What does 2019 hold for the world of employee engagement? Our predictions for the year ahead

With 2018 drawing to close the time has almost come for us to kick back and enjoy the festivities with friends and family, but not before the team give you their predictions for what they think you can expect from the employee engagement world in 2019!


A shift towards the personalised employee experience

“Successful businesses are ramping up their use of personalised marketing techniques to create a positive customer experience, tailoring messages and recommendations for individual consumers. Organisations need to treat employees like consumers and use personalisation to create a positive employee experience. Everyone has their own experience of work and faces unique challenges. Next year we expect to see a greater shift towards the personalised employee experience, in order to tackle key issues such as retention and productivity. Rather than focusing on company-wide challenges, organisations will look to improve the employee experience by focusing on the individual and tailoring support to meet their specific needs.”

Lauren Rolfe, Customer Success Manager, WeThrive


HR Teams becoming more commercial

“Having spent the last four years working with senior HR professionals I noticed a very strong shift to demonstrating ROI in the second half of 2018. 70%+ of HRDs were coming to me with specific business issues – low sales/productivity or retention issues in certain hotspots. They were looking for specific solutions to these challenges – rather than the generic top down engagement strategies or training.”

“For 2019 with the added pressures of Brexit, automation and a shrinking pool of talent I believe HRDs are going to have to develop a much stronger commercial focus. With budgets tightening CEOs and boards are going to be looking hard for the evidence that HR is delivering real bottom value.”

Andrew Heath, CEO, WeThrive

Employee engagement will finally evolve

“We’ve seen it happening over the past 12 months, more organisations realising that the one-off ‘tick the box’ annual survey owned and run by HR is no longer a viable option for truly engaging with people. In 2019 the listening cycle will increase, certainly with more frequent surveys. However we will also move to more employee experience based activities with the annual survey acting as the overall health check, and additional targeted surveys based on employee factors such as time of service (onboarding surveys), change in roles (promotions) and change in teams (organisational re-structures) acting as regular temperature checks within organisations.”

Richard Adams, COO, WeThrive

Making sure systems support a joined up people strategy

“With so many systems to manage their people many HR teams (and employees) are finding themselves snow blinded by the multitude of platforms and touch points they can have with their employer. For HR it produces a constant challenge of keeping everything up to date – for staff it can cause bewilderment and confusion.”

“My second prediction for 2019 is that systems will start to get connected around the uber objective of the people strategy. People in organisations need to be quickly signposted to the most relevant and useful things they need when they need them. We are working with our clients to sign post managers to their own learning content and resources from our WeCoach action plans – helping make sure valuable content in the LMS is not sat gathering dust.”

“This is just one example of unifying the tools – you cannot pull apart the component parts of the human being – therefore the systems that support them need to be connected too.”

Andrew Heath, CEO, WeThrive

AI is on the rise, but beware…

As technology accelerates and the employee engagement and experience providers team up with AI and robotics labs, expect to hear a great deal more about how machine intelligence will transform the whole engagement and experience space. But it’s important to remember that, as I previously mentioned, we should use AI and robotics only in the service of human bio-psycho-social needs, and resist any temptation to make life more ‘efficient’ at their expense.

Piers Bishop, Co-founder and Business Psychologist, WeThrive



Join us for our Future of Employee Engagement 2019 webinar

Next year we’ll be launching our inaugural Future of Employee Engagement Report and it all kicks off with a webinar on 31st January. Join business psychologist, Piers Bishop, and diversity champion as they provide analysis on what 2019 holds for HR professionals striving for success in their employee engagement strategies.

Register for webinar