Top Employee Engagement Trends to Watch for During the Rest of 2021

Employee engagement is vital to your company’s success. This is especially true as millions of team members are working from home due to the pandemic. Because you cannot see your team members interacting with each other, you cannot always tell whether they are fully engaged in their work. As a result, greater emphasis on other ways to monitor engagement is becoming more important than ever.

Here are three of the top employee engagement trends to pay attention to throughout 2021.

Work-Life Integration

Because work-life balance may not be possible for all employees, there will be a greater focus on work-life integration to maintain engagement. This involves fitting in work when possible while ensuring deadlines and deliverables are met. It also includes normalizing glimpses into coworkers’ personal lives during virtual meetings. For instance, it will become more acceptable to see employees with children or pets on their laps. This view of an employee at home builds deeper, more personal connections among team members. Also, because there is more flexibility in the day, employees can have lunch with their family members and take care of their pets. Integrating these experiences into the workday makes the work environment feel more personable, honest, and real. Additionally, finishing work on time and meeting key deliverables will be the focus more than how or when the work is completed. Trusting employees to finish their key accountabilities builds engagement and enhances productivity.

360° Feedback

With 360 Feedback, employee performance is assessed, and feedback provided by coworkers, managers, cross-functional managers, direct reports, and other internal and external stakeholders. This increases employee engagement and productivity. For instance, employees learn about their strengths, weaknesses, and areas to improve based on what their peers say. Because their peers know them well, their feedback is often viewed as highly reliable. This helps identify whether an employee’s performance has increased or decreased since working remotely. It also uncovers ways to improve remote work performance. The manager can recommend training programs and set up workshops to bridge any skills gaps that may exist. Additionally, employees can send constructive feedback to managers to enhance their leadership skills. When managers implement this feedback, employees feel “heard” and more greatly valued and as a result, are more engaged.

Increased Health and Wellness Benefits

Because a significant number of employees are currently working remotely, they may require more health and wellness benefits to maintain engagement. For instance, working from home has increased the challenges of fitting in personal responsibilities, especially for working parents and caregivers. As a result, comprehensive healthcare paid time off and parental leave, wellness allowances, and support for mental health services are now in higher demand. Matching costs for telehealth, virtual care for mental health, and other virtual care options also are highly desired. Additionally, increased support to avoid burnout due to working long hours and struggling to detach is vitally important. As a result, HR leaders should prioritize these areas in the employee benefits and total rewards package.

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