Employee Engagement – Today and Going Forward

Employee Engagement – Today and Going Forward

Oct 11, 2018 | Janne Myllymäki

In 2018 – globally – employee engagement matched its all-time high*. This record high result is driven largely from the biggest markets in Asia and Africa. Continental Europe also saw improvements in engagement, while the UK represented the biggest decline. Americas remain at the previous levels.

Based on Aon research*, the top engagement opportunities globally are:

  1. Rewards & Recognition
  2. Senior Leadership
  3. Career Opportunities
  4. Employee Value Proposition
  5. Enabling Infrastructure.

It can be said that “recognition for contributions (beyond pay and benefits)” was the key factor in putting Rewards & Recognition to the top, with “fair pay” providing a support role. While managers certainly play a role in their employees’ engagement, it can be seen that Senior Leadership has a continued presence as a top focus area. This speaks to the importance of agility and direction from leaders, especially in the current state of ever-present change in which many organizations find themselves.

Going forward companies with different kinds of overall results may need emphasize different matters. Companies with below-averaged engagement in need to improve their employee engagement significantly, need to focus on Enabling Infrastructure, Talent & Staffing, and Employee Value Proposition dimensions. Companies with average engagement need to improve the Talent & Staffing, Empowerment & Autonomy, and Senior Leadership dimensions. Companies with extraordinary engagement levels need to improve Talent & Staffing, Enabling Infrastructure, and Career Opportunities. 

With consideration of the above, a question arises: Where are you and what are you going to do about it?

Any way you look at it, the key factor in successful employee engagement is information; what kind of information do you deliver, when, how, and by whom. Based on Aon research**, it can be said that there is a strong correlation between employee perception of their rewards and benefits and their overall engagement levels. Employees who truly value their rewards and benefits, are five times more engaged in their workplace compared to only three times if their base pay only is seen as competitive. Therefore, organizations who take time to develop and maintain a consistent benefits program are most likely to see the advantages of increased employee engagement.

Every employer spends considerable amount of time and money in offering benefits to their employees in order to increase their engagement, and, hence, profitability. Main questions to ask are: 

  • Are the benefits understood by employees? 
  • What benefits do the employees actually value?

Effective communication of benefits must be at the cornerstone of the benefits strategy. For many organizations, this can be challenging due to the sheer volume of communications employees receive on a daily basis, along with other barriers such as remote working. Whilst each organization is different, best practice in communicating benefits program is two-fold. Firstly there needs to be a place where all information is stored. The key is for employees to know where to go when they want to find information. Secondly, it must be considered how information can be delivered to the employees when it is most relevant to them. 

Besides effective communication, employer should understand what employees actually value. Seeking feedback from employees and engaging them in the design and ongoing review of benefit program can increase relevancy. Organizations should not simply ask what employees want in the form of a shopping list. Best practice in this involves the use of small focus groups which allow organizations to gather more qualitative data and insights from employees. 

As a conclusion it can be said that mastering information is a key factor in any engagement opportunity.

A global team of communications professionals

If you want to see real business value from your benefits programme, you need personalised communications – tailored to people’s interests and culture. This is where we can help. We’ll help you find the best way to convey the true value of your benefits.

If you’d like to discuss more, feel free to contact our experts. 

Download the 2018 Employee Engagement Report

*Aon survey 2018 Trends in Global Employee Engagement
**Aon Hewitt Workforce Mindset Study


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