The Future Employee Engagement Landscape – It’s All About the Experience
by Karen Snyder, Owner and Senior HR Consultant at Bloom Consultants LLC
We’ve all heard the numbers associated with poor employee engagement. The financial cost to US companies is estimated at $500 billion per year and the associated turnover costs are estimated at $1 trillion. According to Gallup, employee engagement in the U.S. has dropped from 36% in 2020 to 32% in 2022. The number of actively disengaged employees climbed to 17%, an increase of one percentage point from 2021.
What exactly does all this mean and how do companies ensure they are doing everything they can to not only have productive employees, but actively engaged ones as well? As we look to the future of employee engagement, it’s all about creating an exceptional employee experience.
The pandemic has left us with an exhausted workforce. We’ve learned how to work remotely but haven’t really found the ideal way to lead and engage our hybrid workers. Our employees are working differently and in doing so, now see their work (and their employer) in a different way. They have higher expectations and know that in a sense, they are able to call the shots in this highly competitive labor market. So what’s an employer to do? Some areas of focus in 2023 include:
Employee well-being – it’s not enough to offer wellness initiatives; you’ve got to ensure your employees are using them. And your wellness initiatives need to include mental, physical and financial health. Helping your employees balance all three will add huge benefits to the productivity and engagement of your workforce.
Diversity, equity and inclusion – providing a safe environment for ALL employees to feel welcome is a crucial element of employee engagement. Mentoring and coaching programs, employee resource groups (ERGs), and knowledge and understanding of true inclusion will benefit all employees and employers. By creating an exceptional onboarding or “everboarding” experience, you will set your employees up for not only a great start but a continuous journey of participation and engagement.
Employee benefits or “Moments That Matter” – by understanding your workforce and adjusting to their needs, you can create a sense of wellbeing and partnering. Find out what is most important to your employees at their respective life stages. Do they need help with aging parents, are they struggling with childcare, adoption, divorce? Are they looking for shorter work weeks or more flexible hours, volunteering opportunities, sponsorship and career networks, or sports and social networks? Finding the “Moments that Matter” to your employees will set you on a path of caring for the whole individual and ultimately creating loyalty and engagement. Recognizing those moments that matter are a crucial step in this process.
Employee development and in-person work experiences – most employees are looking for development opportunities within their professions. This doesn’t necessarily need to be an upward career move or promotion. Opportunities can be horizontal or lateral; as long as they create a sense of development and learning. Creating career paths and even transition paths for those looking to retire can be a win-win situation for all.
Leadership – your leadership is the backbone of your organization. And they are the ones who have the most influence to make or break your employee engagement. Invest in leadership development to ensure your leaders understand your culture and are able to communicate that to the workforce at large. Challenge your leadership to develop their teams and ensure they are providing opportunities and support to their employees. If they can provide an environment of personal fulfillment, workload management, recognition and inclusion, they are on the right track to drive employee engagement to higher levels, and ultimately business success.
Owner and Senior HR Consultant
Bloom Consultants LLC
This article was first printed in our December 2022 Edition of Thriving Magazine. You can read more here: Lancaster Chamber Thriving Magazine
EMPOWER: A Program designed for Women in the Workplace with Karen Snyder
Beginning March 10, we are hosting Empower: Building Capabilities, Curiosity, & Careers. Empower is a coaching and professional development program designed for women in the workplace. Over five modules, you’ll join a cohort of women dedicated to learning more about themselves and ways to craft their paths based on their renewed confidence and abilities. This opportunity is perfect for mid-level women interested in embracing their full potential. Spaces are limited, so if you or someone on your team is interested, register as soon as possible! Modules range from understanding yourself, your brand, the support systems around you, your growth and goal-setting patterns, and your future. You can read more about each of the sessions on our website here: