The workforce is changing rapidly and employee experience and peace of mind continues to trailblaze ahead as we go into the second half of 2019
1. Flex appeal
We all know that flexibility increases employee engagement. A study by Indeed showed that employees between 16-24, saw workplace flexibility as the most important factor in a job and a real deal breaker. According to 2018 research from Powwownow, up to three-quarters of UK workers would favour a flexible working arrangement. It’s easy to see why… Millennials value a work/life balance and it may have once been a pipe dream but employees these days value flexibility and the option of working from home or working remotely. Implementing flexible working improves and increases engagement and motivation, and in an age where there are specific systems and software in place to be able to work remotely, this will be seen more and more. According to a 2018 study by ‘Remote.co’, 86 % of those surveyed said they preferred to work alone to “hit maximum productivity.” Furthermore, two-thirds of managers say employees who work remotely increase their overall productivity. Working from home allows employees to feel more connected and engaged to their personal lives which leads to more engagement in their work lives. Flexibility enables time to decompress, collect or drop off children from school, or start/finish earlier or later which can have a HUGE impact on feelings of well-being and happiness.
2. Put the ‘d’ in development
44% of people on LinkedIn said that personal development and the ability to advance in their careers was the main reason they chose their current jobs. Learning is vital for employee engagement and employees expect to have development and learning opportunities at their fingertips. Employees feel valued when their development is invested in, which can raise the morale and lead to happier and far more productive workers. Developmental programmes or training that can equip employees to be the best they can be within their roles, plus develop and equip them for the future are worth their weight in gold. On the flip side, not empowering progression can lead to flat employees who lack motivation and stagnate in their roles. Continued learning is a critical element of engaged workers, and management and leaders have the power to help motivate and nurture their employees.
3. Get with the tech
Young employees and millennials are a tech savvy bunch, the major clue is the smartphones they have glued to their hands 24/7 and complete unconditional love of the hashtag. Spoiler alert - Millennials are extremely into the latest technology and are 100% familiar with technology. To harness this love of technology, make sure your company has messaging apps like Slink or info sharing apps to log in to, to not only enable a modern, tech savvy work environment that can inspire and motivate but to slot right into the lifestyle and climate that workers in 2019 have. Instant answers and quick, seamless communications are favoured and video calling or conducting meetings trans-Atlantically, on Skype are the norm. So, log on and get down with the digital natives. Those working remotely and logging in through technology are often more engaged with colleagues and supervisors than in-office workers, according to Harvard Business Review. All the technological tools at their fingertips helps workers stay super connected. A further study showed that 87% of remote workers feel more connected through the use of video conferencing. Get Skyping…
4. Trust in me
Remember the snake from the Jungle Book who slithered on screen whispering, “trust in me….” It’s time to be more like him… Working patterns in 2019 are far more flexible and employees value free reign to get creative and to be trusted that they won’t mess about and abuse the freedom and flexibility. With so much work being done remotely, emails and work can be done on the hoof and a degree of freedom can lead to miles more creativity. It is ultimately down to the company to decide to what extent freedom is acceptable, and in what form. For this, policy making is a supremely important element and needs to be decided at a top level. With trust comes respect which is a two-way street. When employees are granted trust and control over their work lives, they give a whole lot more.
5. It’s good to talk…
We’ve all heard horror stories of employees who barely get one review a year and feel in the dark about not only their performance but management decisions as a whole and the company and its narrative. Employees expect and deserve more. Frequent, thoughtful dialogue between managers and employees drives success and transparency which equals results. In 2019, employees have a voice they haven’t had before. Conversations have opened… “This doesn’t work for me.” “This doesn’t feel right.” are becoming commonplace and employees have become liberated and empowered as mental health and wellness becomes a vital part of any company or organisation. Conversations which once took place behind closed doors are trickling into open plan break out spaces. Employees crave feedback and as much as management may moan, “we have no time,” or “candid conversations can be awkward and unpleasant,” employees continue to demand and crave more feedback. Recent surveys have shown that 65% of employees in the UK listed more transparency and communication as something they wanted far more of, so clear your throats and get talking.
By Lucy Saxton
Lucy Saxton is a journalist, content creator, social media advisor and broadcaster. Studying Criminology at Leicester Uni and completing an MA In print Journalism at The University of Sheffield, she began her career as Features Editor of the popular teen girls magazine, MIZZ Mag. More recently, Lucy has worked for Cosmopolitan Magazine and Seventeen Magazine. Lucy was previously a Journalist at M&IT Magazine which saw her travelling around the world and launching several social media channels for CAT MEDIA. Lucy is a regular travel correspondent on BBC radio.More articles by Lucy Saxton