Emerging Employee Engagement Drivers Motivating Today’s Workforce

Today’s workforce is changing: One-in-three American workers are Millennials, and earlier this year they surpassed Generation X as the largest share making up the workforce. More importantly, this generation is doing things a bit differently. Workers today want to be coached by their managers, have flexible work hours, and want to work for an organization with values similar to their own. In other words, employee engagement drivers are evolving.

Understanding that employee needs are evolving alongside workforce demographics, so too are the employee engagement programs that keep employees motivated, productive and satisfied with their work.

To better understand the ever-changing state of employee engagement, we surveyed over 400 employees and mined six years of data to better understand the organizational and employee gaps in engagement programs to identify the essential employee engagement drivers.

This report is the fourth iteration of a series based on research compiled since 2009 conducted to assess how organizations engage employees. Brighter Planet, a leader in sustainability technology and research that disbanded in 2013, conducted the first two surveys in 2009 and 2011, and WeSpire continued the research beginning in 2014. We continue to be grateful for the opportunity to continue and build upon Brighter Planet’s foundational work. 

Our research has shown that over time, sustainability has evolved from being primarily focused on the environment to now including economic and social factors as well. This trend is not only reflected in academia, but also in the private sector. Many businesses include all three aspects of the triple bottom line in their sustainability reporting and, organizationally, we are seeing a trend in businesses dissolving their standalone sustainability departments. Instead, they are choosing to integrate sustainability professionals throughout all aspects of the organization, moving into more strategic and tactical roles. 

The first three surveys in the series focused specifically on purposeful work through actions relating to sustainability as a method of building employee engagement. However, changing market conditions and continued high rates of employee disengagement have added another layer of complexity.

With the problem of employee disengagement reaching critical levels, our research and report has been expanded to delve into the reasons why only one in five employees trust business leaders to tell the truth on difficult issues and 50% of employees would not recommend their employer to peers.

This year we have broadened the scope of the survey and research to include more direct and indirect employee engagement drivers, including the role of the manager, program transparency, and employee choice and collaboration. Download the 2015 State of Employee Engagement now.

Are you ready to build a better working world?