Employee engagement was, for the purposes of the survey, defined as “the efforts and resulting successes of any given business to nurture and encourage worker loyalty and general wellbeing.” Employee engagement also aims to drive productivity and ensure company targets are met and values upheld.
According to the survey, CEOs who work to increase employee engagement are more likely to benefit in overall business success. To achieve optimum engagement, CEOs should aim to fulfill the three top drivers revealed by the survey:
- Take an interest in employees and leading by example;
- Work for a business with a reputation to be proud of; and
- Clear opportunities for employees to progress in the workplace.
Acknowledging these three survey takeaways will help CEOs increase employee engagement in their firm!
- The value of a good salary cannot be underestimated. The survey revealed that pay is still a key driver when it comes to engagement across the world and is a priority for millennials as a group. Further, paying well ensures employee engagement given that just one disengaged employee has the potential to cost a business in excess of $8,000 in profits each year, Aon says. Engaged staff members are more productive, offer higher standards of customer service, are more innovative in the solutions they provide and lead to the delivery of better products and services. There are also reduced costs due to lower rates of staff turnover.
- The employee value proposition (EVP) is currently breaking down. More people (67 percent) are reporting positive things about their employers and are striving for an increase in performance levels, but this does not necessarily make them more likely to remain with one particular organization. Nevertheless, speaking positively about the organization they work for is one of the three signs of an ‘engaged’ employee. The other two are an obvious desire to play an active role within an organization and a commitment to ensuring optimum business success.
- Clear opportunities for employees to progress in the workplace. The survey revealed, however, that there is still work for CEOs to do to increase the benefits of EVP if they want to improve staff retention in particular. Managers must offer opportunities for development, good governance and a culture in which staff want to work. And they must deliver on these promises to retain, attract and motivate the top talent in their industry. Employee lifecycle research can be important in this talent management process. CEOs should also take employee lifestyle choices into account.
In Practice – Working Examples
Forbes recently published a report on how employee engagement is assisting some of the world’s most successful companies in holding on to their workforces for the long-term and minimizing employee turnaround.
“Beyond salary, psychological and social fulfillment can determine which employees are motivated to stay, perform and contribute to organization success,” Forbes reported. “Companies that nail employee engagement understand that motivating high performance and aligning talent with business strategy requires getting to the heart of what matters to employees.”
Specific examples of success stories in employee engagement include:
- Google – World famous for providing employees with a work environment that’s more creative and innovation-driven than a typical office.
- DHL – The delivery company organizes an extraordinary array of events and recognition parties for staff on a regular basis.
- Dreamworks Animation – Personalized workstations, free smoothies and more result in a fiercely loyal and proud employee base.
Driving employee engagement represents an investment in its own right, but if that investment is successful in improving employee loyalty and retention, it can be translated into a return on the businesses’ long-term output, efficiency and profitability. The data presented in Aon’s survey highlights the importance of employee focus and clearly illustrates where and how CEOs should direct their HR department’s efforts. Above all other drivers of revenue and growth, nurturing the commitment and pride of any given workforce is clearly key in building strength, stability and ultimately an improved bottom line.
AON Study: Trends in Global Employee Engagement Study