July 22, 2016
Whether or not you raise an eyebrow every time you hear about the need for employee engagement, there is a growing body of research which links engagement to performance. A new report claims that 80 percent of UK employees who say they work for high performing organisations are engaged compared to only 20 percent of those working for low performing organisations. And 80 percent of employees who think their organisation is customer-centric are engaged. This is five times more than employees who don’t think their organisation is customer-centric (17 percent). The highest performing employees are twice as engaged as the lowest, the survey by ORC International suggests. The survey found that overall employee engagement in the UK remained steady at 58 percent his year but the trends show that personal and organisational performance make a difference to engagement.
Global Perspectives, the 7th annual global survey of over 8,000 employees across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific asked people how they feel about their employee experience and what really engages them. To help improve individual performance and give employees a more positive impression of their employer, the survey recommends ten things for organisations to work at:
1. Encouraging employees to be advocates of their organisation both as a place to work and as a provider of products and services. 51 percent of people in the UK think that the best way to find out what an organisation would be like as an employer would be to ask its employees. 66 percent of UK employees would recommend their employer’s products and services, only 55 percent would recommend their organisation as a place to work.
2. Being mindful: engaging and inspiring people in the here and now, rather than worrying unduly about the future. 48 percent of UK employees say they would move employer every few years to get the best career opportunities rather than staying in one company for a long period of time. In the UK, employee engagement declines with length of service.
3. Empowering leaders to be authentic, agile and connected. The UK is one of the least trusting regions: only 48 percent of employees in the UK say they trust and respect their leaders. The survey found leadership to have the highest statistical impact on employee engagement in the UK.
4. Delivering transformational communications that are passion-filled, consistent, open and two way. 30 percent of UK employees don’t think the communications they receive from their employer excite or inspire them. And only 46 percent of employees think the communications they receive are open, honest or help them do their job better. Positive perceptions of communication effectiveness declines down the organisational hierarchy from senior leaders to non-managerial employees.
5. Showing appreciation of employees’ efforts and treating each one fairly. 61 percent of UK employees feel valued for what they can offer their organisation and 72 percent think their organisation respects individual differences. But only 58 percent are confident their organisation would take appropriate action if they were to report unfair treatment.
6. Using learning and development to grow talent even if it isn’t going to stick around for the long term. Fewer UK employees believe they have opportunity for personal growth and development in their organisation (53 percent compared to 59 percent last year). 48 percent of employees would opt to move employer every few years in order to get the best career opportunities.
7. Showing employees that they care by publicly and unwaveringly placing safety ahead of cost or schedule. 56 percent of employees are confident their senior leaders would not place cost or schedule ahead of safety. This drops to only 51 percent of employees working within the public sector.
8. Embracing customer-centricity across their whole organisation. In the UK 47 percent of employees working in a non-customer-facing role are engaged, compared to 62 percent of employees that work directly with customers. If their organisation is perceived to be customer-centric employees, regardless of their role, are significantly more engaged.
9. Encouraging ideas, but expecting some of them to fail and learning from this. Fewer than half (49 percent ) of UK employees believe their organisation values creativity and innovation. And a quarter of employees don’t think their organisation recognises the role failure plays in innovation or that it learns from mistakes.
10. Supporting people’s health and wellbeing today to ensure they are sustainable tomorrow. UK organisations are getting worse at communicating what they offer in the way of health and wellbeing. A quarter of employees don’t think their organisation does a good job of this compared to a fifth a year ago. Consequently only 53 percent think their organisation cares about their health and wellbeing.
Said Sally Winston, Global Head of Employee Engagement ORC International: “An organisation’s people create its success. Whilst very few would say they wake up in the morning and decide, ‘I want to do a terrible job today’, most unfortunately don’t wake up thinking ‘fantastic, I can’t wait to get to work!’ The statistics show a strong and ever strengthening argument for engagement, but they also show that UK organisations are not getting that much better at engaging their people or working on the things that really matter. Our research has pinpointed the top ten priorities for organisations that want to drive performance improvement through their people’s contribution and create a winning workplace.”