Sjoe, 2020, what a ride - am I right?
The first year of the new decade certainly came out swinging, and employee engagement trends have followed suit in a swift reshuffling of priorities that have seen HR professionals and business directors reevaluating the importance of employee experience in a time of complete and utter disruption.
Things are wild out there to be sure, but it’s not all bad news.
In fact, some people might argue that this shake-up is exactly what the business world needed to wake up from an extended snooze fest, and get with the work-life balance programme. It’s us - we are some people.
To illustrate our point, here are a few of the exciting employee engagement trends that have been emerging while everyone adapts to the new normal:
1. Shared workspaces will become places of camaraderie
If there is one thing that the social distancing measures, necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it is that there are a lot more people who can work effectively from home than we previously imagined.
Hard numbers are showing that employees who work from home are often more productive than their office-bound counterparts, in fact, one study has shown that remote employees work an average of 1.4 more days every month, or 16.8 more days every year.
Although traditional offices are by no means in danger of completely disappearing, there is definitely going to be a shift towards a more fluid workspace model that provides employees with the option of working from where they are most comfortable and efficient.
As such, going into the office is likely to become something that employees look forward to since it gives them some facetime with their co-workers, rather than a condition of employment that can be seen as a forced measure of accountability.
2. An increase in the use of data to monitor employee experience
HR tech has been developing at a rapid clip for a good long while now, and the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic has served to inspire employers to embrace the power thereof more extensively. Monitoring tools such as virtual time management and instant chat communication platforms have already become commonplace, but forward-thinking enterprises are now also clocking to the fact that they can use SaaS-based tools to monitor employee engagement and gain a better understanding of employee experience in real-time.
If you’d like to find out more about seamless data collection, take a look at our employee engagement platform, bountiXP.
It's been developed with the needs of modern businesses in mind, and it’s far more than just a simple way to recognise and reward good work and adherence to company values - it allows HR professionals and business directors to keep their fingers on the pulse of employee satisfaction levels.
To see bountiXP in action we're offering it for FREE for 14 days. You can click here to get started.
3. A focus shift from when to what is produced
Humans are interesting creatures. In many ways, we are very alike, and in others, we tend to be completely different.
Take chronotypes, for instance. In clinical terms, 'chronotype' refers to the behavioural manifestation of underlying circadian rhythms. In short, a person's chronotype underpins their propensity to sleep at a particular time during a 24-hour period and, as a result, when they can be expected to be most productive.
The limitations of movement that were put in place to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic around the globe forced many employers to allow their employees more flexibility when it came to their work schedule in order to balance their work responsibilities, and what was required of them at home.
Although people were often working outside of traditional 9-5 office hours, they were still getting the work done.
This focus shift from when work is produced to how well it is produced is likely to have a big impact on the notion of ‘office hours’ in years to come.
4. The emergence of new best employers
The way that companies treated their employees during the coronavirus crisis will definitely influence the decisions of jobseekers in future.
After all, wouldn’t you be more likely to hitch your wagon to that of an enterprise that went out of their way to support their employees and avoid retrenchments as long as possible by thinking outside of the box, rather than signing up with the business that threw their workforce under the bus as soon as their bottom line felt the impact of a reduced economy?
The choice here is fairly clear and top talent will definitely seek out trustworthy employers as they navigate the post-COVID employment space.
5. More agile teams and a renewed interest in freelance professionals
Non-standard work models are set to become more prevalent as:
a) downsized professionals choose to go the freelance route in order to 'spread their weight' among various employers, instead of depending on a single source of income and,
b) cost-conscious companies choose to invest in the support of contingent workers to build out tailor made teams for each emerging project rather than create full-time positions that may not be as productive.
This is a great way to bring talented ‘guns for hire’ into the fold and take advantage of their unique skill sets without clipping their wings or boxing them in.
It’s actually kind of exhilarating, isn’t it? This is just the tip of the iceberg - we look forward to seeing what else the COVID-19 shakeup will bring to the HR table.
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