How successful is your current employee engagement strategy?
Don’t have a strategy? Or, haven’t evaluated yours lately? Tch. Tch.
Just so we’re on the same page, here’s Aon Hewitt’s definition of employee engagement: “the level of an employee’s psychological investment in their organization.”
Why should you care how invested your employees are in your business or nonprofit organization?
No matter its size, your organization’s brand reputation and success depend on its employees. Recruiting and retaining top-notch people ensure it provides amazing internal (i.e. employee) and external customer experiences.
A new Aon Hewitt study – 2017 Trends in Global Employee Engagement – says that global employee engagement has declined. There’s good and bad news with this result.
The bad news:
According to the study, engagement has been affected by employee angst about the political climate.
Populist movements like those seen in the United Kingdom, the United States, and those taking hold in parts of Continental Europe have made discussions about erecting borders and walls more common. If realized, these moves will restrict the flow of labor between countries and change the economic rules of the game.”
In addition, rapid technology advances are making many jobs obsolete. Left unaddressed, study authors expect to see employee engagement decline even more.
Although North American engagement seems to be holding steady overall, all the other work experience metrics have declined in the U.S.
United States domestic and multinational business leaders will be challenged to adequately react to changes to the Affordable Care Act, regulations, international trade, and labor tariffs that all directly or indirectly impact pay, benefits, and job market competitiveness.”
The good news:
We are seeing tectonic shifts in the external political, social, and technological environment that tap into and potentially threaten employees’ basic needs for fairness, belonging, trust, advancement, and support. And the top engagement opportunities appear to directly reflect the criticality of meeting these basic employee needs.”
So, as business owners, managers, HR professionals, marketers, and/or senior leaders, you have the power to positively affect the outcome of these five Aon Hewitt engagement opportunities:
1. Rewards and Recognition
Employees are looking for pay fairness and transparency. Although it may be unrealistic for you to raise salaries now, study authors recommend that you understand real and perceived gaps of pay relative to traditional and nontraditional competitors.
2. Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
The EVP measures an organization’s ability to articulate and deliver on promises to employees. (It’s similar to a company’s brand promise.)
Engaged employees need to feel wanted – to belong. Think of the things you can do to make them feel part of “the family.”
*Read pages 94-95 of my book, Beyond Your Logo for “Tips on Achieving Internal Customer Centrism.”
3. Senior Leadership
The immediate manager may not impact or have control over many of the top engagement opportunities. Employees are looking to senior leaders “to point the way and make decisions for the future much more closely than before, especially during these times of intense change.”
4. Career Opportunities
5. Enabling Infrastructure
These drivers illustrate the importance of advancement and support, respectively, in a strong culture of engagement. Without these ingredients, talent stagnates, is frustrated, and eventually leaves or becomes complacent.”
In summary, your organization’s success depends on having a consistently strong and dependable brand. And, its brand is only as good as its people.
Do what it takes to respect, honor, and engage employees. You’d be amazed how much of this you can accomplish affordably.
The study’s “final thoughts” sum up this topic perfectly:
People create business value. That is an indisputable fact. This is illustrated by the fact
that a software company with 1,000 employees and few physical assets can be worth
billions of dollars. People are the intangibles.
People also are emotional and fickle. They want to be won over often. That is why
employee engagement can be an organization’s great differentiator in times of stability
or in times of rapid change. When you have a Culture of Engagement, your competitors
better take notice.”