In Aon Hewitt’s 2013 Trends in Global Employee Engagement report, a grim portrait of the post-recession business world emerges. Right in the introduction, better employee engagement is cited as the solution to our current ills.
“Pay freezes, benefit cuts and layoffs are still at the forefront of many employees’ thinking. Additionally, the continued high rates of unemployment, lack of hiring, and extended hiring cycles for open positions create further stress and uncertainty for employees, making it more difficult to achieve or maintain healthy levels of engagement.
Striving to maintain a higher level of employee engagement not only contributes toward short-term survival during economic volatility, but also is a key factor for longer-term business performance and better positioning when market conditions become favorable. The companies that get engagement right can enjoy a surplus of competitive advantage in talent strategy and business results that is hard for others to replicate.”
Improvements in Overall Work Experience
The annual study of more than 2,500 organizations representing 3.8 million employees found that employee engagement levels rose to 60 percent in 2012, up from 58 percent in 2011 and 56 percent in 2010.
The way employees perceive their overall work experience also improved in 2012. Areas with the highest increases in employee perception scores were:
Engagement scores dropped in the areas of:
Engagement Varies By Region
The largest engagement increases were in Europe (improving 5 percentage points) and Latin America (improving 3 percentage points). In North America, engagement dropped slightly to 63 percent, the lowest score since 2008. Asia Pacific's engagement scores remained consistent with those from 2011.
|Engagement Levels By Region|
Engagement Varies By Level and Generation
Aon Hewitt's analysis showed differences in engagement levels by job level and generation. Not surprisingly, executives and senior managers were the most engaged (66 percent), followed by middle managers, team leaders and supervisors. Professional employees, such as engineers, lawyers and nurses, had the lowest level of engagement globally, with only around 55 percent being engaged.
Substantial differences in engagement by generation were also identified. Baby Boomers had the highest level of engagement, with 65 percent engaged, followed by Generation X (58 percent) and Millennials (55 percent).
How to Boost Your Team’s Engagement
It is well known that engagement drives performance and productivity, and as a leader, you are likely to experience the highest ROI if you take ownership of engagement and focus on improving the following drivers:
Have you seen an upturn – or downturn – in your team’s engagement over the last year? What do you think is the cause?