Employee Engagement - Engaging your workforce

Drive higher engagement with your employees by designing great workspaces, benefits plans and thriving organizational cultures.

Reframing the employee experience

The challenge of creating a compelling employee experience isn’t new, but it’s certainly complex. A multifaceted subject with many intertwining entry points, it connects data, tools and a deep understanding of employees, culture, and both physical and nonphysical work environments.

Recent events have complicated matters. Employees are reconsidering their priorities and expectations, and people are increasingly looking to make work fit with life, rather than the other way around. This is welcoming in the next leap in the employee value proposition, characterized by a move from the “thrive contract” — employees and employers focused on well-being needs, including purpose, equity and impact — to the “lifestyle contract,” in which employers and employees are focused on getting a fair deal. People want to feel fulfilled through choice, connection and contribution.

The emerging lifestyle contract calls on companies to adapt their employee experience strategies — the intersection of their employees’ expectations, environments (culture, coworkers, leaders, processes, technology, workspaces) and events (both work and life). Are companies succeeding? According to our 2022 Global Talent Trends study, despite 88% of employees feeling satisfied in their current roles, two in five still plan to leave this year, with Gen Z being both the most satisfied (92%) and the most likely to depart (55%). Additionally, one in three HR leaders is seeing higher-than-normal turnover in talent with valued digital skills.

In the face of labor shortages, stepping up strategies to understand unmet needs, as well as finding novel ways to communicate the value proposition, will be critical to success.
One in three companies made headway in creating a positive employee experience in 2021, and these companies continue to experiment, but 38% are struggling with scale and sustainability, and 17% are struggling to gain momentum and buy-in, according to the 2022 Global Talent Trends study.

Flexible and hybrid working has ushered in new challenges, and organizations are trying to get ahead by solving these questions:

  • How can we understand how the needs and circumstances of different populations have changed?
  • How can we segment and empathize with our people in more nuanced ways?
  • How can we co-create a targeted and focused solution that meets the needs of our most critical employee segments and challenges?
  • How can we design employee experience programs and processes that are agile and can adapt to changing employee needs?
  • HR is being pulled in many directions — where are our gaps, what challenge areas should we prioritize so we can have the biggest impact and how do these fit in with our existing initiatives?
  • How can we use technology and data analytics to implement, optimize or create systems from which to draw insights continuously regarding the employee experience?
  • How can we best implement the proposed changes and develop a communication strategy in a hybrid world?
  • How can we ensure managers are equipped to make a difference in the employee experience in an increasingly diverse workforce?
  • How can we measure success and contextualize the results for planning in the broader HR sphere?
  • How can we design an employee experience strategy that’s linked to workforce strategy?

A deep understanding of the employee will not be enough. This year, the percentage of energized employees is at an all-time low. Creating an employee experience that energizes people will be critical, and as many organizations undergo transformation, marrying the transformation agenda with improving the employee experience can hold the keys to sustainable growth. For example, by designing meaningful work to engage and retain people and creating “space” to focus on the employee experience.

Take this moment of profound change to make strides in improving the employee experience using design thinking and bringing your employees in focus.

Over 70% of the global workforce is still partially disengaged or actively disengaged from work.
A Mercer | Sirota survey

Create a positive organizational culture that motivates employees

Employee engagement is a whole new game in this era of digital transformation. Organizations don’t just have to identify employee motivations and create environments accordingly, they also need to plan for employee engagement methods that ensure sustainable productivity gains. Adapting to ever-changing market environments requires organizations to:
  1. Drive and measure
    performance by establishing clear goals from the outset and clearing the path for employees to succeed.
  2. Adapt strategies
    that maximize your employees’ strengths using flexible and participative systems, processes, tools, and resources.
  3. Sustain enthusiasm
    by building camaraderie between employees, leaders, and managers — because teams go further, together.
  4. Promote collaboration
    by empowering leaders and managers to live by example and embody the organization’s positive values

Read more about employee engagement and organizational culture

Mercer in the media: Culture & Employee Engagement

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