New Year Inspiration: Our 5 Favorite Ideas to Engage & Recognize Talent

By: Christina Zurek
collage of top 5 articles from 2021

The end of the year always leaves us feeling a combination of sentimentality, curiosity and optimism for what’s to come. And, while this year brought us the challenging reality of managing talent through “The Great Resignation,” those challenges spurred us to learn a lot about what we can do better.

Looking back over the content we’ve shared this year, five articles rose to the top that we felt compelled to share again. These articles’ trends and ideas reflect long-term changes to how we motivate and celebrate people and, in many cases, are even more relevant today than when we originally shared them.

So pour yourself a cup of coffee or cocoa, and dig in to the most important ideas we think you should carry with you into 2022.

1. Realizing Your Engagement Data Strategy

By mid-year 2022, employee experience programs will consume 20% of HR budgets, and 65% of companies will have a formal employee experience program in place. With this much investment on the line, companies need to do everything they can to get the most out of the programs and initiatives they’re offering.

Having a prescribed process ensures that no matter what metrics are chosen, data is processed through a consistent series of stages to help foster positive change. Check out our thoughts on how you can create a consistent, agile methodology to ensure ongoing, incremental improvement in your EX strategies.

2. 3 Tips for Engaging Employees Who Are Hard To Reach

Globally, just a fifth of workers do their jobs from behind a desk, which leaves roughly 2.7 billion people who are part of the deskless workforce. What’s more, a shocking 84% of deskless workers feel they don’t get adequate communications from their employers which makes you wonder how effectively they’re being recognized, motivated and celebrated, too.

These are workers in industries like retail, manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare and distribution. While it can seem difficult to engage workers in these diverse roles and work environments, there’s great opportunity to think outside the box to tailor strategies to increase relevancy, reception and ultimately, those employees’ connection to the organization. If your organization has deskless workers, look at these ideas to help improve the way you engage, recognize, motivate and celebrate them.

3. 4 Lessons My Kids Taught Me About Recognition Strategy

The importance of equity and fairness of recognition will continue to surge in 2022. And for good reason: in addition to it being the right thing to do, companies making rewards and recognition fair and equitable are more than 4x as likely to report outstanding business outcomes, more than 5x as likely to report outstanding people outcomes and more than 6x as likely to innovate and respond well to change. To refresh your recognition strategy and create a more inclusive offering, review the ideas we have on this important topic.

Related: Learn how we reignited the passion and belief of our employees using data to reimagine our recognition process.

4. How to Implement Skills Development Training Programs for Employees & Partners: Upskilling, Cross-Skilling, Reskilling

Not only is a skills development program perfect for tackling these real-world situations and individual improvement, skills development and training programs benefit the whole organization. It’s also shown to build a stronger employer brand, a deeper bench of talent and a wellspring of innovation over the long term to improve organizational performance, including increased sales and retention of employees and customers. And HR leaders know this, with 59% prioritizing building critical skills and competencies in 2022, the most highly prioritized initiative of all.

Take a look at the four steps for a successful skills development strategy, including practical examples of how we’ve partnered with organizations to execute on their skills development program.

5. The Employer of Choice Trifecta: Culture, Purpose & Employer Brand

Over the past two years, 44% of millennials and 49% of Gen Z said personal ethics have impacted who they work for and the type of work they do. People care about what their employer stands for, and they want to know that the message they’re pitched is true to reality—and that’s not just a younger worker trend—we’re seeing it across all age segments.

Read this article for tips to establish yourself as a great place to work by anchoring your employer brand promises to the messages you send through your culture.

Related: In our latest research project, we want to better understand how employee engagement has changed over the course of the pandemic as well as how much the changes matter—or don’t matter—when it comes to retaining talent. Check out this sneak peek at new research that uncovers how the pandemic impacted employee engagement.

Looking Ahead to What 2022 Holds for Employee Experience Programs

As we enter the new year, take a peek at some of the trends our employee engagement and recognition experts expect to take center stage in the coming year.

And, on behalf of all of us at ITA Group, we hope you have a very happy New Year.

Christina Zurek
Christina Zurek

Christina is an experienced leader with a passion for improving the employee experience, employee engagement and workplace culture. Few things excite her as much as an opportunity to try something unfamiliar (be that a project, development opportunity, travel destination, food, drink or otherwise), though digging in to a research project is a close second.