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Top employee engagement trends for 2016

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Employee engagement is becoming more important year after year. Employee engagement has slowly made its way from the Silicon Valley tech unicorns to even most conservative organizations around the world. There are many activities, best practices, and ideas to push employee engagement in different organizations. In this article, I tried to cover the most interesting ideas and cases.

If you are not familiar with the term ‘employee engagement’, it basically means emotional commitment towards the organization and its goals. There are many activities, best practices, and ideas to push employee engagement in your organization. Moreover, now, without further delay let’s take a look on some of the predicted employee engagement trends for this year.

1. The rise of internal omnichannel communication

Omnichannel is a buzzword often related to e-commerce. It basically means multichannel approach to the sales process to provide seamless customer experience if the client is shopping from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a physical store.

The Millennials are the biggest generation in the current labor market and they do everything with their mobile devices. I recently met with a customer who told me that most of their employees are on their early 20s and they are constantly using their Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook apps on their iPhones, so they decided to create a Facebook group for communicating work related stuff as well. Since probably last time most of them used email was back in 2008 when they had to confirm their Facebook account registration, it doesn’t really make any sense to send them email as they would already have forgotten their email passwords. Of course, you must take into account security and privacy issues when using Facebook groups or similar consumer services.

The bottom line is that people are different and they prefer different communication tools in their private lives. There are no technical limitations for reaching the internal omnichannel communication in your organization. You can communicate with your employees in their preferred channel, whether it be email or a Facebook group.

If you think about this from a marketer’s viewpoint, it suddenly becomes obvious. If your target audience doesn’t watch TV or use Twitter, you won’t probably buy TV or Twitter ads. The internal omnichannel communication strategy is a great employee engagement idea for organizations where it is crucial that employees are up to date with the current best practices and so.

Read moreHow to bring omnichannel experience to internal communication?

xbox controller

2. Employee & Enterprise gamification revolution

No, it does not mean that you have to integrate Candy Crush into your company intranet (although it would make a hilarious April Fool’s Day prank). Gamification has a lot more to do with the way games are designed to be so engaging (and sometimes even addicting) rather than games itself and taking these methods for use elsewhere. Gamification can improve employee engagement, flow, and learning. For instance, you can build the employee onboarding and orientation process in a way that it will engage your staff to help new employees during their first weeks. Enterprise gamification is particularly effective employee engagement activity in large organizations.

There are two kinds of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. To successfully make use of gamification you need to figure out which is the best way to motivate your employees. For example, you can stir the intrinsic motivation by giving employees more autonomy. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation can be increased with external motivators like badges, leaderboards and money.

The Internet of Things visualized

3. The Internet of Things (IoT) and digitalization

The IoT or the Internet of things has been here for a while but now Open-Plan and shared office spaces are becoming more and more popular, and IoT will play even bigger role in the future. For example, you may apply analytics to see the usage peaks of your meeting rooms and automatically suggest the best times for meetings. To go even further, you could integrate your CRM system to book a meeting room and order refreshments when your sales people have meetings with your clients. The IoT is part of the ongoing digitalization of work and it is becoming a natural part of our work day by streamlining tasks and automating steps.

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4. Bring your own device (BYOD) becomes a standard

Research by Ovum shows that around 57% of employees worldwide are accessing corporate data in some form on their personal devices. So it is quite safe to say that BYOD is becoming a standard rather than just a passing trend. Google has even launched Android for Work features which help you to keep your personal content separate from the work related stuff.

In many organizations, the standard nine to five office hours are no longer a norm. Being able to access company data and information outside normal working hours enables employees to be better and more profitable in their job. BYOD culture will require IT departments to work on their best practices to avoid ‘bring your own device’ becoming ‘bring your own disaster’.

Peer to peer management

5. Increased company-wide transparency will encourage peer-to-peer recognition and managing sideways

As organizations become more and more transparent, employees will know what their colleagues are currently working on. This opens a new way of encouraging peer-to-peer recognition between the employees. Increased transparency can also cause friction between the employees, but studies have shown that increased transparency will correlate positively with employee satisfaction.

Increased transparency will also minimize overlapping work and therefore enhance allocation of resources for better profitability. Using modern tools and the gained knowledge from transparency, professionals in organizations are also able to form ad hoc expert communities beyond traditional organization boundaries.

Final Thoughts

2016 will be an interesting year in the world of employee engagement. Many of these previous activities require some technical knowledge but mostly it’s an issue of making employee engagement part of your organizational culture.

We help companies to make their employees more engaged with our eeedo platform. Book a demo with us and we’ll show you how our platform can boost employee engagement culture in your organization.

Anssi Junnonen

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