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How to supercharge your employee engagement and retention strategy in 2023

The UK is currently facing employment challenges that are set to become more acute in 2023 – impacting organisations, leaders, and employees. Fortunately, there are clever and creative ways events can help companies support their HR strategies and tackle challenges such as employee engagement and retention, to deliver on the expectations of all their stakeholders.

Keep ahead of employment challenges and employee expectations with four key event focuses: employee recognition, employee well-being, learning and development, and building human connection, to meet your employee engagement and retention goals.

Read time: 5-8 minutes

Key takeaways:

  • Discover 6 employment and employee expectation trends in 2023
  • Get the guidance on how events can help promote deeper connections, personal growth, well-being and more
  • Be inspired by case studies that help HR teams deliver their employee engagement and retention strategies

Employee engagement and retention trends in 2023

Companies the world over are anticipating a slowdown in hiring in 2023. For example, Google issued a company-wide memo to that effect in July 2022. As hiring slows, indications are that HR teams will ramp up their employee engagement and retention strategies.

According to research, opinions and forecasting by organisations such as Indeed, Glassdoor, Hays and HR Review, there are 5 distinct employment and employee expectation trends set to impact organisations and their HR strategies in the year ahead:

  1. The shortage of skilled, qualified employees active in the labour market will persist
  2. Employees will place an increasing emphasis on professional growth, learning, development and training opportunities
  3. Employee desire for flexible, hybrid and remote work, particularly for older workers and those with caring responsibilities will continue unabated
  4. Persistent demand for increasingly competitive compensation and benefits, particularly with a health and well-being emphasis, will remain strong
  5. Employee expectations for positive, meaningful changes to company culture, including diversity, equity and inclusion policies and practices and for clear, consistent communications will continue
  6. Staff will also be looking to their employees for well-being support, particularly in areas such as mental and financial well-being

Mike Walker, Managing Director, MGN events has been having conversations to this effect with customers and partners in the face of cost-of-living, employee engagement and retention concerns.

He says: “Our clients are already coming to us for guidance on how they can supercharge their employee engagement and retention strategies in 2023, all while keeping their HR budgets firmly in check. It’s a delicate balance. It’s going to be more important than ever for companies to keep their people engaged and to support their needs and concerns in the next 12 months.

“This is where our long-tenured expertise in delivering impactful engaging corporate events comes into its own. In the last few years, we’ve seen a tremendous rise in client interest in our interactive tech, digital platforms and data analytics services.

We’ve put into play communications and engagement tactics that generate interest and motivate people. And we’ve developed creative, relatable, and educational content. All our services also come with built-in scrupulous budget management.”

Employee engagement and retention: Solutions

Here, we outline 4 events solutions for HR leaders to support employee engagement and retention strategies. These solutions can help organisations get out in front of their employment challenges by inspiring, motivating and building trust and human connections with their people:

1. Events that promote employee recognition

With cost-of-living concerns being front of mind for employees and their families, they will be looking to improve their salaries in the face of rising costs and other inflation-related adjustments.

Even if organisations are looking to keep budgets fixed rather than making cost savings, the overall employee value proposition and employee recognition framework will need to be emphasised to help companies hold on to talented, skilled staff.

Attribute to leverage: Employer recognition

What to do: One way of doing this is by openly recognising employee accomplishments and promoting team recognition and rewards.

How events can support employee recognition: Holding a company-wide recognition event is a great way to show your people that their work is valued.

Events in action: Roll up, roll up – an entertaining reward for relentless hard work
Further reading: 11 surprising and meaningful employee recognition ideas

2. Events that encourage employee well-being

As employees’ grapple with uncertainty and financial pressures during volatile times, it is likely that they will turn to their employer for emotional well-being, mental health, and financial well-being support.

As with employee recognition, your organisation will need to consider ways to help make sure your employees feel valued and cared for. Employee well-being, performance and engagement and motivation are all closely linked.

Attribute to leverage: Health benefits and well-being communications

What to do: Encourage leaders to talk openly and honestly about their own concerns and health challenges. Help make employees aware of the mental health, financial health or emotional well-being offerings, support and services available to employees.

How events can support employee well-being: Consider company-wide or team events that focus on two-way open communications, benefits and support guidance and wellness activities such as breathwork, guided meditation or personal resiliency.

Events in action: A virtual global company conference delivered across multiple time zones

Further reading: 7 great ways to improve employee well-being at internal events

planning employee events - MGN EventsPlanning employee events mobile - MGN Events

3. Events that boost learning and development

With market-wide skills shortages and talent attrition a significant challenge for many employers, it’s only natural that organisations will place more emphasis on employees’ personal and professional growth and development.

Large-scale platforms to share learning and development programs and opportunities or more intimate team discussions about career coaching can help employees feel valued.

Attribute to leverage: Professional learning and development programs, future career opportunities and succession planning programs

What to do: Make sure that employees are aware of the programs and opportunities that are available to them. Provide employees with career coaching, involve them in conversations about their learning and development pathway or growth experience preferences and highlight your company’s equal opportunities policies and practices.

How events can support learning and development programs: Live conferences and in-person networking or online, virtual meet ups, coaching or skill-sharing opportunities. By providing a variety of event styles and sizes, organisations catering to employees’ differing learning and engagement styles, and supporting an inclusive culture.

Events in action: A corporate event at a ‘hole’ new level

Further reading: Boost Employee Event Engagement with Personalisation

4. Events that promote human connections

The behavioural science approach to employee engagement and retention strategies is gaining traction with HR and financial decision makers. The aim is to take the time to fully understand a workforce, their needs, and create an effective program to accommodate the needs and expectations of employees.

Building communications, collaboration and xx events from here can help you get the best possible value from an engagement program.

Attribute to leverage: Camaraderie, community support, collegial work environment

What to do: Make employees feel understood by helping them be themselves, and maintain their family, colleague, and community relationships.

Hold events and sessions for managers to engage with their teams and promote conversations on topics that are important to your people, such as inclusivity, recognising exclusive behaviours, learning and development, sharing feeling and developing empathy and cultural competency, and health and wellness related privacy and confidentiality.

How events can support human connections: Events that focus on inclusion, culture, authenticity and meeting employee needs, help build trust and transparency across the organisation.

Events in action: Engaging and inspiring event to explore and discus policies and practices

Further reading: 5 Tips for setting the right tone at your corporate event

Employee engagement and retention: How we can help

We recognise that employee engagement and retention can be challenging. We’re here to help whether companies are seeking to:

  • Promote innovation,
  • Build momentum in employee learning and development programs,
  • Offer employees leadership guidance, well-being support and clarity on company performance during volatile times,
  • Provide authentic ways for people to make their voices heard no matter where they’re located.

Events that boost employee engagement and retention

Get help creating successful corporate events that boost employee engagement and retention in our 5 step framework for event success. Get more inspiration for your next event or contact our team via the form below, on 01932 22 33 33 or by email at hello@mgnevents.co.uk.

Further reading:

6 Creative Event Ideas for Amazing Corporate Events
6 reasons companies should have a hybrid employee event strategy
7 great ways to improve employee well-being at internal events
The rising importance of employee experience in the workplace and the role of internal events


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