HR Retail 2020

September 16 - 18, 2020

Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, CA

Three Ways to Get Employees Engaged Like Never Before

Brought to you by WBR Insights

As we move into the final quarter of 2019, it seems appropriate to start looking ahead to what we can expect in the world of retail human resources in the third decade of the 21st century.

First on the agenda is engagement. We can expect employee engagement to achieve significantly increased prominence during 2020. Unemployment is at a low right now in the US, meaning there is a lot of choice for those who are looking to move on. 81 percent of employees have stated they'd be willing to leave their current employment for the right offer - a figure that is remarkably close to the 85 percent of employees who don't presently feel engaged with at work.

Correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, of course, but we do know that engaged employees are more productive and happier in their jobs and are less likely to seek alternative employment elsewhere - so it seems likely that there is a relationship between those two figures.

What, then, are the most effective employee engagement tactics you can deploy in the coming year to keep your talent pool happy and healthy?

#1 Beyond Remuneration

Workers today are looking for more from their employers than a simple remuneration. While compensation will always be important - it's the main reason we all need to work after all - it is no longer the sole factor determining how engaged or satisfied a person feels in their employment.

This means, when it comes to perks and bonuses, there are other factors to consider beyond the 401k and other financial incentives. Factors such as job sharing, telecommuting, compressed work schedules, part-time options, and more are going to make employment far more attractive to the employees of 2020. These factors look past money and help to make the day-to-day work experience of staff easier and more enjoyable.

Staff want to feel their employer understands and is sensitive to their needs outside of work. Very few couples now have the dynamic where one goes out to work while the other stays at home with the children and takes care of the home. Today's parents share domestic responsibilities. As such, they appreciate an employer that understands these needs and can offer flexible working arrangements that allow them to leave early to do the school run or work from home to take care of other tasks.

#2 Agile Workspaces are the Future

Aside from the flexible working benefits described above, there are also ways to help employees feel more engaged while they are working within your walls. Policies and processes can be introduced to make your work environment more agile and create a happier space for your staff.

You can, for example, redesign workspaces to make them more open, which has been shown to help staff become more productive and collaborative. Breaking down the outdated and isolating cubicle environment will make your people feel more connected and engaged with one another and help them work together better than ever before.

Regular stand-up meetings and huddles will keep everyone motivated and on point when it comes to tasks. These meetings will also make sure everyone knows what is going on within the company, so people don't feel like there is an "us vs. them" culture where they are kept in the dark about important factors that affect them directly.

#3 Corporate Social Responsibility

As millennials and the younger end of the GenZ generation continue to fill out the global workforce, brands need to start to understand their needs. They are looking to work for companies which are not only able to engage with them in the ways described above, but which also share their values and ethics.

This provides companies with another great opportunity to engage with employees, while also boosting the company image and doing some good in the world.

Arrange team-building days where your teams can take the day away from their usual work. Carrying out beach cleans, litter removals, sorting out donations at your local charity, and more are all great ways to help your teams feel more engaged with both their employer and the community around them.

UK Communications provider EE does this, giving its contact center staff some much appreciated time off the phones to get out and do meaningful work in the community - including putting in a day's work at a local zoo - which has been shown to have a subsequent positive impact on customer satisfaction and net promoter scores.

Final Thoughts

These are just three hot employee engagement tactics to deploy at your company in 2020. Engaged employees are happier, more productive, and less likely to search for greener pastures, benefiting your business in multiple ways for a brighter future.


Employee engagement is set to be a hot topic at HR Retail 2020, taking place in April at the Hilton Austin, TX.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.