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Bonusly Research Reveals Key Drivers of Employee Engagement

Data shows key drivers of engagement include peer recognition, transparency in the workplace, a fun workplace, and open discussions about anxiety and stress

Bonusly, an engaging recognition and rewards solution that connects teams and enriches company culture, released research data on a variety of issues facing employees during the multiple crises of 2020 — identifying peer recognition, a fun workplace, and open discussions about anxiety and stress in the workplace as key drivers of employee engagement.

The survey of 1,261 full-time and part-time employees, conducted last month, identified four key themes that employers should consider addressing to help employees feel more engaged: the importance of fostering a human connection, the need to address anxieties, embracing peer recognition, and adapting to the needs of employees.

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Some key findings from the survey:

  • Highly engaged employees are 2.6 times more likely to work in organizations with a peer employee recognition program compared with disengaged employees.
  • Highly engaged employees are also 2.1 times more likely to work for a transparent organization than disengaged employees.
  • 90% of highly engaged employees say they work on a fun team compared with 37% of disengaged employees.
  • Employees are 3.2 times more likely to be engaged when teams encourage open discussion about anxiety and stress at work.
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“Our research data clearly shows how important it is for business and HR leaders to embrace a human connection with their people that demonstrates open, transparent communications about employee struggles as well as celebrating contributions big or small,” said Raphael Crawford-Marks, Bonusly founder and CEO. “Many of the things that are working amid the multiple crises in 2020 are things we believe have always led to more engaged employees, such as meaningful peer recognition and fostering a work environment that is more humanizing and fun.”

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Anxiety was a dominant theme for many employees who responded to the survey, revealing that 60% of disengaged employees reported often being anxious at work compared with 38% of highly engaged employees who reported being anxious. At the same time, respondents reported feeling overwhelmed — rising significantly from 20% in a similar study by Bonusly in 2019 to 34% in the survey conducted last month. While recognition was a stronger driver for engaged employees, simple things like supporting employees’ needs paid off. For example, engaged employees being 2.6 times more likely to work at organizations where their remote experience was well supported.

The good news: Only 6% of respondents said they lacked confidence in their organization’s response to the pandemic.

“The effects of the pandemic, racial unrest, the economic downturn, and even political anxieties are putting a lot of pressure on leaders to step up and support the well-being of their people,” Crawford-Marks said. “What that means is being flexible, adapting to employee needs, and creating open, transparent cultures where we can rally together and recognize the value that each employee brings to their teams.”

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