6 Employee Recognition and Engagement Trends for 2023

The past few years have accelerated the evolution of the workplace, catapulting us forward into a time where Zoom calls and hybrid work schedules are commonplace.

These shifts aren’t just trends either. The recent changes undergone by the modern workforce are here to stay, which puts companies in a prime position to rethink their engagement and recognition strategies. Looking ahead to 2023, the following employee recognition and engagement trends will continue to gain momentum making it more important than ever for companies to stay ahead of them.

Employee Retention

As “The Great Resignation” continues to linger, companies are finding it increasingly more difficult to attract and retain top talent. “Quiet quitting” has existed for some time, but not until recently was the term coined so succinctly. Simply put, “quiet quitting” is a lack of motivation to go the extra mile. Showing employees how much they are valued, recognizing their hard work, creating new challenges, and celebrating successes will help to create a foundation for a highly sought-after workplace where people want to stay.

Flexible, Remote & Hybrid Work

Flexible, remote, and hybrid schedules have changed the work dynamic over the past few years. During 2020, we saw employees everywhere adapt to the new challenges associated with working from home, and in 2021, the long-term realities of the hybrid work model started to become inevitable. Nowadays, we know these dynamics are here to stay, as companies continue to adapt their return-to-office plans to fit the changing paradigm. Offering flexible, hybrid and fully remote work schedule options has not only widened the talent pool for employers but is also a critical initiative for retaining top talent.

Productivity Paranoia

Making employees feel connected and valued in the new hybrid work environment presents new challenges. And not just for employees, either, but for leaders as well. According to Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index, “85% of leaders say the shift to hybrid work has made it challenging to have confidence that employees are being productive.” This “productivity paranoia” highlights the value of keeping an open line of communication, providing honest feedback regularly, and celebrating individual and team successes. It’s also an opportunity for companies to leverage their employee recognition and incentive programs, which can help to create alignment within the workforce and boost morale.

DEI & Sustainability

It’s more important than ever to employees that their companies are doing their part in contributing to the greater good of the people and the planet. To make true progress and to affect positive change within an organization, it takes more than supporting the DEI and sustainability efforts of others—it requires initiating efforts of your own. Though much progress has been made in recent years, companies still have a long way to go. Identifying DEI initiatives and exploring ongoing training methods are two ways employers can create inclusive work environments beyond hiring diverse talent.               

Employee Wellness & Wellbeing

Mental health has catapulted to the forefront of conversation in recent years and continues to be a priority for both companies and employees. In a professional sense, healthy behavior begets productivity and reduces burnout. On a personal level, when companies highlight the importance of wellness and wellbeing, it shows their employees they are committed to supporting them on a personal level. This comes in many forms including providing assistance with work-life integration, offering resources for mental health, subsidizing fitness memberships, expressing gratitude, and numerous other initiatives. In 2023, it will be imperative for companies to have programs in place to create a healthier work environment.

Employer Branding

Though much has changed in how employees experience the workplace, some things haven’t. Employer branding remains vital in making employees feel valued, motivated, and connected to their organization. Employee onboarding kits and company-branded swag are effective tools that deliver branded experiences showing appreciation for employees and helping deepen their connection to their company.

The Path Forward

The workplace evolution we’ve witnessed throughout the early 2020s has taken root and is poised to continue in 2023. This is an important time for companies to rethink their employee recognition and engagement strategies to keep their people feeling valued, supported, and inspired at work through changing times.

Sandy Dodge

Seattle WA | (206) 688-0723 | dodge.sandy@gmail.com

© Sandy Dodge, 2023