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Employee Engagement Strategies, Some New & Some Old

"In the pursuit of creating a meaningful space for talent to thrive, the amalgamation of appreciation, recognition, rewards and learning becomes the crux for employee engagement," says Pooja Madappa, Global VP- HR at Netradyne

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In navigating the evolving landscape of employee engagement, companies must realise that a people-first culture is the cornerstone to building a great workplace — where every team member feels valued and feels a sense of ownership and belonging. When employees feel successful in their roles, they contribute manifold to the company’s success, because they feel ‘invested’ in the mission and relate to the vision.

As companies and HR teams adapt to the ever-evolving needs and expectations of their workforce — there arise a need to re-visit employee engagement initiatives and ensure they keep up with the times. And in my own experience, I’ve observed, how these strategies have evolved and transformed over the years — the crux however remains the same — a people-first culture steals the show. 

Looking back at 2023 and the engagement strategies that have shaped the landscape, as we build out the outlook for 2024 — it’s safe to say that some highly effective strategies will persist while others take on transformative changes to ensure continued organisational growth.

A culture of appreciation, recognition, rewards & learning

In the pursuit of creating a meaningful space for talent to thrive, the amalgamation of appreciation, recognition, rewards and learning becomes the crux for employee engagement. Recognition and reward programmes, coupled with flexible benefits and perks have proven invaluable in helping companies find, hire and retain exceptional talent during 2023 and this is a trend that will continue into 2024 as a winning strategy.

Learning, in particular, is undergoing a holistic transformation, adopting a Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude (KSA) approach. The focus will be on cultivating a positive attitude within their workforce, which has been shown to contribute massively to viewing the overall culture as an enabler of core functions and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This holistic approach to learning ensures that employees not only acquire essential skills but also develop the right mindset and attitude, contributing to both personal and organisational growth.

Diversity, inclusion & a culture of respect

While these strategies are no longer the ‘new kid on the block’ — we can expect employee engagement efforts to take a closer look at establishing inclusive practices that actively promotes diversity and fosters a culture of respect and acceptance which not only benefit the individuals but contribute to the robustness and adaptability of the organisation. 

Employee wellness calls for a deep dive

Employee wellness strategies and initiatives which gained popular momentum in 2023, will undergo a revisit in 2024 — as companies delve deeper into initiatives such as flexible work schedules, mental health support programmes, and wellness activities — how they can infuse these into a holistic engagement strategy that not only improves job satisfaction but also enhances productivity and reduces absenteeism. 

This evolution in wellness initiatives includes thoughtful actions around family well-being, emphasising a holistic approach that extends beyond traditional benefit schemes. By considering the well-being of employees' families, companies are acknowledging the interconnectedness of personal and professional lives.

A shift towards continuous feedback and performance management

Performance appraisals and reviews are vital to the organisational health and we’ve seen a shift from annual performance-based reviews towards a continuous performance management model — this trend is expected to see greater adoption in 2024. Organisations are realising the need for emphasising ongoing feedback and coaching as the benefits of real-time feedback show higher success in employee engagement strategies. 

Empowering leaders to drive organisational mission and goals

In 2024, we can expect a surge in initiatives aimed at enabling and empowering leaders to drive the mission and goals of the company. This goes beyond mere task management, with a focus on guiding teams from theory to practice. The trickle-down effect is palpable as teams increasingly look up to leaders for more than just task-oriented direction; they seek guidance on contributing to the overarching organisational culture.

Empowered leaders serve as role models, embodying the values and principles that define the company's culture. This shift reflects a growing recognition that leadership extends beyond the boardroom, influencing the entire organisational fabric.

As we reflect on the employee engagement landscape from 2023 and peer into 2024, it is evident that certain evergreen and time-tested employee engagement strategies like diversity-and-inclusion efforts, personalised recognition programmes, innovation hackathons, career-mapping mentorship and many more will continue their legacy well into 2024 and beyond. 

And as we navigate these trends, it is imperative to remain agile and responsive, ensuring that employee engagement strategies align with the ever-changing expectations of our dynamic workforce.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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