Open and honest communication boosts staff engagement levels 0

staff engagementEmployees who feel communication within their organisation is open and honest are nearly 15 times more likely to be engaged, and those who are encouraged to share ideas and opinions are 11 times more likely, claims a survey which suggests that staff want a more human experience, grounded in loyalty, recognition, respect, and honesty. Areas viewed as the best opportunities to differentiate in terms of staff engagement include above-average pay and benefits, a fun place to work, workplace flexibility, a strong fit with individual values, stimulating work, and a spirit of innovation. But according to results of the survey from Aon Hewitt what employees want in a workplace is not what they experience. And these gaps are having an impact on employees’ intent to stay. Of the 52 percent who would leave their current company for another job, 44 percent are actively looking. Opinions about what makes an employer stand out from other companies are similar across generations.

“Encouraged by low unemployment rates and frustrated with lackluster wage increases, many U.S. workers are looking for new and better jobs,” said Ray Baumruk, employee research leader at Aon Hewitt. “In many cases, employees are being selective about the kinds of companies they work for—favoring those that offer exceptional experiences and benefits that align with their personal values.”

Aon Hewitt’s Workforce Mindset study, which surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. employees, set out to explore the different characteristics that make an employee’s experience unique and different.

The top five workplace differentiators include:

  • Provides above average pay (62 percent)
  • Provides above average benefits (61 percent)
  • Is a fun place to work (58 percent)
  • Has a flexible work environment (57 percent)
  • Is a strong fit with my values (56 percent)

The research also shows a close link between employees’ employment experiences and their level of engagement. According to the survey data, employees who said their workplace communication is open and honest are nearly 15 times more likely to be engaged than other workers. Additionally, employees who feel encouraged to share ideas and opinions are nearly 11 times more likely to be engaged.

“Talent can create a competitive advantage for an organisation,” explained Baumruk. “To keep and attract the highest performers, employers need an authentic employee value proposition that sets them apart from competitors. Even more importantly, organisations must listen to their employees to understand and foster a culture where employees’ expectations and desires are closely aligned with the employment experience they offer.”