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The rise of the ‘involved’ employee and what it means for business

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It is no longer enough for employees to be engaged, says Phil Sproston. They need to feel involved and immersed in the design of the workplace.

 

12th Apr 2022
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What do employees want from their employers as we (hopefully) enter the post-pandemic world? This is one of the questions that our 2022 World of Work Trends Report has attempted to answer, giving insights into the business trends that will impact the workforce in the year ahead.

Time for a stronger employee voice

The report looks at the major workplace challenges that employers need to address and with all of them, we’ve found that employees are wanting a stronger voice in all the key decisions that affect them. Specifically, one of the major trends we identified was the need to release the potential of what we call “involved employees.” It is no longer enough for employees to merely be engaged with their work - they have a need to now feel involved and immersed in its design. 

People drive businesses forward - and involved people drive them further and faster

Our latest research, conducted among 1857 Certified Top Employer organisations worldwide, demonstrates how the power of the 'involved' employee is not only becoming the norm, but necessary to allow organisations to prosper in a world full of uncertainty. People drive businesses forward - and involved people drive them further and faster.

What does 'involvement' look like?

Involved employees influence all aspects of working life, including helping the business attract high-quality talent, creating wellbeing strategies, establishing business ethics, and encouraging inclusion and sustainability practices. The actions of employees on a daily basis will make a positive difference but will require the constant support of line managers and HR teams. This means that businesses will need to show high levels of emotional intelligence, confidence, and courage to tap into the talents of employees.

HR directors in leading organisations see that in order to be more creative and to prosper through having a more appealing working environment, they must increase the influence that their employees have. 

Four areas to watch

The benefits of “involved” employees can also be seen in four other areas:. 

1. Organisational Change

83% involve their employees in the design of organisation and work (a 6% increase on the previous year). And 87% now have a targeted change communication plan. Both are critical to the success of current and future change. 

2. Talent attraction

Employees can make a lasting impact in talent attraction. 80% of employers involve their employees in attracting candidates (up from 67% in 2020) and 80% use employee referral programmes for recruitment. By making the most of their employee networks, HRDs will attract more, higher quality talent.

3. Wellbeing

Top employers are implementing employee-led wellbeing initiatives. They are creating lasting change, with 54% consistently involving employees in wellbeing policies and practices. A clear focus on wellbeing gives a more resilient and energised workforce a chance to perform at their best.

Businesses have every reason to feel confident that a deeper level of involvement and commitment will produce commercial benefits

4. Ethics, diversity and sustainability

Employees are becoming an integral part of an organisation’s ethics, diversity, and sustainability strategies. 75% seek employee input into ethical standards, 64% have created internal and external spaces for feedback on D&I issues; and 57% encourage employees to support environmental goals. 

Businesses have every reason to feel confident that a deeper level of involvement and commitment will produce commercial benefits. It is making a difference for the very best employers. Now it is up to all other organisations to follow suit, in order to deliver an improved world of work.

Interested in this topic? Read How can HR be more humane?

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