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The Top Employee Engagement Trends in 2024

Discover the employee engagement trends shaping the work landscape in 2024. Dive into insightful strategies and innovative approaches to keep your engaged employees motivated and connected.

#Work-Life Balance
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In the U.S., the trajectory of employee engagement has been a major topic of conversation. New research by Gallup shows a concerning trend: employees are feeling increasingly disconnected from their organizations. So what’s changed?

With the rise of remote work and new developments in artificial intelligence, clear expectations, satisfaction levels, and a sense of purpose have all seen a decline over the past four years, with employees’ sense of connection diminishing too.

Throughout 2023, engagement levels stagnated, with only 33% of full and part-time employees feeling engaged in their roles and workplace.

This slight dip reflects a broader pattern of fluctuation, marking a departure from the peak engagement levels seen in 2020.

So how can you build a highly engaged workforce that prioritizes connection and your employees' work-life balance?

  • Use positive organizational culture and company values to guide business decisions and rebuild trust in leadership: The most successful businesses put their values at the center of company decisions. When employees can see the organization's values clearly lived out through decision-making, trust in leadership is restored.
  • Embrace flexible working conditions: Flexibility means different advantages for employees, depending on the type of work they do and the setting required for their best output. Successful organizations embrace the personal needs of their team and give them the flexibility to work autonomously, based on the organization’s specific culture and guidelines.
  • Focus on employee well-being and acknowledging the whole person: Social, physical, professional, and personal well-being all affect employees. Be sure to provide resources designed to improve these important facets of employee well-being.
  • Tailor communication to reach your teams where they are: Empower managers to keep people informed and openly discuss organizational changes with their teams.

Here are today's top employee engagement trends:

In 2024, the focus is less on attracting new employees and instead, focusing on the connections with and experience of the team you already have.

1. Investing in a people-first culture 👥

HubSpot’s 2023 Hybrid Work Report showed that a whopping 66% of employees feel a lack of connection with their colleagues, and employee relationships are a big factor in what keeps them sticking around. Over half of employees surveyed would give up a tempting 10 percent raise for stronger relationships with their colleagues.

To reinvest in a culture of connection, companies are prioritizing:

  • Mental health support: The shift to distributed work has stressed the need for mental health support. Remote work challenges, isolation, and blurred boundaries between work and personal life can impact employee wellbeing. Companies that invest in mental health initiatives, such as counseling services, employee assistance programs, and health and wellness events, create a supportive environment where employees feel valued and understood. Prioritizing mental health contributes to higher engagement levels and reduced burnout among employees. 
  • Wellness programs: By prioritizing wellness programs, organizations demonstrate their commitment to supporting employee health, physically and mentally. Providing resources like fitness programs, access to healthcare services, and promoting work-life balance helps employees maintain their well-being.
  • Positive workplace culture and sense of belonging: Building a positive workplace culture is essential for fostering engagement, especially in distributed work settings. Organizations can establish a culture that promotes open communication, collaboration, and employee recognition. Create a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose by celebrating achievements together and taking part in team-building activities. This helps employees feel connected, engaged, and motivated to contribute their best work.
How to get started 👉 Improve employee morale and build a people-first culture with Confetti's Virtual Team Building events.

2. Leveraging flexibility 🧑‍💻

As some CEO’s attempt a return to the office, many employees prefer the way remote work benefits their work life balance. Employees are twice as likely to stay at a job offering a flexible work environment than at one not. Leveraging flexibility is an employee engagement trend that helps retain top talent through:

  • Autonomy: Flexibility in the workplace grants employees a greater sense of autonomy and empowerment over their work. In distributed work environments, where employees have more control over their schedules and work locations, they feel trusted to manage their responsibilities effectively and be judged on their work output over their physical presence in the office. This autonomy fosters a sense of ownership, motivation, and engagement, as employees have the freedom to work in ways that align with their preferences and strengths.
  • Work-life balance and integration: Flexibility plays a pivotal role in enabling a healthy work-life balance. With the ability to design their work schedules around personal commitments and priorities, employees can better manage the demands of their personal lives. Whether attending to family responsibilities, pursuing personal interests, or taking care of their well-being, flexible work arrangements provide the opportunity to integrate work and personal life more seamlessly. This balance enhances overall well-being, reduces stress, and contributes to higher levels of employee engagement.
How to get started 👉 Download our ebook to learn more about creating a positive company culture in a distributed workforce.

3. Feedback and employee performance management tools 💬

According to Gallup’s 2023 research, one of the biggest declines in employee engagement last year was due to a lack of clarity in job expectations. How can you avoid this misalignment? Feedback and regular check-ins. Regular performance reviews can play a significant role in improving trust in leadership and fostering harmony between managers and employees, as well as lead to these benefits:

  • Fairness and transparency: Performance reviews should be conducted in a fair and transparent manner, where evaluation criteria and processes are clearly defined. When employees perceive the evaluation process as fair and transparent, trust in leadership is enhanced. It demonstrates that decisions regarding promotions, salary adjustments, or career opportunities are based on objective assessments.
  • Real-time feedback and goal setting: Real-time feedback and goal setting facilitate a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration. With remote work, employees need timely guidance and constructive feedback to thrive. Leaders should provide feedback promptly, acknowledge achievements, and offer suggestions for improvement. Additionally, setting clear, measurable goals and tracking progress collaboratively creates a sense of purpose and engagement among employees, which improves employee productivity.
  • Employee engagement surveys: Employee engagement surveys have gained importance as organizations strive to gauge the pulse of their distributed workforce. An employee engagement pulse survey provides valuable insights into employee experiences, their ultimate job satisfaction levels, and areas for improvement. By actively listening to employees' feedback and taking action based on the survey results, leaders demonstrate their commitment to fostering a positive work environment. Engaging employees in this way enhances trust, as employees feel that their voices are heard and their opinions matter.
How to get started 👉 Visit the Ultimate Employee Engagement Guide to learn more!

4. Growth opportunities 📈

In 2024, harnessing the potential of AI means navigating shifts in job roles and skill requirements, presenting new challenges and opportunities for career growth. While AI automation transforms traditional tasks, it also spawns new job opportunities in fields like AI development, data analysis, and machine learning, providing avenues for employees to explore and develop their careers in exciting and dynamic ways.

Career growth opportunities are an essential strategy for boosting employee engagement and have the following benefits:

  • Learning culture and knowledge sharing: The changing digital landscape encourages a strong learning culture and knowledge-sharing practices. Organizations that encourage employees to share their expertise, collaborate on projects, and contribute to the collective learning experience foster engagement and a sense of belonging. Virtual platforms for sharing knowledge, mentorship programs, and cross-functional collaboration opportunities create an environment where employees can learn from one another, expand their knowledge, and feel connected to their peers and the organization.
  • Career advancement and vertical mobility: In the absence of traditional hierarchical structures and physical proximity, career advancement in distributed work environments may differ from traditional models. Organizations that provide clear pathways for career progression, offer opportunities for vertical (or lateral) mobility and recognize employee achievements and contributions foster greater employee engagement and motivation.
How to get started 👉 Encourage skill development with experiences from our Learning and Development collection!
Learning & Development by Confetti

5. Emphasis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 🌍

As companies widen their teams to work with global talent, an emphasis diverse and inclusive workforce remains a priority, even if some critics argue differently. Businesses should think twice before deprioritizing their DEI efforts. Not only does it increase performance and productivity, but 2023 research by Benevity showed that 87% of employees agreed they would feel more committed to a company with a proven history of prioritizing DEI in the company. 

Here's how your organization can center DEI initiatives in your employee engagement strategy:

  • DEI Training & Workshops: Emphasizing DEI training helps organizations mitigate bias and promote equal opportunities for all employees, regardless of their background, race, gender, or other characteristics. DEI trainings provide education on unconscious bias, cultural competence, and inclusive behaviors, empowering employees to recognize and challenge their biases. This, in turn, fosters a fair and inclusive work environment, enhancing employee engagement and trust.
  • Cultural Celebrations: By acknowledging and celebrating diverse cultural traditions, organizations demonstrate their commitment to respecting and appreciating different backgrounds. Cultural celebrations provide opportunities for employees to learn from one another, promote understanding, and strengthen relationships.
  • ERGs: ERGs provide a platform for networking, mentorship, and professional development. They create spaces for employees to connect, share insights, and influence organizational policies and practices. ERGs contribute to employee engagement by fostering a sense of community, empowerment, and collective impact.
How to get started 👉 Plan some cultural celebrations and DEI workshops from the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion collection!
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by Confetti

Level up your employee engagement strategies with Confetti 🎉

Start building those connections with team building activities! From virtual games to learning and development workshops and collaborative activities, Confetti provides tailored solutions to fit your organization's company culture goals.

Start creating a more engaged and connected workforce! Want to discuss your employee engagement efforts? Book a time to speak to a Confetti expert today!
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