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Employee Engagement Trends You Need to Know About in 2018


For any modern workforce, meaning plays a critical role when it comes to employee engagement. In Emplify’s new Q1’18 Employee Engagement Trends and Indexes report, we explore the importance of a meaning-driven culture, and how it can make a significant impact on your organization and employees. Using research gathered from more than 12,000 employees using the Emplify Insights™ product, this report aims to provide executives with a better understanding of how meaning is derived across generations, industries, and work types. This report hinges on the discovery that meaning is emerging as a critical benchmark in the modern workforce, and employees who experience meaning at work are more effective and higher-performing than those who don’t.

So what does it take to establish meaning for your employees? At Emplify, our definition of meaning is the belief that being immersed in work gives employees value, whether it’s through a sense of purpose, compensation, status, or influence. Meaning, in addition to safety (trusting that work can be pursued without fear of negative consequences to self-image, status, or career) and capacity (feeling capable of pushing physical, intellectual, and emotional energy into work with access to necessary resources) make up our three core emotional needs that are required to create an environment where employees can thrive.

From there, we start by measuring existing employee engagement at large within your organization, which is broken down into three parts:

  1. Engagement Scores—quantify overall engagement at an organization as well as within individual teams, departments, and locations
  2. Psychological Condition Scores—uncover how conducive the workplace is to engagement by measuring the presence of positive feelings that employees need to be engaged—also where meaning comes into play
  3. Engagement Driver Scores—quantify the presence or absence of workplace qualities that positively affect engagement

With so many different variables at play, it can be challenging to determine the right plan of action for your organization. Here are a few tips to help you take the next step toward helping your employees find meaning in their work.


Give your employees greater autonomy to encourage meaning.

Greater autonomy gives your employees the freedom to bring personal meaning to their work. Giving your employees greater freedom can help create meaning in the workplace and encourage a culture of recognition.

Even as a CEO, it’s still your responsibility to ensure that your employees are able to find meaning in their work. Why? Because employees who derive meaning from their work are at least 3x more likely to stay in their current roles than those who don’t.

When your employees are fulfilled, they perform better at their jobs. Creating space for your employees to have the freedom to bring greater autonomy to their job helps ensure that they can find this personal meaning in their work. Even more than that—it encourages a culture of recognition that employees will value moving forward.

CEOs and HR need to work together to create a motivating culture for employees.

So how do you create a culture motivated by meaning? Work is still going to be work. Still, companies can do a lot to help employees find meaning and happiness in their jobs. Creating meaning for employees requires work from more than just HR. It takes dedication and investment from every department—including those in the C-suite.

Consider incorporating initiatives like celebrating team wins in a way that’s meaningful to the employees in a personal way, like a special group outing or donating to their favorite causes. Your company could also encourage employees to publicly recognize and reward one another for a job well done. Or, share customer successes to allow employees to understand how their day-to-day work impacts real people in a significant way.

The options are endless when it comes to ideas that you can introduce to help motivate a meaning-driven culture. The numbers don’t lie—employees who derive meaning from their work are 1.4x more engaged than those who don’t.

Download the full report to learn more about:

  • Meaning and utilization across multiple generations in the workplace
  • Creating meaning in different types of work; field vs. non-field workers, desk vs. remote workers
  • Finding meaning in lowest-scoring industries

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