There is no doubt that the last couple of years have been challenging for several workplaces worldwide. The pandemic caused indefinite uncertainty and disruption—businesses carried out mass layoffs, furloughs, or witnessed closures.
Employees had to change to remote work because of lockdowns, work through broader stress levels, or go through job losses.
Consequently, workplaces experienced fluctuations in employee engagement. For the first time in an eminent organization’s 20-year history of tracking employee engagement data, the percentage of engaged employees which has been 34% changed.
It recorded a historic fluctuation—a fall to 31% and a new high of 40%. While the reason for the decline in employee engagement might seem obvious, its rise has been also attributed to recent improvements in employer communication and employee feelings of readiness,
In 2022, it is expected business and HR leaders to have a few workplace concerns. It is thought so because some of last year’s hurdles might linger until things reach complete normalcy.
Business stakeholders will be asking themselves:
· How long does one have to focus on short-term plans rather than long-term goals?
· How will the team prefer to work in the future, and what does it convey for hiring and retaining talent?
· How does one keep their teams engaged and informed related to the hurdles that lie ahead?
Businesses seeking to survive this year have to prioritize employee engagement so that employees could remain emotionally committed to their work. Extensive studies have indicated that higher employee engagement leads to good productivity, better profitability, and customer engagement says Mr Mahajan.
Mr Atul Mahajan Director of Trendsetters Facilities and Technical Services India’s top manpower and HR outsourcing company talks about the trends to see in 2022 for employee engagement.
Greater demand for work-life balance
As a result of the pandemic and stay-at-home instructions, several businesses globally rapidly transitioned to remote work. Some data shows that around 88% of companies encouraged or needed their workers to work from home since the pandemic began.
Although remote work lets employees the flexibility they have to remain productive, one has to consider its effect on employees’ personal lives.
Also, remote work has needed total reliability on digital communication and collaboration apps—this means that employees ought to navigate between tasks and virtual meetings, mostly without taking a break.
To provide context, a top online meeting app company surpassed 300 million daily online meeting participants. As a result of the continuous stimulation required for these virtual activities, several employees have experienced burnout.
Remote work will stay, but employers could expect a broader demand for work-life balance in 2022. Companies that will prioritize will come out on top in 2022. As an HR you can begin by understanding the employee’s needs shifting regarding work-life balance.
Bigger need for emotional connection
During the past two years, employees have found it harder to maintain emotional connections at work, and this is because of the psychological impacts that the pandemic has had. Social distancing and remote working have magnified feelings of disconnection for several employees.
A good percent of people have reported feeling more socially isolated after the pandemic.
Companies now will have to prioritize employees’ emotional connections. Making emotional connections at work must not be misconstrued as being emotional or displaying emotion; rather it’s about employees’ human connections with each other.
When organizations prioritize emotional connections, they develop positive work cultures with increased employee engagement, better loyalty, and good profits.
New attention to employee recognition
Employee recognition has now become a lot more critical than ever for employee engagement. When the majority of employees worked out of their office premises, it used to be a bit easy and spontaneous for co-workers to praise each other during meetings and other informal interactions.
During the last two years, however, employees have felt significant changes and are restricted in giving recognition. Since several workers work remotely, mere recognition efforts like high-fives or regular treats are not easily available. Remote workers usually, feel left out and miss out on instant recognition, which impacts their engagement levels.
Since several companies worldwide have hugely adopted remote work, it will be essential to ensure that your employees—particularly remote workers—feel properly recognized for their contributions.