Guest blog post by FHRD Member, Deloitte Malta

How would you reply if I asked what drives employee engagement at your workplace? Is it recognition, incentives or maybe growth opportunities? If yes, then you might want to realign and update your thoughts. According to a recent Deloitte survey, less than 20% of those surveyed across all ages were driven by such factors. On the other hand, engaging work and opportunities for progression are the current prevailing engagers across all ages, most noticeably among Generation Z and Millennial respondents, who ranked them as their top two.

Companies who are at the forefront of the employee engagement mantra are already responding to this shift by introducing innovative approaches such as:

* Offering support in gaining access to low-cost or complimentary education financial assistance, thus acquiring recognised certifications in fields outside than those required by the employer.
* Utilising internal talent to manage the workforce and relocate resources internally.
* Looking at introducing skill-based education within the organisation.

The latest Global Human Capital Trends report by Deloitte highlights how employee engagement is fuelled by giving employees more control over what is expected from them at the workplace. This concept, also referred to as self-determination, is a combination of three aspects quite known within Human Capital circles: independence, skill, and relatedness.

Today, employees want to be in control, be able to display and grow their talents, and remain connected with those around them. Furthermore, employees with a deeper sense of self-determination are more likely to want to make a difference in their work environment by mentoring a co-worker, developing a new skill, or taking on a challenging task.

Some might argue that self-determination fuels individualism and goes against what we have been thought for years on teams and how their effect on productivity. While this might be the case, it is today proven that allowing employees to select what they do, when they do it, with whom they work, as well as what they learn develops an engaged, successful, and cohesive workforce.

Today more than ever, HR professionals need to shift the emphasis from workforce development to human development by providing the tools and assistance leading towards the person’s comprehensive transformation, not just their version at work. It is up to the organisation to provide the proper engagement vehicle through technology-enabled relationships and let employees drive their own engagement.

Author’s Bio

Noel Debono is an accomplished HR professional with a proven track record in shaping HR strategies. His expertise has driven the successful completion of HR technology implementations, employee engagement programs, learning and development initiatives, workforce optimisation, and succession planning.

With over 16 years of experience occupying significant HR roles across different industries, Noel shares his accumulated knowledge and experience with organisations who are keen to develop a future-proof and people centric HR strategy. His actions are guided by a deep understanding of HR’s adaptability across different sectors, a belief in continuous development and the importance of building relationships based on mutual trust and ethical behaviour.

Noel is a board member at FHRD and a certified Business Coach.

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