Employee engagement only captures a small part of what ‘work’ means

The biggest driver of a positive employee experience at work is ‘meaningful’ work, claims a new survey. According to the findings of the latest edition of ‘The Employee Experience Index around the Globe’ survey from Globoforce’s WorkHuman Research Institute in partnership with IBM’s Smarter Workforce Institute – in the UK, meaningful work emerged as the single largest contributor (30 percent) 3 points above the global average. Meaningful work ensures that employees’ skills and talents are being fully utilized and there is greater alignment to shared, core values. The survey also notes a shift away from employee engagement, which only captures a small portion what ‘work’ means, towards employee experience. Experience is seen as being broader and more holistic – capturing the entire set of perceptions that employees have about their experiences at work, matching the higher expectations that employees bring to the workplace.

In order to enhance the employee experience, research found that organisations need to have effective leaders and managers who can provide a high level of clarity and direction, and focus on the human workplace practices that drive positive employee experiences.

Building upon a foundation of meaningful work, research suggests that a more positive employee experience can be inspired by combining and integrating employee workplace practices: enabling empowerment and voice (contributes 17 percent to employee experience), fostering a culture of recognition, feedback, and growth (contributes 16 percent to employee experience), supporting co-worker relationships (contributes 16 percent to employee experience), and building organisational trust (contributes 15 percent to employee experience).

The final driver of a more human workplace is work-life balance and opportunities to recharge and disconnect, which contributes 9 percent to employee experience.

The survey, which questioned 23,000 employees from diverse industries and a wide variety of organizations from around the world, found that the Employee Experience Index score for the UK is 64 percent, just below the European average (65 percent) and below the global average (69 percent).

A positive employee experience is best defined as an impactful and powerful – and ultimately human – experience, one in which employees become able, over time, to invest more of their entire selves into the workplace.

The research can be found here.