Explore the employee engagement trends for 2023.

Let’s unpack the top employee engagement trends for 2023

Employee engagement has taken a downward turn in 2022. According to one study, a staggering 68% of full- and part-time employees are not engaged, while 17% are actively disengaged. Disengaged employees are disconnected from their employers, colleagues, and jobs, leading them to be significantly more discontent, less productive and far more likely to make mistakes, which in some organisations could have devastating effects.

Now, as we look back over the year, one thing is, organisations need to prioritise building a meaningful connection with their employees if they are to retain a happy, productive workforce. Gone are the days of employees just being numbers who clock in and clock out. Through forced isolation and a totally reimagined working world, the post-pandemic has highlighted the need for employers to connect with their employees on a far more human level. The time is here to create a world of work where employees feel part of a community, engaged in something bigger than just themselves, part of a team; where they have a sense of belonging and shared the organisation’s culture, mission, and values.

As we stand in the twilight of 2022 and look to the new year, we’d like to share 5 employee engagement trends for 2023 to take into the new year to help build stronger, deeper connections between you and your employees that will set them and the business up for success.

Employee Engagment Trend 1: The Hybrid Model

Our top employee engagement trend for the year ahead is the Hybrid Work Model.

The pandemic was the catalyst for remote working becoming the ‘new normal’. Two years later, 74% of U.S. companies are using or plan to implement a permanent hybrid work model moving forward. Many businesses have seen, despite their misgivings about employees working from home, that they have flourished. According to one source, 59% of employees are more likely to choose an employer that offers remote work opportunities over one that doesn’t, while 55% of employees want to work remotely at least three days a week. From these statistics, it is plain to see that an overwhelming majority of employers and employees are embracing the hybrid working model as the way of the future. However, for those planning on a full return to work policy, one must consider if the resistance to doing this will aid or further actively disengage your workforce.

Employee Engagement Trend 2: Wellness and Wellbeing

Employees wellness and wellbeing will be a key employee engagement trend to follow for 2023. 

Another spin off from the pandemic has been the focus on employee wellbeing, particularly when it comes to mental health. According to Gallup, there are only “33% of employees thriving in their overall wellbeing,” while 67% “would say that they don’t find their work meaningful, don’t think their lives are going well or don’t feel hopeful about their future.” It is clear to see why organisations should focus on employee wellbeing in 2023. The reality is that when employees feel that companies understand the importance of wellness and wellbeing, it shows their employees that they are committed to supporting them on a personal level. It fosters loyalty, connection and improves the overall morale of employees. According to Harvard Business Review, companies with effective wellness programmes have a lower rate of attrition than those that don’t: 9% versus 15%. Organisations that invest in their employees mental, physical, and financial health will retain their talent, and be on a better trajectory to attract new talent in the years to come.

Employee Engagement Trend 3: Social and Environmental Sustainability

One study found that 71% job seekers want to work for environmentally sustainable companies. Other research shows the following:

58% of candidates surveyed said they consider a company’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work

55% said they would choose to work for a socially responsible company, even if the salary was less

51% said they will not work for a company that doesn’t have strong social or environmental commitments.

More and more people are looking for ‘work with a purpose,’ and Millennials and Gen Zs have made their stance very clear – they are willing to work for less money in exchange for more meaning and impact. And, according to Gartner, the number of highly engaged employees increases by 20% when the company takes action on social issues. Businesses that are trying to attract hot new talent and retain existing employees in 2023 need to reassess and, if necessary, reimagine their stance on environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

Employee Engagement Trend 4: Digitalisation and Automation

One of the top employee engagement trends to watch, digitalisation and automation look set to transform the world of work as we know it. 

85% of businesses have fast tracked their digitalization strategies, and this looks set to grow in 2023. Not only will organisations look to streamline antiquated paper-based systems and replace them with digital ones, but many manual tasks will also become automated, freeing employees up to take on other roles and learn new skills. Employers will harness digital technology to train and upskill their employees, investing in them and their future. Not only will this go a long way to creating a workplace that focuses on learning and skills development, but it will also enhance employee productivity, morale, and make the company the first choice for prospective employees.

Employee Engagement Trend 5: Retention

Not only have businesses had to deal with the lingering effects of the Great Resignation, they have also had to face a phenomenon that is referred to as ‘Quiet Quitting.’ Simply put, quiet quitting is doing the bare minimum required, and “putting in no more time, effort, or enthusiasm than absolutely necessary.” But, unlike the names suggests, these employees don’t actually quit. In fact, they do what is required to get their pay checks each month, and no more. So, looking forward, employers need to examine their current workplace environments and implement the changes that will make them more attractive, caring employers who value their workforces and sees their employees as humans. The first step towards this is to foster connection. This really is the backbone of how to create a better, happier workplace where employees are excited and invested.

Key Takeaways

These employee engagement trends paint a very clear picture: as employers look to the future, it is clear that creating a workplace where employees feel heard, where they feel that their voice matters, and where they feel a sense of belonging is vital for the future success of any business. One way to achieve this is to provide employees with digital employee engagement tools that give them a connection to each other, to their manager, and to their organisations. To find out how Wyzetalk can help future proof your business by creating a connection between you and your employees, talk to an expert.