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Employee engagement – a term that’s overused in conversation but less understood in practice. Whether it’s understanding the drivers of employee engagement or improving engagement levels globally, there are numerous challenges HR leaders face when encouraging the right people behaviours. Lucky for you, we’ve spotted some of the major trends in employee engagement that are taking centre stage in 2016.

Gamification

Gamification used as an employee engagement tool is gaining serious prominence; largely attributed to an influx of digital natives in the workplace and improved internet penetration. Reportedly, the gamification industry is estimated to reach $5.5billion by 20181.

The corporate narrative

We touched on the corporate narrative in a blog not so long ago and it’s a subject of growing significance. Recent research reveals a robust purpose to your narrative could add £130bn a year to UK firm values alone2.

Financial well-being

Due to uncertain economic times, financial well-being is gaining more column inches of late. An estimated 49 per cent of HR respondents say they have a financial well-being strategy that deals with financial wellness in their flexible benefits package3. Whilst, 29 per cent of those same respondents also provide a debt counselling service or employee assistance programme to their employees4.

Flexibility

With transparency and trust at the heart of employee engagement, companies that embrace flexible initiatives often get the best talent through the door, reduced absenteeism, improved retention and increased productivity. It’s estimated more than half of UK organisations are likely to have adopted flexible working by 2017, rising to 70 per cent by 20205.

Working environment

The popularity of open plan design has come under scrutiny; with a whopping 33 per cent of employees say they dislike their workplace environment6. Despite 49 per cent of UK employees based in this type of office, employers are now encouraged to give employees more control over their environment7.

The demise of annual appraisals

Probably one of the hottest topics of 2016 yet is the demise of the annual appraisal. CEB reports a manager devotes roughly 200 hours per year on performance review activities, despite 90 per cent of HR leaders believing the outcome does not yield truthful information8. Often seen as ineffective and out-dated due to lack of real-time feedback, companies – like Adobe and General Electric – have implemented different communication strategies to performance management.

Contextual personalisation

HR is only at the beginning of the journey when it comes to contextual personalisation. Due to an overwhelming amount of information available to the ‘people department’, we will see more sophisticated ways in using existing data to inform tailored employee communication strategies.

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  1. Businesses should embrace gamification to enhance workforce engagement in the back office – Onrec
  2. Clear purpose could add £130bn a year to British firm values – London Business School
  3. 48% do not have an employee well-being strategy – Employee Benefits
  4. 48% do not have an employee well-being strategy – Employee Benefits
  5. Flexible working is on the up – Management Today
  6. Lack of control over work environment is impacting engagement – HR Director
  7. Lack of control over work environment is impacting engagement – HR Director
  8. R.I.P. Annual Performance Review. Now what? – Globoforce

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