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7 Future Trends in Employee Engagement

In his blog, 7 Fascinating Employee Engagement Trends for 2016, Mizne lists the following engagement trends for the coming year, and writes about how to create a more engaged workforce:

1. Engagement will go up (but just a little).

According to Gallup’s latest poll, employee engagement has been pretty stagnant. Only 32% of U.S. workers were engaged in their jobs in 2015, compared to 31.5% the previous year. Given the other trends below, and the fact that engagement has risen from 29% in 2011, we can expect to see the needle move in 2016. But probably not more than a point or two.

2. Millennials will (still) provide a challenge.

In 2015, millennials became the largest generation in the US workforce. That number is expected to rise dramatically as more boomers retire and more graduates start their careers.

Whatever the specific number, millennials are now the majority. Businesses seeking to engage employees in their work will have to tailor their approaches to this group. Research suggests that they are driven by open communication, a great company culture, involvement with causes, and achieving purpose and fulfillment.

3. More compassionate leadership.

People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses. It turns out that the opposite is also true. An inspiring manager creates more engaged teams. According to research by leadership development experts Dr. Brad Shuck and Maryanne Honeycutt-Elliott, “higher levels of engagement come from employees who work for a compassionate leader—one who is authentic, present, has a sense of dignity, holds others accountable, leads with integrity and shows empathy.”

4. More employee feedback more often.

In 2014, Mizne conducted an employee engagement study and found that the vast majority of employees who received little or no feedback were actively disengaged. Engagement went up dramatically when employees received feedback about their weaknesses, and even more so when they received feedback about strengths.

5. Work/Life Balance will become Work/Life Blend.

The Society for Human Resource Management found that the best companies are embracing flexibility. For many job functions, it is no longer a necessity to require people to come into the office between 9am and 5pm. More companies will continue to provide job flex-time as long as the numbers prove it’s working.

6. People analytics will grow.

In his article The Two Sides of Employee Engagement, published in Harvard Business Review last month, Sean Graber argues that it’s important to look at employees’ perceptions and behaviors and their impact on performance. Managers can then decide how to shift things to increase engagement.

Josh Bersin writes in The Geeks Arrive In HR: People Analytics Is Here, about the shift towards “big data in HR” which began in 2011 and exploded rapidly. He predicts that people analytics will be its own department that will look at productivity, turnover, and the people-issues that drive customer retention and satisfaction.

7. Technology will focus on the employee.

One of the biggest trends is the arrival of a new breed of pulse tools, feedback apps, and anonymous social networking technology. These advanced methods provide regular check-ins with employees in order to understand their challenges, and may eventually replace annual performance reviews.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman…

Consulting Psychologist & Executive Coach

Emotional Intelligence and Mindful Leadership Consultant

Are you a purpose-driven executive leader who wants to be more effective at work and get better results? Emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders build trust, and inspire people to become fully engaged with the vision and mission of their company. They build coaching cultures of positive engagement.

Over the past thirty-five years, I have coached hundreds of leaders to improve their leadership effectiveness. After only 6 months, one executive coaching client reported greater productivity and more stress resiliency helping her company improve revenues by 20%. While this may depend on many factors most of my clients report similar satisfaction in their EQ leadership competence leading to better business results.

You can choose to work with a highly seasoned executive coach to help facilitate your leadership development and executive presence awakening what’s possible. 

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