3 trends that will transform employee engagement in 2021

If you had to pick a song to perfectly sum up how engaged your workforce is, what would it be? Are they Livin’ On A Prayer? Maybe they’ve lost that ..

If you had to pick a song to perfectly sum up how engaged your workforce is, what would it be?

Are they Livin’ On A Prayer? Maybe they’ve lost that loving feeling? Or are they busting out their best Mick Jagger moves while screaming “I can’t get no satisfaction, but I try, I try, I try?”

Given the current situation we’re all living through it might very well be the latter. Yet with employee wellbeing plummeting, employee engagement falling off a cliff and staff retention a huge problem in many industries - we think it’s time to change the record.

Seeing as having an engaged workforce is much more than simply a ‘nice to have.’ Let’s say goodbye to The Stones and welcome in Pharrell Williams’ toe-tapping classic Happy (don’t worry, no Minions are required.)

The commercial advantages for companies with engaged employees include profits and productivity that are 20% higher, lower staff turnover and absence, better customer service and satisfaction, and a range of health and wellbeing benefits.

It’s a significant impact. So much so that in a recent webinar on workforce trends in 2021 hosted by Quinyx, with Forrester's David Johnson as keynote speaker, viewers heard that engaged employees generate 81% higher customer satisfaction, employee turnover is reduced by 50% and the secrets to transforming employee engagement is to ‘empower, enable, and inspire.’

These are the trends to follow in 2021 in order to empower, enable, and inspire your employees and transform your employee experience:

1. Tech-powered communication

2020 showed just how important clear and concise communication is. Across industries, the fluidity of the situation and the ongoing response to COVID-19, meant companies had to find a way to easily and quickly communicate with employees - with many turning to tech for the answer. Furthermore, your employees expect you to communicate with clarity about what’s expected of them while at work and how their work contributes to company success.

Last March, we saw Qmail (the communication tool built into Quinyx) grow by 50%. Being able to have a tool to communicate from head office to the employees - and vice versa - that’s connected to schedules was hugely sought after.

Alongside having a dedicated employee communication platform or app, you should easily be able to see how your employees are feeling at any given time. Pulse surveys are a great solution to measure employee engagement. They allow you to get live feedback from your workforce, drive engagement across your organisation and identify trends and challenges in your workforce before problems arrive.

When employee engagement is built into a WFM app, it means you can very quickly and very easily see how your employees are doing. With the ability to send Pulse surveys or simply ask ‘How are you doing today?’ or ‘How are you coping with the stress of COVID?’ you can get a sense check on how your workforce is doing. Without a tool like this it’s impossible to pick up on these things and to know what actions to take to drive the business forward.

2. Redefining your purpose

When you understand what the purpose of your business is, you can define the context around it, and from there, give your employees autonomy, which in turn will fuel business growth and employee engagement. A clear purpose makes it easier for employees to buy-in to what you’re doing, helps them understand the role they play in helping your business succeed, and leads to higher retention rates. When your senior leaders and managers live your purpose, it will inspire your workforce to do the same.

3. Doubling down on health and wellbeing

Mental health is a growing issue for a huge number of employees. From practicing mindfulness to encouraging healthy eating and regular activity, promoting wellbeing at work is a sure-fire way to improve mental health in your workforce. These are even better when they are group activities - either in person or virtually. Weekly workouts, team breakfasts, or half an hour of group yoga are all examples of the different activities you could implement to improve happiness and wellbeing.

Of course, for the deskless workforce, the single most effective way of improving health and wellbeing is to have flexible schedules.

With the tools you have at your disposal, from software through to research on the benefits of promoting wellbeing in the workplace, improving employee engagement - and as a result retention and customer satisfaction - in 2021 should be a top priority.

Improving employee engagement through technology enablement increases productivity and leads to an improved customer experience. Deskless workers, a fundamental part of many businesses, must be empowered to meet the needs of their job as well as motivated to adapt.

Companies that implement the right tools to help their employees quickly access training, information, and other company resources, including communication with co-workers, improve the employee’s ability to absorb and implement new information while encouraging more engagement and motivation. In 2021, more than ever before, the bridge between product, service, and the customers will be trained and empowered employees.

Download our free trend guide for more insight into what’s shaping the WFM industry in 2021.

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