Employee engagement is back on the up and up after years of decline, according to a new study from consultancy firm Aon Hewitt.
The consultancy’s 2012 Global Engagement report analysed the engagement trends of more than 3,100 organisations representing 9.7 million employees worldwide.
It found that 58% of employees were engaged in 2011, up from 56% in 2010.
Three key areas of improvement stood out:
Effective leadership at the business unit/division level rose from 54% in 2010 to 61%
People/HR practices creating a positive work environment rose from 47% to 53%
Perceiving relationships with customers as rewarding was up 5% from 70% to 75%
Less good news came in other areas however:
Effective communication was down from 46% in 2010 to 42%
Innovation was down 3% from 55% to 52%
Workplace safety and security fell 3% from 78% to 75%
There were geographical variants to be taken into account as well. Engagement rose most in the Asia Pacific region, from 55% to 58% and also slightly increased in Europe, but remained the same in North America and declined slightly in Latin America. Based on the findings, Aon Hewitt offer up a number of key tips on how to maximise return on investment in employee engagement.
Career opportunities: Organisations must communicate clear career paths, prepare employees for the next role and provide lateral growth opportunities for key employees.
Recognition: Recognising the extra effort employees have given in a tough business climate by providing feedback and positive reinforcement will pay dividends — and it often comes at no cost to the organisation.
Organisational reputation: People want to be part of a respected and winning team. European and North American employees are more concerned about their company’s reputation and what it stands for in the market versus recognition.
Communication: Effective and engaging communication resonates with employees in rationally, emotionally and behaviorally relevant ways.