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How awareness of workplace trends helps retain happy employees 

By Charlotte Boffey, UK Head of Services for Employment Hero

Let’s face it, so much of our day-to-day lives revolves around what’s happening on social media. Particularly when it comes to cultural themes and hot topics, which typically blossom from some sort of online trend. Workplace culture is no exception.

Especially with the financial challenges of 2023, young employees are turning to social media, and TikTok in particular, as an outlet to express their needs when it comes to work.

You may be familiar with some “trends” or buzzwords that originated on TikTok, such as ‘quiet quitting’ (engaging in only the minimum requirements of your job), ‘rage applying’ (applying to multiple jobs because you’re unsatisfied with your current one), or ‘career cushioning’ (pursuing new job opportunities while staying with your current employer).

These aren’t necessarily new concepts, but some of them are being labelled in a new way in the context of social media. People engage with content that’s relatable, so they turn to social platforms for stories, insight, and advice about how to maintain a happy work life, or seek new jobs that will give them one.

Trends on apps like TikTok come and go very quickly, but awareness of significant themes can help business leaders understand what employees want from their employer. There is no need to sacrifice company values to suit every need of an unsatisfied employee, but by demonstrating awareness, business leaders and HR can show how they are able to provide the working life that many people are seeking.

Here are just some of the ways you can show that you are listening to your employees and adapting to their needs. Although certain aspects of post-pandemic working life remain uncertain, we believe these themes are always worth prioritising as an employer regardless.

Champion learning and development opportunities

Demonstrating the value of professional development is an essential part of creating a high-performing team. By providing learning opportunities for your team within their roles, you can show that you not only care about company growth, but also the individual growth of each employee.

Setting up practices like training, workshops, goal-setting, and celebrating milestones will keep your employees engaged and remind them why the work they are doing is important for their own development. Everyone wants a job that allows them to grow personally and professionally, and an employer who shares those objectives.

Foster a healthy work/life balance– and lead by example

In addition to flexible working policies, encouraging a company culture with a healthy work/life balance is vital in retaining happy employees. It’s important to communicate to your employees, especially if you offer asynchronous working, that you do not expect them to be working long hours outside of those outlined in their contract. Encourage team members to turn off their notifications when the work day is done, don’t reward employees for working overtime on a regular basis, and refrain from contacting your team on their personal devices to help them feel that they can shut off at the end of the day.

Encourage constant communication and feedback

Happy employees are engaged employees, and engaged employees don’t often jump ship without warning. That said, even happy employees might have worries over job security. Scheduling regular meetings or 1:1s, providing coaching sessions, and asking your employees for feedback through engagement surveys are all essential for you as an employer to keep tabs on how your team is doing.

It’s important for business leaders, HR professionals and people managers to be aware of what the younger working generation are saying and doing on social media and how this is informing workplace culture. By prioritising the above initiatives, businesses can show they are listening to their workforce and taking their wants and needs into careful consideration – this is vitally important in attracting and retaining all employees.