October 04, 2017
Trends Impacting Employee Engagements:
There are a variety of things that determine how "engaged" an employee is (or isn't) at work. From family issues to distractions in the workplace, sometimes employees will be more productive than others. For example, more employees are likely working diligently on a Tuesday than on a Friday at 3pm. Understandably so, however, if employees are consistently distracted and unproductive, the company's bottom line is what will suffer.
As a business owner or manager, the question(s) is: What are distractions that employees face throughout a day? How do we limit those distractions to get employees to be more productive?
Considering companies reportedly end up losing $450 and $550 billion per year due to lack of employee engagement there is something to be said about this problem. The following are what are cited as some of the most common distractions employees face while they are on the job:
- Flexibility: Up to 40% of workers cite needing the flexibility that their job does not provide, or does not provide enough of. These rigid, set hours of 9am - 5pm make the employee anxious and trying to plan and budget work hours and paid time off seems to take control of employees working at companies with such set rigid hours.
- Seamless Integration: Employees want to be integrated into their companies more than they are today. Employees are demanding more than ever now to be noticed. They expect companies to care about their benefits, pay, wellness, and overall lifestyle. Feeling valued by their employer is something that employees site more than ever.
- Personalization: Everything from receiving an email to being communicated with needs to be personalized. People don't want to feel like they are just a number of a massive group. They won't want to be another "chore" for their manager to manage. They want to feel individually valued and if the manager's communication style is very general to all employees but not directed to each person they are likely to disengage and ignore what is being said.
- Automation: In a world of computers, smartphones, and other technologies many workers feel like they are owned by their computer or phone. Workers are not engaged with other people but rather with machines. It's easy for them to just push buttons on automation and not be engaged to ensure what they are doing is the best way to do those things.
- Engagement in the Gig Economy: Currently 20-30% of the economy is individual workers working on their own projects. People will be able to find a way to make money independently if companies are not willing to compensate and treat their employees right. Companies will have to offer more to keep their employee's loyalty and keeping employees long-term will be more challenging in the future than ever before.
- Analytics: Employees will be able to master their own productivity as the industry of analytics can show employees measures of their success from how many words they typed in a week to how much money they earned and back again. Seeing these benchmarks can help employees become more productive for their own personal reasons rather than those of the company. Many companies will notice employees using those tools as measures of productivity rather than any mass communications set out by the management or anyone else within the company.
- Employees Will Choose Jobs Aligning with Their Values: Employees are no longer interested in just "having a job" as millennials, they want to feel engaged and connected to what they go to work to do each day. This means workers are more demanding than ever before in choosing their line of work. Make the job mean something to the employee, or you may have to look for a different employee. This is especially true in the millennial age.
- Consider Employee Ownership of the Company: Providing employees with stock or ownership of the company for their work is another consideration. If employees own part of the company they work for (literally) they are more likely to care and work hard to help improve the company further.
Today, workers are looking for more than just a paycheck to put food on the table. They are looking for work that gives their life meaning and fulfillment. Taking the proper steps to engage your employees can keep your employees working hard and keep your company thriving.