If hindsight is “20-20” then 2020 is the year of benefitting from our hindsight. And if you know us, you know we are strong proponents of looking back to create a clearer vision forward (we use the Impact Filter by Strategic Coach for pretty much everything). Many of the employee engagement trends for 2020 are continuing trends from 2019 – but with growing awareness comes a growing expectation from your employees to take action. Here are the trends we’re seeing at the forefront this year.

More than the money: Talent comes to work for a shared sense of purpose

The best talent isn’t only after a paycheck – they can get that anywhere. What more and more (especially Millennial) employees are looking for are organizations that share their values, and will treat them as valued human beings, not just cogs in a machine. After all, top talent can go anywhere for a check and get it. But companies that are seeking the best people will only attract them if they have a strong sense of purpose that they communicate to applicants.

Have you clearly defined your Purpose?

Not just health and wellbeing, but mental health and wellbeing

Half of Millennials and 75% of Gen Z have voluntarily left a job due to mental health concerns, according to a recent report from Mind Share. And, nearly half of workers surveyed late last year said their workplace culture was bad for their mental health. But less than half of respondents to the Mind Share survey felt that mental health was prioritized at their company, and fewer considered their company leaders to be advocates.

If last year was a banner year for mental health awareness, as many claim, then this year there really is an expectation for companies to step up and take a more active role in supporting their employees mentally and emotionally. And some well-known companies are leading the way. Google has a Mental Health Program Manager that manages on-site therapists, and Goldman Sachs has been training dozens of UK staff to be ‘mental health first aiders’ to help colleagues.

Trust in AI Hiring is faltering – referrals are BACK!

Automation and AI in the hiring process – essentially using applicant tracking systems, email automation, and resume crawlers – have been letting a lot of HR departments down as job applicants get better at ‘gaming the system.’ According to HR technologist, looking within your existing network, rather than job board sites, yields far better results. Employees hired via referral are hired 55% faster, stay longer, and report higher job satisfaction. It’s better for everyone to find the right fit the old-fashioned way. However, the success gap between AI/Automated hiring and finding the right-fit employees leaves room to improve, and some innovative companies like Vervoe are reimagining the hiring process, throwing out resumes, and basing applicant recommendations on interviews and skill performance.

Remote, global workforce – that’s where most of us are headed

Companies of all sizes are turning to remote work, hiring employees all over the world who work from their own homes. It’s not just for startups and tech companies anymore!

The fears around remote workers have always been:

  • Will they be there when you need them?
  • Will they be able to be part of a team if they don’t share physical space?
  • Will they run off and go surfing whenever they feel like it? Or do laundry on company time?

There are challenges, but with company messaging apps like Slack, and online project management tools like Trello, constant communication and accountability are easy to do from anywhere. And, some companies don’t mind if their employees take a ‘mental health morning’ if the surf is up, as long as deadlines are met.

But one concern many have is: Will employees feel connected to their company and team, and feel engaged, if they are not on site? While workplace camaraderie does benefit from toasted-bagel-Fridays in the breakroom, and innovation can be fostered by creating opportunities for employees to mingle, there has been no evidence that employee engagement suffers. In fact, remote employees are happier, stay in their jobs longer, and report less stress, better focus and higher productivity.

Employees demand transparency and accountability from employers

Are those entitled Millennials at it again? Demanding to know reasons for policies and procedures, and expecting their employers to commit to continuous improvement? Yes, they are (and thank you Millennial cohort for keeping the rest of us honest). Perhaps the most impactful growing trend is this: Employees expect their employers to give them what they need to succeed in their roles, in their lives, and as citizens of the world. They want room for growth, and work-life balance. They want to know their employers value them as people, not just as producers.

Give your employees what they need to succeed in 2020: A voice.
Try Engagement Multiplier today for free and see what they have to say!