Employee engagement is an important factor in retaining top talent in your company’s
workforce. It is also important when it comes to recruiting skilled employees. The recent global recession had a negative impact on many businesses, with challenges when it came to human resources. Many companies were forced to downsize their staff. Now that the economy is recovering from the recession, businesses want to get back to “normal.” Research shows, however, that getting back to normal could be difficult.
Assessing employee engagement
As the economy picks up speed again, companies are trying to recruit and retain the critical
human assets that they need in order to build their businesses. As long as the recovery
continues to move slowly, however, there is still a considerable pressure on keeping costs
down. In addition, employee engagement is currently at a very low level, with research
showing that the recession caused significant downward movement. This combination of
factors means it could be challenging for companies to recruit the people they need.
Overall drop in employee engagement
Over a three year period from 2008 to 2010, the overall rating for employee engagement globally dropped from 60 percent to 56 percent. This was the biggest drop in at least 15 years, and it left employee engagement at the lowest levels ever. There is some evidence that this is starting to recover, however scores still remain low, especially in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Employee engagement is becoming a subject of revision. Why are companies failing to keep their staff motivated? First of all, we live in a busy society in which people are in a hurry. We don’t have time for anything, wages are low, and there’s nothing to persuade us to work. That being said, organizations will never boost productivity. Company owners should act now! They should consult with their HR departments, find the weak link, and fix the problem. Otherwise, their businesses won’t move further.
Here are some employee engagement trends enterprise, company, small business and
organization should review.
- Lower perception of business unit leadership – This score is one of the key indicators of employee engagement, and it measures how employees think about the leaders of their divisions or business units. This does not include the CEO and top executives. In 2009, the rating for this category was 68 percent favorable, but the recession resulted in a major drop to 54 percent.
- Lower perception of top leaders – This score shows the perception employees have about the CEO and the senior executive team. This category also showed a sharp decline, decreasing from 58 percent favorable to 51 percent.
- Lower perception of HR practices – This category shows whether employees in a company think that the organization’s formal Human Resources policies, and the company’s informal practices, combine to create a generally positive environment in the workplace. In this area, the ratings dropped from 57 percent favorable to just 47 percent.
- Lower organization reputation – Another key factor in employee engagement, this category shows whether employees think that people outside the company perceive this as a good place to work or not. This is important when it comes to recruiting new mployees to the company. The scores in this category dropped from 58 percent to 53 percent.
- Less effective communication – This category covers the employees’ perceptions that the company is effective at communicating at alllevels throughout the organization. This includes whether employees feel that they have all of the information they need in order to do their jobs effectively. Scores here dropped from 53 percent positive to 46 percent.
It is obvious that the challenges faced by businesses during the recession, and the downsizing which was required during that period, have impacted employee engagement. It is uncertain how quickly these scores can recover. Nonetheless, companies should revise their strategies and methods to retain employees. Money is not the only important incentive people want. Flexibility, a pleasant work environment, challenging activities, and workshops are also
Allow your employees to socialize. Create open work spaces, encourage daily brainstorming sessions, and do whatever is necessary to boost productivity. Make your employees happy and they’ll work with enthusiasm and drive, two attributes that can help your business get to the top.
This is a guest post by Christopher Austin and PeopleInsight.co.uk!