it isn’t meant to be a marketing scheme, being sustainable also provides an opportunity for outward marketing and branding as well.

Offer remote or flexible work schedules

Today’s generation highly values a work-life balance, and by offering remote or flexible work options, you’re fostering a culture that values these principles. This will increase employee retention as they see their employers value the same thing they do. Not to mention, quality of work and productivity will increase as granting them control over their time lets them choose the work times and environments that are best for them.

If you want to start offering flexible work schedules, transitioning isn’t as hard as you think. Our article on ‘5 Ways to Effectively Improve Employee Engagement’ explains that you can start by offering telecommuting days, which lets employees work from home for 2 or 3 days a week. Download time-tracking tools and messaging apps such as Slack or Microsoft Teams to make collaborating and transitioning easier. Remember to also train managers to handle their new team of remote/flexible workers, as managing a flexible workforce isn’t the same as a traditional one.

Provide opportunities for growth

With the current technology, employees have an easier time developing their skillset — but they don’t want to do this without an opportunity to grow. Providing employees a clear path for growth along with some guidance will make them more motivated to reach higher and engage with the company. Without this, employees will become stagnant or feel demotivated as there are no goals to reach within the company.

That said, make sure to pair your employees with mentors, or let them know about the next step in the corporate ladder and how to reach it. Provide seminars, give them challenging tasks, and let them have more opportunities to grow through conventions or events. An employee who feels like they’re valued by a company enough for the company to invest in their growth is an engaged one, and there’s no better way to do this than to give them opportunities

Jen Birkin
Jen Birkin
Jen Birkin is a freelancer and full-time mom. Having written about all-things business and tech, she has contributed to multiple websites and is currently in the process of writing a book for the entrepreneur

Topics: HR Practices

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