Cerkl Broadcast
Cerkl Broadcast

15 Employee Engagement Trends That Will Reshape 2024

Recognizing employee engagement trends can help organizations increase that important connection that heightens EX. We reveal what they are.
Written by: Penny Swift
employee engagement trends
Published: March 5, 2024
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The importance of employee engagement has grown exponentially in the past decade. And, recognizing that it is a key driver of performance and profitability, it remains a pivotal factor for the success and growth of any organization. There is no doubt that it is the lifeblood of a thriving workplace and a vital measure of the effectiveness of leadership. Furthermore, in the face of modern challenges and digital transformation, it continues to evolve with the times. 

Changing trends highlight the evolving nature of employee engagement. There is a growing focus on meeting individual needs, providing meaningful work, and fostering a positive and supportive work environment. By staying informed about these trends, organizations can develop comprehensive strategies to create a work culture that promotes engagement and fosters a thriving workforce.

Every year, Gallagher, one of the world’s largest insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting firms, produces a State of the Sector report that investigates and scrutinizes internal communication and employee experience globally. Their aim is to understand and share all there is to know about employee communication. 

In its 16th report, State of the Sector 2023/2024 recognizes that employee engagement remains the top priority of internal communication efforts. The stats haven’t changed since 2023, with 63% of respondents pinpointing its importance. Still, disengaged employees are still one of the most prominent barriers to success in the workplace, with 32% of their survey respondents confirming this.

employee engagement as a top priority for organizations

With this in mind, we’ve set out to identify the top 15 employee engagement trends that are likely to redefine the workplace in 2024. They range from fostering healthy communication and championing diversity and inclusivity to leveraging artificial intelligence and pioneering personalized experience. What they have in common is the ability to pave the way for an increasingly more engaged, productive, and thriving workplace.

Importance of Employee Engagement

Employee engagement stands as a cornerstone in the architecture of a successful company. It’s not just about keeping team members busy. It’s about making them feel valued, heard, and connected to their work. True engagement means employees are motivated, committed, and invested in their roles. This, in turn, fuels company growth and innovation.

Why does this matter? 

Research consistently shows that engaged employees lead to better business outcomes. From higher productivity to increased profitability, the ripple effects of engagement touch every part of an organization. More than that, a focus on engagement impacts employee retention reduces the costly cycle of hiring and training new staff. It inspires loyalty and makes employees want to stay with the company. 

Still, research also shows that nearly 70% of employees don’t feel a meaningful connection to their jobs. They simply don’t feel engaged. Gartner analysis found that this is in part because “engagement” is an HR term that doesn’t resonate with employees.

HR leaders discussed how to overcome barriers to employee engagement at a conference in Orlando in October 2023. Keyia Burton, senior principal advisor of HR at Gartner, pointed out the importance of employee engagement. 

“Figuring out how to actually impact employee engagement is a huge priority because it has a significant impact on several key business outcomes.”

Keyia Burton

Achieving high levels of engagement is no small feat. HR professionals need to navigate the diverse needs and desires of their workforce. Then they must craft strategies that not only attract talent but also inspire employees in the long term. This includes addressing key areas such as mental health, work-life balance, and opportunities for growth. Remember that it all contributes to an enriched employee experience, which inspires employee engagement.

Employee engagement trends are varied. They encompass flexible work arrangements, innovative benefits packages, and even apps fostering connection and shared purpose. Recognizing the importance of employee experience isn’t about pampering or protecting employees. It’s about fostering a thriving workforce.

#1 Fostering Transparent Communication

An emphasis on transparent communication is at the forefront of employee engagement trends. In an era where information is paramount, ensuring that team members are informed and aligned with company values and goals is key. This doesn’t stop at internal communications. It’s about creating an open dialogue where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas and feedback.

Organizations can leverage tools like engagement surveys, town hall meetings, and social media platforms to foster this environment. By prioritizing openness, companies not only build trust but also encourage a sense of ownership among employees, which is crucial for engagement.

Implementing transparent communication leads to a deeper understanding of the collective mission. It also sets the stage for the next trend – championing inclusion and celebrating diversity.

#2 Championing Inclusion and Celebrating Diversity

Diversity and inclusion are no longer just HR buzzwords. They are critical components of a robust employee engagement strategy. Celebrating different perspectives and backgrounds enriches company culture, sparking creativity and innovation. An inclusive work environment ensures that everyone, regardless of their identity, feels respected and valued.

Companies can spotlight diversity through various means. These include forming diversity committees, hosting educational workshops, and ensuring representation in leadership positions. These efforts not only reflect positively on the brand but also help in attracting a wider talent pool.

With a foundation of inclusivity and diversity, we can now amplify the employee voice, letting feedback lead the next wave of engagement endeavors.

#3 Amplifying Employee Voices through Feedback

Listening to employees is not just about collecting feedback. It’s even more important for organizations to act on the feedback they get. The Gartner survey mentioned above found that 46% of employees hoped the organization would do more to address the feedback they provided. It stands to reason that if organizations don’t do this, employees are going to lose interest in providing feedback.

Providing channels for employees to express their views and concerns fosters a culture where everyone feels heard. This encourages open communication, boosts morale, and leads to meaningful changes that benefit the whole organization.

There are many ways to do this. Ideas include:

  • Creative channels like suggestion boxes, regular employee engagement surveys, and one-on-one meetings.
  • Implementing feedback into tangible changes shows employees their opinions are valued.
  • Engagement software that aggregates feedback provides actionable insights for HR teams.

Empowering employees through feedback can seamlessly transition organizations to embracing cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), to pioneer progress in engagement strategies.

#4 Pioneering Progress with Artificial Intelligence

AI is reshaping how companies interact with employees. This ranges from automating routine HR tasks to providing personalized learning experiences. By leveraging AI, businesses can offer more tailored support, anticipate employee needs, and streamline communication. All these are factors that are critical to boosting engagement.

With all the hype of AI taking over the working world, it’s important to focus on the positives. 

For example, AI-powered chatbots can handle common HR inquiries, freeing up time for more strategic engagement initiatives. Furthermore, AI insights can identify patterns in employee feedback, helping HR professionals pinpoint areas for improvement. 

Integrating AI into the workplace introduces a level of hyper-personalization that wasn’t possible before. Identify how it can help your organization improve employee engagement rather than being threatened by it. This sets the stage for our next trend — personalizing experiences.

#5 Personalizing Experiences with Hyperpersonalization

Hyperpersonalization in employee engagement means providing experiences and opportunities that cater to the individual preferences and needs of each employee. These range from customizing learning and development paths to personalized wellness programs. Across the board, hyperpersonalization can significantly enhance the employee experience. Furthermore, tools powered by artificial intelligence can help in gathering data and insights to make this personalization more effective and meaningful. 

Another approach to energize engagement efforts revolves around the innovative concept of gamification.

Employee engagement trends 2

#6 Energizing Engagement with Gamification

Gamification introduces game-like elements into non-game contexts. These include achieving goals, earning points, and receiving rewards to boost employee engagement and motivation. It makes learning and development, goal setting, and even mundane tasks more enjoyable and engaging. 

Companies can implement gamification in employee training programs or as part of their engagement platforms to stimulate cognitive engagement and drive visible results. Empowering people managers is equally crucial for championing employee success and fostering a motivating work environment.

#7 Empowering People Managers for Success

People managers play a pivotal role in driving employee engagement. By equipping them with the right tools, training, and support, companies can ensure that managers are well-prepared to motivate their teams, recognize achievements, and provide constructive feedback. 

According to Gallup’s 2024 Employee Engagement Strategies Checklist, companies should engage their people managers and prepare to have meaningful conversations with their employees. Managers are the main contact point between employees and the company’s leadership and their focus should be on recognition, collaboration, goals and priorities.

Leadership development programs and regular training sessions on emotional intelligence, communication, and performance management tools are essential investments. This empowers managers to contribute effectively to employee success and engagement levels.

In the realm of recognizing and celebrating employee achievements, spotlighting employee excellence becomes a key engagement initiative.

#8 Spotlighting Employee Excellence through Recognition

Recognition programs that spotlight employee excellence are powerful tools in an employee engagement strategy. Whether through social media shoutouts, awards, or personalized thank-you notes using an email template, recognizing employees’ hard work and achievements makes them feel valued and appreciated. This not only boosts morale but also encourages a company culture of excellence and accountability.

Transitioning from recognition to advocacy, cultivating employee advocacy and brand ambassadors is a trend that is reshaping engagement efforts.

#9 Cultivating Employee Advocacy and Brand Ambassadors

Employee advocacy programs convert employees into brand ambassadors. They encourage them to share positive aspects of their work environment and company culture on social media and within their networks. It not only enhances the company’s reputation but also increases employees’ engagement and sense of pride in their work. 

Providing training on how to effectively share their experiences and offering incentives can motivate employees to become genuine advocates. Equally, embracing agility through workplace flexibility is a trend that aligns with the evolving expectations of the modern workforce.

#10 Embracing Agility with Workplace Flexibility

Flexible work arrangements, including remote work options and flexible hours, are becoming a standard expectation. This flexibility supports work-life balance and caters to the diverse needs of the workforce, particularly remote workers and Gen Zers. 

According to Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index Annual Report, flexibility is non-negotiable for younger employees, including 58% of Gen Z. And it extends to leadership as well, with 47% of leaders looking for new jobs that aren’t near to home. 

“You must design workplaces with enough flexibility to support every employee. A mix of quiet places, collaboration areas, and touch-down locations helps ensure everyone can be connected, engaged, and productive.”

Michael Ford, former CVP of Global Workplace Services at Microsoft

Implementing these kinds of policies demonstrates trust in employees and an understanding of their needs. It also significantly boosts employee engagement and retention rates.

Beyond flexibility, nurturing workplace wellness is indispensable for cultivating a thriving team and it’s an emerging focus for engagement initiatives.

Employee engagement trends 2


#11 Nurturing Workplace Wellness for Thriving Teams

Workplace wellness programs that focus on physical, mental, and emotional health are essential for a healthy work environment. From fitness challenges to mental health days and wellness webinars, these initiatives show employees that their well-being is a priority. These types of programs don’t only help in reducing stress levels. They also play a significant role in fostering a supportive community. This, in turn, makes employees feel more connected and engaged with their workplaces.

As we streamline HR processes through automation, we can further reinforce our commitment to employee engagement and efficiency.

#12 Streamlining HR Processes with Automation

Automation of HR processes frees up time for HR professionals to focus on engagement efforts that have even more impact. These range from simplifying onboarding procedures to managing employee benefits through digital platforms. The key is that automation increases operational efficiency and accuracy to get it all done. 

Ultimately, automating HR processes allows HR teams to spend more time on strategic initiatives like employee development programs and engagement surveys, in this way contributing to a positive employee experience.

Cultural transformation is another significant trend aimed at long-term impact and employee engagement.

#13 Igniting Cultural Transformation for Impact

Cultural transformation towards a more engaging, inclusive, and dynamic workplace is crucial for sustainable business growth. Initiatives such as promoting open communication, valuing feedback, and encouraging innovation all play a significant role. These types of transformation require commitment from all levels of the organization. When you evaluate them, you will see that they are reflected in every aspect of the work environment, from daily interactions to company policies. 

This fosters a sense of belonging and motivation among employees, making them more engaged and productive. But once you’ve done this, you also need to invest in employee growth and development, which is integral to empowering employees and fostering a culture of learning. 

#14 Investing in Employee Growth and Development

Providing employees with opportunities for professional growth and development is a cornerstone of any effective engagement strategy. Tailored training programs, mentorship opportunities, and support for continuing education not only enhance employees’ skills but also show them that the company is invested in their success. This results in higher engagement levels, improved performance, and increased loyalty.

Harnessing data insights to drive ROI speaks to the strategic side of employee engagement, focusing on measurable outcomes and enhancements.

#15 Harnessing Data Insights to Drive ROI

A 2022 report from SkyQuest predicted that workforce analytics would reach a value of $2.92 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of more than 16.5%. 

It states that companies that have been using the product in the workforce analytics market: 

  • are more likely to say they have a better understanding of their talent needs (70% vs. 51%)
  • are better able to identify high-potential employees (67% vs. 46%)
  • have improved retention rates (64% vs. 40%). 
  • are more likely to be satisfied with their overall HR function (78% vs. 60%)

Interestingly, this report also states that AI and machine learning are (or was in 2022) set to revolutionize the workforce analytics market. 

“Organizations are using AI and machine learning to automate the process of analyzing workforce data, which can be used to identify trends and patterns that would be otherwise difficult or impossible to detect. These insights can then be used to make better decisions about how to manage employees, improve performance and keep talent at the organization.”

SkyQuest

Data-driven insights play a critical role in shaping and refining employee engagement strategies. By analyzing data from employee surveys, performance metrics, and engagement platforms, companies can identify areas of improvement and measure the impact of their engagement initiatives. This not only helps in optimizing strategies for better results but also demonstrates a commitment to continually enhancing the employee experience. Leveraging data effectively ensures that engagement efforts are aligned with the company’s goals and deliver tangible benefits.

employee engagement trends 3

Stay on Trend With Our Employee Engagement Software

Are you keeping pace with what is happening in the world of employee engagement software? 

Elements you need to consider are whether software:

  • Improves communication
  • Personalizes content
  • Enhances the user experience for employees

Cerkl Broadcast has a cross-channel reach that allows organizations to deliver messages through various channels. These include email and internal comms apps that ensure content reaches employees depending on their preferences. Our platform also enables segmenting employees based on departments, roles, or other factors. This, in turn, allows for targeted communication that resonates with specific groups. 

Regular updates and clear communication through Cerkl Broadcast can foster a sense of transparency and trust within the organization. 

We take the value of personalized content seriously. For this reason, Broadcast allows users to tailor messages and content to specific audiences or individuals, increasing the relevance and engagement of the information. The platform also facilitates acknowledging and celebrating achievements, which can be a powerful motivator and boost employee satisfaction.

Mobile accessibility is important for all employees whether they are working on-site or remotely. Additionally, the platform offers a user-friendly and visually appealing interface. This makes it an enjoyable experience for employees to receive and interact with company information. Its interactive features, including polls and surveys, also add to the quality of employee engagement possibilities. These foster a sense of involvement and help to build a culture of listening. 

What’s Next?

Are you happy with your internal communication strategy? Is it working for your business? Are you able to collect employee feedback and measure employee engagement in 2024? 

We invite you to use our survey template to find out whether employees are engaged and fulfilled in their roles. It will help you get a head start on the challenges that current employee engagement trends are presenting. Don’t delay, do it today – it’s free. 

FAQ

How to engage employees in 2024?

Foster a human-centric culture with flexible work arrangements and personalized development opportunities. Prioritize well-being and mental health, and emphasize purposeful work aligned with individual and company goals.

What are some employee engagement trends in 2024?

Focus on personalization with customized learning and work experiences. AI and data analytics will play a bigger role, but human oversight remains crucial. Promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and building a culture of continuous improvement is key.

How will AI impact employee engagement?

AI can automate tasks, personalize learning, and provide data-driven insights for improvement. However, ethical considerations and human connection remain crucial for a positive employee experience. Ultimately, AI-powered tools can automate repetitive tasks. This frees up employees for more strategic and creative work, potentially boosting engagement by reducing burnout and increasing job satisfaction.

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