2014’s Top 12 Employee Engagement Trends

January 28, 2014by Shona LepisEmployee Engagement

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Great news! 2014 Is the Year of the Engaged Employee

We all know that an engaged employee is a happy employee. But, employers are recognizing the value of elevated internal communications in driving real business results through their engaged employees. In addition to their bright smiles, Gallup’s 2013 Global Engagement Survey reports engaged employees positively effect everything from productivity, to profitability, quality, lower absenteeism, less turnover, and even healthcare costs. Hooray for the engaged employee!

In their honor, here are 2014’s Top 12 Internal Communications Trends, and how they’ll help you create your own engaged (and smiling) employees…

  1. Strategic Value
    Employers are seeing the strategic value of internal communications to their businesses to drive real business results. Internal communications and HR teams are working cooperatively with c-suite and integral business departments (Marketing, Operations, Finance) to deliver real business ROI.
    (Source: Stephen Welch, President of IABC UK, Internal Communications predictions for 2014)
  2. Economic Upturn Means Fresh, Innovative Thinking
    With the economy improving, employers are looking for fresh, innovative thinking to keep their business relative and profitable. A great way to do it: leveraging internal communications to create engaged, productive employees.
  3. Mobile & Decentralized Employees
    Your “home office team” is more decentralized than ever; and keeping all your employees connected and engaged is a growing challenge. We’re seeing the rise of “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) – employees are using their own vs. employer-issued devices to stay connected. Internal communications professionals have a new channel to consider. Be careful. You want to err more on the side of “Big Helper” than “Big Brother,” at least for starters. (Source: The 11 vital internal communications trends you’d be crazy to ignore, Holtz Communication + Technology).
  4. Video
    According to one study, 72% of internal communications teams are planning to increase the use of video as a means of communicating with employees. (Source: The 11 vital internal communications trends you’d be crazy to ignore, Holtz Communication + Technology.) Video is a powerful tool to facilitating visual storytelling with your employees.
  5. Communicating for Engaged Employees
    Engaged employees are happier, more productive, more profitable, and produce higher quality work. (Source: How Employee Engagement Drives Growth, GALLUP Business Journal). Improvement of traditional (print, video and events) and digital communications channels (social) and smaller employee groupings (“embracing inner smallness”) are ways to pump up the volume of your messages to create and keep employees engaged.
  6. Social Integration & Your Enterprise Social Network
    The rise of technology and Enterprise Social Network platforms (like Yammer and Jive) have meant increased sharing, a greater sense of community, and more general participation. Managers and leaders can see employee activity and sentiment in real time; and do all kinds of cool, collaborative things. However, without planning and governance, things can hairy pretty quickly. Enterprise Social Networks are a fact of corporate life now, but they should not just be leadership-sanctioned Facebook. They are another channel. Another powerful tool in your comms arsenal. Use your ESN to enhance, extend and deepen the messages and programs you use to drive engagement, assimilation and workflow.
  7. Employee Ambassador Programs
    Your employee ambassador represents the best of your organizational culture, values and mission. Leverage them to enhance (and put a face to) your internal communications.
  8. Visual Content
    Leverage pictures and video through enterprise social networks, Facebook groups, curated hashtags and Pinterest boards to help your employees share their stories.
  9. Gamification
    Employers are looking to make mundane things fun – and games are fun! They’re applying gaming principles and our nostalgic love of games to drive employee engagement and friendly competition all in the name of solving communications challenges.
  10. Print
    Company-wide print publications are not coming back any time soon, but we have seen that employees interact with intranet and digital comms in different ways than they do with print, and both have their place. (Source: The 11 vital internal communications trends you’d be crazy to ignore, Holtz Communication + Technology.) Digital hasn’t replaced print entirely – rather, print is fitting in niche communications and group opportunities.
  11. Employee Influence Measurement
    Everyone loves the BMOC, right? Internal communicators are using social media to identify and leverage those employees with high levels of influence in their company. Tools like Yammer and Klout can help you see who your employees are listening to, and how those who hold attention communicate so effectively.
  12. Storytelling
    Company leaders are leveraging internal communications teams to tell their companies rich histories, successes and strategies to their teams. Ultimately, fostering a community of transparency, openness and celebration.

Here are a few other articles on Internal Communications Trends for 2014.

2014 Top 12 Employee Engagement Trends Free Download

And, just in case you need a reminder, download our free handy 2014 Top 12 Employee Engagement Trends for handy, year-round reference. for handy, year-round reference.
How about you?

Hopefully this list validates the work you’re already doing with internal communications, or points you in a few fresh directions. Are you already taking advantage of any of these trends? Any come as a surprise? Did we miss any?

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Shona Lepis

Shona is responsible for Vignette’s marketing practice, covering everything from agency brand aesthetics to positioning, managing the agency’s web and social presence, content marketing/blog, and supports business development’s needs. Shona began her career as a designer, managing a boutique design studio that specialized in hand-crafted brand identities for clients in both the US and Europe. She worked with clients to transform their vision into reality with creative solutions from brand identity to custom website design, digital marketing, and print collateral. Shona’s experiences as a creative influences her approach to marketing, using data-driven methodologies to deliver authentic brand experiences. Shona is an active member of the Portland design community and has served on the board as Communications Director of the Portland chapter of AIGA and a founding member of Branding Salon, a consortium of brand, design, development and marketing professionals.