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Employee engagement is one of the fundamental roles of any Human Resources manager. It is imperative for HR managers to keep up with the latest 2019 trends because the game is changing. The status quo of merely acting as a team player and having some sense of purpose has grown more complex with the evolution of technology. The traditional methods are becoming obviated by real-time feedback and incentives to create production-driven employees. Let's consider more on the subject, below.

#1: Profound Purpose

It is invaluable that modern workers see their job as something more than commercial nihilism. They must find a greater purpose. For example, if the products that you are making or the services that you are selling are somehow tied into an eco-friendly movement, this may drive them to find eco-consciousness in the workplace. Making a disposable cup that degrades 90 percent faster than traditional cups is something worthy of support.

A company that chiefly operates by sending out robocalls may have a high turnover rate. The telemarketers may feel that the type of work is scammy and may feel like they are harassing strangers with unwanted solicitations. This is especially true if they have received belligerent responses. They may be embarrassed to even list this telemarketer experience on their future resumes. Educating clients on the exclusive value of the offerings and how cold calls are generally a convenience may help improve morale.

Yet, younger employees and Millenials are interested in being something more than corporate slaves. In order for them to be engaged, they have to feel like they are making an impact when they do a good job. They must also feel like there is a purpose to the overall nature of their work. What problem do they solve that makes them a key player on the team, the point earner?

#2: Digital Incentive Platforms

This is where incentive platforms built on perks, feedback, and rewards can come into play. By using online platforms like PerkNow, you can shape the behavior of your workers and let them know that they are personally valuable to the business.

This will cause them to take their jobs more seriously and to do more than the bare minimum to collect a paycheck. When they feel that there is a glass ceiling and that their work pays the same check if they try hard or slack off, this will lead to high turnover rates and a business that fails to innovate and advance at its trade.

Many new hires complain that they are simply given harder work when they prove that they are more capable than others. Their co-workers may scorn them for being overachievers and exploit them by giving them harder loads to bear with no additional benefit. This is a case of employee culture setting a status quo of goldbricking. When a boss sees that the job can be done in half the time by the new employee, the other employees may feel burdened to keep up or apathetic about what a great job the new worker is doing.

In fact, you will find that stalwart resumes often list a number of short runs at various jobs. This is a sign that they had hit the glass ceiling and found no upward mobility for giving it 120 percent each day. In addition, their co-workers may give them a hard time and withhold basic information that would help them master the job faster.

A lack of employee engagement may be deeper than it appears. If the entire workforce is burnt out and lacks an incentive to innovate, they may burden new recruits and burn them out until they see the job as lackluster as well. If all the workers are being spoon-fed rewards and incentives to do a higher quality of work, they will put in the extra hours and excel to take home an extra $100 or $200 a week.

In the past, HR managers gave out annual Holiday bonuses fairly regularly to everyone. Many HR managers feel pressured to create a sense of equality to prevent jealousy and worker tensions. Nowadays, most companies don't hand out big bonuses. They may have a special party with cold cuts, cake, and drinks every so often. While this may improve company culture for workers who feel underpaid and overworked, recognizing personal accomplishments is trending in 2019.

The benefits that workers may receive in 2019, now come in the form of prepaid debit or gift cards. If you see that one of your workers comes in with a cup of Starbucks coffee each morning, you can bet that they will gladly work harder for an extra latte every day. Other workers may appreciate the thoughtfulness aspect of a gift card when it is personalized to something they'd like such as a local restaurant or a book store.

Using benefits and perks like discount programs can keep the economic burden of retaining quality talent light on the wallet whilst simultaneously leading to better employee engagement. If an employee successfully sells the highest number of products or services one day at a bank, they will appreciate the recognition of a gift. Making them the employee of the month when they surpass a quota is thoughtful but mere tokenism if the profits generated for the corporation are not shared with the employee.

Using performance management software to monitor workers will also create a better sense of engagement in the process. Instead of interviewing each worker, individually, the workers can voluntarily provide feedback in real-time. Employers can compile surveys to gauge the workplace mood regarding certain routines.

If employers are consistently encountering a limitation in the software that they use, this would be an easy way to improve performance by fixing the bug or finding some way around it. For example, some software may limit how much a worker can multitask and maximize use of their time. Their current workaround may work to some degree but with pitfalls such as an inability to wait for additional information necessary to resolve a claim or task.

The general mood of the workplace and their feedback on changes in hours, or even menu items at a restaurant, can all be accessed anonymously. This allows workers to be more honest. For example, they may express input regarding the bad taste of the food that the lunch server provides when they know that they won't be singled out for it.

#3: Professional Development

Workers have a higher level of job satisfaction and a sense of engagement when their professional skills are developed. Training them on how to use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) or more advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) software can help ease their fears of becoming outmoded by new hires with technologically advanced skills. As the face of businesses change and they incorporate more computer programming into their daily work, employer-sponsored training is critical.

This provides workers with a valuable skill that guarantees job security. If they were ever terminated or laid off from work for any reason, at least they would have some modern skills to show for it. But because the skills are specialized and they have a routine in their current workplace, most workers will feel a sense of obligation to stay with the company even through slow seasons.

#4: Diversity and Inclusion

One of the other major trends in the 2019 workplace productivity aids is a renewed focus on properly executing diversity and inclusion techniques. While this may have developed a controversial reputation with programs such as affirmative action, diversity and creating a sense of belonging is more critical than ever as globalization requires diverse skill sets in successful companies.

The 2019 trend is to make diversity more than an empty principle. Effectuating the talents of diverse workers and having them all feel like they are important cogs in a giant machine is the key to productivity. This means that each worker should be considered for their special skills and desires. If someone prides themselves on being a people person who is competent to resolve all public relations problems, they should be appointed to take on any roles related to their skill sets.

If another worker has a penchant for racing, they may be the go-to guy when the company needs new materials for National Tire Day or help managing the company fleet. Personalizing the kinds of work that you give each employee will help them feel like assets. This will also solve the problem of jealousy in the workplace if all workers are identified with some special purpose. Most of all, this will allow workers to enjoy their jobs because it is focused upon a category that interests them.

Of course, inclusion also requires a focus on company culture. Building a workforce that respects the talents of each member often starts at the top. Workers are eager to please the higher-ranking managers in the office. This is their ticket to job security, perks, and promotions. If an employee is directed to act as a mentor of new recruits, this can serve to be beneficial in assessing the scope of the new hire's talents and easing them through the learning curve when it comes to applying their skills at the company.

And when workers are sponsored in this fashion, from a directive of a boss, the overall company culture benefits. No one will be sitting alone at lunch break or feeling like they are not part of the clique. Many times, co-workers can get jealous over salary and may shun new workers who burden them if there are penalties.

This is the danger of creating team-based incentives. If the new hire is put onto a team and has to battle with a steep learning curve to contribute the same flat-rate hours or quotas as other team members, the other workers will inherently resent working with the new recruit even though he has a lot of potential and raw talent.

This is where Human Resources Management needs to be hypercritical. They have to understand the power of every small economic incentive and how this shapes the workforce. When workers are in the red thanks to the limited contributions of the new hire, they will inevitably develop spite and hope that he leaves the job as quickly as possible.

In some fields, a professional may not be adopted into the company clique because their job experience is different. If they did not earn a degree in automotive technology, for example, but instead obtained lots of hands-on training, the technical grads may question their competence and value to the team even though that is not their job.

They may even form a culture that reports negatively about everything that the new hire does and overburden him with work that is beyond his experience at the specific workplace. They may even come up with demeaning nicknames as a form of passive aggressiveness. In fact, they may intentionally bully and taunt new hires who are different from them or unwelcome for any socio-economic reason. This can be because they drive a beat-up car, dress less impressively, or even if they are overly confident and dressed better.

Some employers accept this type of workplace culture as a type of hazing. They try and break down the spirit of new recruits. If they are desperate enough and hang in there, this may signal to the team that they are more serious about the work. Yet, in many cases, the heckling, exclusionism, and passive aggressiveness never abates. Other workers may feel that their experience is superior to the talent and intelligence of the newbie and use artifacts of that experience to throw off rookies at any opportunity.

Of course, you may have different currents working within a workplace. Some new hires may have managers who like them and want to give them easy jobs. But others may give them bad advice and a lack of direction when they need instruction on how to finish a task. The worst-case scenario is when an employee lets another employee handle a job after being criticized about inefficiency. In this case, if the co-worker makes any mistakes through carelessness, it will ultimately be on the new recruit and may lead to his early termination.

When you consider the wisdom of workplace dynamics and how envious workers can be, it makes sense to hire new recruits in waves. This way, they will always have a co-worker who understands their plight to build their own new clique with if the others want to ostracize newbies. This is the same type of "freshman" mindset that can happen in colleges. The new recruits are put through a hazing but have some company and are able to bear it when they are not the only ones being singled out.

#4: Flexible Hours

Workers who have the ability to work on their own schedules are going to value this aspect of their work. This leads to lower turnover rates and a higher sense of duty to earn their keep with the employer. The most productive workers are those who are able to work when they feel like it. A big part of why workforces fall into goldbricking is because they only feel like working half the time. If they give too much on the days that they are feeling good, then they will have to give the same amount every day.

Allowing workers to produce a work-product on their own schedules is what retains talent. Writers can be hit with writer's block. Anyone can start to feel stressed out or sick. Having the flexibility to work when you can give it your best makes a huge difference in the quality of work accomplished. And even if your workforce has to keep regular business hours, providing flexibility in shift changes, showing up late, and days off is better than nothing.

#5: Focus on the Overall Workplace Experience

Employers in high-talent industries such as Google developers are finding that the entire workplace experience is critical to fostering creative innovation and growth. If you have a very lax atmosphere that makes showing up for work fun and stress-relieving, your workforce will appreciate any perks you give them.

Whatever you can do better than other employers to pamper your staff will make them proud to be part of your team and less likely to join another team. Thinking outside the box on how their overall workplace experience and the company culture can be improved takes some creative talent of itself.

In most cases, it is engineering an environment that has the most freedom, luxury, and comfort without distracting from work. As long as the quotas get filled and the company continues to progress, the workplace environment should be totally flexible. If you have thought about installing comfortable theater chairs, bean bag chairs, or even installing some deco art pieces to liven up the workplace, these are all good ideas.

The best ideas may be to ask workers for feedback on what luxuries and environmental factors would help them work better. If you give them some choices, it may inspire them. You can then hold them to their word and request that they show an improvement in their work if they desire further accommodations. This type of incentive-based cooperation bribes workers to give their best by figuring out what they desire the most and value the most.

When you are able to provide them with the experience that they desire at work, their productivity may jump through the roof. This is especially the case if the rewards are progressive such as a gourmet espresso bar or iPads to replace traditional billing and ordering platforms at a restaurant. When they have the tools or accommodations that make them enjoy coming to work, you can reap unlimited rewards.

Conclusion

The new face of employee engagement is to shape your workforce with incentives that make them value the job. When they feel like they have a personal stake in the business, they will strive to serve its goals. The technology platforms to accomplish this and the wisdom to execute it are the barriers that Human Resources managers must invest in and overcome.

Like any form of engineering, employers have to be flexible to figure out what works. But they must always understand the power of even small economic incentives, especially on workers who live paycheck to paycheck. Yet, in the end, it's not all about money but must include an overall superior workplace experience to attract and secure the best talent.
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