In the face of challenging market forces and economic conditions, organisations that prioritise employee engagement can weather changes more smoothly and improve their financial performance, Aon Hewitt research shows.
This year’s Best Employers research and accreditation program involved 120 organisations and more than 70,000 employees. It found the differentiating practices of Best Employers can be categorised into four critical talent management priorities.
1. Employee engagement
Specific measures of employee engagement are significantly higher among the 16 Best Employers than other organisations participating in the study, the report shows.
Some 86 per cent of employees at Best Employers say they tell others “great things” about working at their organisation (compared to 65% at other employers), and 72 per cent say they rarely think about leaving to work somewhere else (compared to 52%).
Further, 83 per cent of employees at accredited organisations say their employer inspires them to do their best work everyday (compared to 60%).
At Best Employers, 39 per cent of employees are “highly engaged” (compared to 20%), and only six per cent are “actively disengaged” (compared to 17%). Best Employers also maintain consistently high levels of employee engagement, regardless of age group, with engagement levels only varying from 82 per cent (35-44 years of age) to 86 per cent (45-54 years of age).
At other employers, however, engagement dips as low as 59 per cent among employees aged 25 to 34 years, and the highest level recorded is 69 per cent, among workers aged 55 years or more.
According to Aon Hewitt partner Stephen Hickey, “the key is to communicate clearly and constantly through times of change and to understand the drivers of engagement within each segment of the workforce”.
“For example, the myth that it is almost impossible to engage young workers is just that, a myth. Best Employers are able to maintain high levels of employee engagement regardless of age group by understanding that there isn’t a one size fits all solution, and targeting different age groups differently.”
He adds, “Best Employers understand that high employee engagement is not just an end in itself, it actually leads to higher sales growth, revenue growth and operating margins”.
2. Committed leadership
Best employers have engaged and effective leaders that consistently display six critical leadership behaviours, the study found.
At these organisations, senior leaders:
- communicate openly and honestly (according to 79% of employees, versus 52% of workers in other companies)
- treat employees as the organisation’s most valued asset (70% v. 44%)
- are visible and accessible (83% v. 53%)
- excite employees about the future of the organisation (75% v. 44%)
- provide clear direction for the future (81% v. 52%)
- make good business decisions (82% v. 54%).
3. Performance culture
According to the research, Best Employers consistently support high performance in six key ways.
They are much more likely than other organisations to support employees’ learning and development (80% compared to 55%), and offer excellent career opportunities to strong performers (73% compared to 45%).
Their performance management processes enable workers to contribute as much as possible (76% compared to 46%), managers set clear expectations (81% compared to 61%), and employees perceive they are appropriate recognised beyond their pay for their contributions (70$ compared to 44%).
Best Employers are also much more likely to share their financial success with employees (66% compared to 37%).
4. Differentiated employer brand
When it comes to employer branding, Best Employers are much more likely to deliver on employment promises and have a good reputation among both their employees and the external market.
Some 91 per cent of employees in accredited organisations say they are proud to be a part of it, and 84 per cent can clearly distinguish the employment experience from other organisations (compared to 71% and 57% respectively).
Further, 77 per cent of employees in accredited organisations say their employer is considered one of the best places to work for someone with their skills (compared to 46%) and 87 per cent say it has an excellent reputation in its community (compared to 59%).
Source: HR Daily
First published: 29 May 2014