Work trends 2020: Eyes on employee engagement

Mira Kekarainen
Mira Kekarainen
Head of Business Development
Work trends 2020: Eyes on employee engagement

The goals and values of companies and people are changing. Design and innovation consultancy company Fjord releases its trend report every year. In the newly published report for 2020 the first big trend is acknowledging the many faces of growth.

Growth no longer means mere profit. More and more emphasis is placed on providing purpose and growing employee wellbeing in companies of all sizes. According to the Fjord report, new definitions of growth will lead to new thinking in meaning and metrics towards more people and sustainability focused metrics. These metrics will be more and more important also for shareholders.

Robert Eccles, Visiting Professor of Management Practice at Said Business School from University of Oxford believes that environmental social and corporate governance will be demanded by shareholders because they believe it will drive growth, market share and profitability.

Organisations of all sizes will need to adapt to the new economy, and also place more value for their staff’s skills and wellbeing to be able to succeed in the competition in the future.

There’s a lot to do for many companies, though. The 2017 State Of The Workplace Global Report  states that only 30% of employees are engaged in their jobs. Others are adding little value or even acting against company goals.

Why placing value on employee engagement is important?

Engagement means the rate which employees feel engaged with their jobs. When people are engaged in their work, they believe in themselves and their work.

They are confident in their value and themselves. They believe their work has purpose and meaning, and they believe that they have the means and tools to succeed.

Engaged employees collaborate in an innovative manner. At workplaces where employees are engaged, the atmosphere tends to be highly positive, and people feel happy. There’s a positive organization culture.

Engaged employees do not just affect the atmosphere. Engagement also affects results.

Engaged employees are more effective and accomplish more at work than disengaged employees.

Improving employee engagement has a straightforward relation also to company culture and financial results of the company.

A 2015 Harward Business Review article listed some of the elements of high-performing company cultures. What was common for these work cultures was that they all maximize the play, purpose and potential felt by their people and minimize the emotional pressure, economic pressure and inertia. These are almost the same things that drive engagement or eat it away.

What drives engagement?

Some of the common engagement drivers are for instance

  • having employees’ voices heard. This means empowering and encouraging employees to affect their own work.
  • having a trust and strength based work culture, where everyone is valued. In other words, treating everyone with the same respect, seeing and letting people leverage their strengths in their work, delegating decisions and empowering employees to carry out their work without unneeded byrocracy or diminishing micromanagement.
  • Having clear jointly set values
  • Having clearly communicated vision and strategy, and quite simply
  • Providing meaningful work.

What you measure is what you get

To acknowledge the engagement level of employees it’s important to measure work wellbeing and develop means to engage people more. Having employee wellbeing or happiness pulses measured and communicated on regular basis, having workgroups building on better processes, having initiative committees or rewarding for new ideas are good ways to build engagement in the work culture.

Gamification adds engagement and positively affects company culture

These same reasons provide an explanation also to why gamification is implemented in many successful companies’ processes and cultures.

Gamification provides a way to drive engagement. Its value is in its ability to motivate, and to increase the level of purpose, belonging and empowerment.

With gamification we can feed all the psychological needs identified as motivational drivers, the things that make us feel engaged.

  • Autonomy – the feeling of being empowered to make decisions and affect one’s work
  • Relatedness – belonging, being a part of something bigger
  • Purpose – having a sense of meaning for one’s work
  • Mastery – having ownership of one’s work and decisions. This requires also trust and empowerment.
  • Progress – feeling and seeing one self progressing within one’s job and within the company, but also seeing one’s work affect the bigger picture.

These drivers bring meaning and engagement to the situations or processes they are applied to.

When increasing the amount of engaged employees is the goal or when company culture emphasizes purpose, adding a gamified way to improve a process, gain better work satisfaction or communicate and involve people in planning or at the latest launching new practices can bring a lot of value.

Gamification can change organization’s culture, bring meaning and purpose for its employees work and help engage people to reach better results.

There are a lot of ways to use gamification, and you don't have to be an expert to be able to implement the methods in your organization. There are easy to use tools and experts that can help you succeed. 

Seppo is a gamification platform which enables gamifying trainings, different processes like recruitment and onboarding, or events like employee wellbeing days. Seppo is also used for instance for involving and engaging staff in launching and implementing new values and strategy. With Seppo, you are able to turn your needs into an interactive and engaging game fast and easily. If you're interested in using gamification in your company, read more about our solution here, or contact our expert team at Enable JavaScript to view protected content..


State of the Global Workplace_Gallup Report.pdf

McGregor, Lindsey and Doshi, Neel: How Company Culture Shapes Employee Motivation, Harward Business Review, Nov 25th, 2015