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16 employee engagement trends that will shake up IT in 2016

Sharon Florentine | Feb. 4, 2016
Employee engagement will remain a top organizational concern this year. These 16 predictions for 2016 will help you better gauge the tech worker landscape.

5. Coworkers will play a vital role

Another major theme throughout TINYpulse's 2015 Employee Engagement report is the importance of an employee's peers. Peer relationships can make or break the workplace experience. "This is in line with our findings from previous years. In 2013, our data showed that the correlation of happiness with coworker rating was 23 percent higher than with direct supervisor rating. And in 2014, employees told us that peers are the number one reason they go the extra mile at work. In other words, the importance of peers for workplace happiness has been consistently high and will get even higher. Hiring the right people will be instrumental in the success of your existing employees," says Wang.

6. Watch for employees to manage 'sideways'

It's not just about managing upward or downward anymore. As employees embrace their personal accountability, we'll see an increase in managing "sideways," too, as workers push their peers to be the teammates they need. A potential cause for friction, yes, but with proper guidance from management, this can be a great opportunity for employees to play an active role in keeping themselves and their peers engaged and productive, according to the TINYpulse report.

7. Peer-to-peer recognition will grow

The percentage of employees giving peer recognition has grown over the past couple years, and in 2016 it will become the dominant form of employee recognition and appreciation, according to TINYpulse predictions. "The trend has been in place for some time: Our 2013 report showed that, when offered a simple tool to do so, 36 percent of all workers will provide peer recognition on an ongoing basis. Our 2014 report showed that, when offered a simple tool to do so, 44 percent of all workers will provide peer recognition on an ongoing basis. This points to a need for organizations to support employees in making one another feel valued. They're a rich resource for workforce appreciation that's just waiting to be tapped," Wang says.

8. Watch out for a new hidden turnover risk

The job market recovery and declining unemployment rate will uncover a new attrition risk: the "middle of the pack" employees who are neither strongly engaged nor terribly disengaged. The low commitment level of these workers may not have been an issue when it was an "employers' market" and alternate job options were scarce. "As more opportunities open up, these workers will more easily drift away. To avoid scrambling for replacements, companies must get ahead of the trend and save those whose engagement can be saved -- and let go of those who can't," Wang says.

9. Minimum wage increases will be a win for companies


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