Employee Engagement Predictions for 2016

by Dora Wang on Dec 31, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Our 2015 Employee Engagement Report gave us some eye-opening insight into important trends that are shaping the workforce. Now, on the eve of 2016, we look forward to the challenges — and opportunities — that we'll face in the coming year.

Drawn from TINYpulse research and the major themes and developments we've seen in the workplace, here are 16 predictions for employee engagement in 2016.

Check out a few of them below:

 2016 Employee Engagement Predictions by TINYpulse

(click to enlarge)

 

Onboarding will need to evolve

We here at TINYpulse have long argued that onboarding should move beyond the old standby of a stack of paperwork and passively watching presentations — it has to lay out a plan and engage new hires. The importance of professional development only cements this need. Onboarding will need to become a more active, future-oriented process that allows employees to hit the ground running with a plan for their growth within the company. Without it, employees will flounder.

 

Peer-to-peer recognition will grow

The percentage of employees giving peer recognition has been growing over the past couple years, and in 2016 it will become a dominant form of employee appreciation. The trend has been in place for some time:

  • Our 2013 report showed that, when offered a simple tool to do so, 36% of all workers will provide peer recognition on an ongoing basis
  • Our 2014 report showed that, when offered a simple tool to do so, 44% of all workers will provide peer recognition on an ongoing basis

Support your employees in making one another feel valued. They’re a rich resource for workforce appreciation that’s just waiting to be tapped.

 

The major theme will be personal accountability

The findings of our 2015 Employee Engagement report show that employees are owning their personal accountability in their workplace experience. Fulfilling their potential looms large in their minds. Companies will find more success in engagement strategies that involve employee initiative and make them an active part of the process.

 

Watch out for a new hidden turnover risk

The job market recovery and declining unemployment rate will uncover a new attrition risk: the “middle of the pack” employees who are neither strongly engaged nor terribly disengaged. The low commitment level of these workers may not have been an issue when it was an employers’ market and alternate options were scarce. As more opportunities open up, they’ll easily drift away. To avoid scrambling for replacements, companies must get ahead of the trend and save those whose engagement can be saved — and let go of those who can’t.

 

Watch for employees to manage “sideways”

It’s not just about managing upward anymore. As employees embrace their personal accountability, we’ll see an increase in managing “sideways” too, as they push their peers to be the teammates they need. A potential cause for friction, yes, but with proper guidance from management, this can be a great opportunity for employees to play an active role in keeping themselves engaged and productive.

 

Millennials will start dominating workplace culture

Since millennials became the largest generation in the workforce this past year, they will exert majority influence on company culture. This means that workplace values will shift to those prioritized by this generation, from collaboration to social responsibility and work-life integration.

 

Want to see the rest of our 16 employee engagement predictions for 2016? Download our 2015 Employee Engagement Report to read the full list!

 

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This post was written by Dora Wang

Dora is an employee engagement researcher for TINYpulse and managing editor of TINYinstitute. Having grown up in Texas, she is now firmly settled in Seattle, where she spends her free time reading comic books, wrangling her three cats, and (of course) rooting for the Seahawks.

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