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Sometimes it’s helpful to step back and look at the big picture. That’s certainly true where employee engagement is concerned. As you think about your company’s own engagement standards—and think of ways to improve them—why not pause to consider what employee engagement looks like overall?

Here are a few significant trends that I’ve found to be noteworthy—the big picture of employee engagement.

Employee Engagement is Getting Better—Slowly but Surely

We’ll start with some happy news: According to the most recent Gallup data on employee engagement, about 33 percent of the workforce is engaged. That probably sounds like a low number. Actually, it’s a big improvement over the past few years.

What this says to me is that it’s capable for organizations to learn, to evolve, to improve—in short, to better accommodate people. As awareness about employee engagement has grown, companies have stepped up to change things. And they’re making progress, slowly but surely.

Technology Plays a Big Role

I can tell you anecdotally that a number of the businesses I’ve consulted with now implement HR software to quantify and track employee engagement—including surveys, 360-degree feedback programs, and more.

And indeed, a number of big companies—including Microsoft and GE—have adopted similar technologies for aiding employee engagement.

The bottom line? If you’re ready to get serious about engaging your employees, there are tools available to help you automate, streamline, and measure your efforts.

Flexibility is a Hot Commodity

An important question to ask: How can employers increase their engagement numbers? One important employee engagement trend is flexibility. It costs businesses nothing—or very little—yet many employees say it’s a top factor in their own workplace engagement.

What am I talking about when I mention flexibility? Work-from-home opportunities, flex time, and paid family leave are just some of the factors you might consider here.

Analytics are the Future

One final employee engagement trend to note: HR departments that invest in data and analytics are really reaping some rewards. In fact, the right data can help you identify key trends in productivity, performance, retention, and even reasons why employee leave.

All of this can be useful as you seek ways to improve your workplace experience, and ultimately boost engagement.

These are just some of the 2017 employee engagement trends I’ve noticed. Consider what they might mean for your business, and what opportunities they suggest for keeping your own team more engaged!