Industry Insights

How Engaged are Employees Worldwide

Posted by Gyzel Pialat on Dec 7, 2021 12:00:00 PM

Two-thirds of companies say that it’s harder to keep employees than it is to hire them. Think about that for a moment. Two-thirds of businesses find it easy to find the talent, but don’t know how to keep them. Why is that? Engagement. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that a separate study found that only one-third of professionals feel engaged in their jobs.

The data is there to be interpreted. 

If we generalize that a third of any workforce is absolutely engaged and highly unlikely to leave, that leaves two-thirds that hang in the balance. The reasons for this are numerous, for example:

  • There’s a war for talent and employees might be lured away by a better offer
  • Businesses simply aren’t paying what employees believe themselves to be worth
  • There aren’t visible opportunities for workers to progress their careers
  • Employee enjoyment has plateaued and so they seek new challenges 
  • The job has become too stressful, unpleasant, or is managed by a superior whom they don’t get along with
  • The employee simply saw their employer as a stepping stone before they even started

We could go on and on with countless reasons why people fail to be engaged in their jobs, and that’s because it’s a large and diverse topic. 

In this article, we will look at the future drivers of engagement as a new generation of professionals enter the labor market, the importance of nurturing potential as a form of engagement, why a hybrid workplace may hold the key to success, and some of the statistics that you need to know as an HR professional. 

What Will Drive Employee Engagement in the Coming Decade?

Various talent management studies and research activities have come to eerily similar conclusions about engagement and expectations in the workplace. This is what they’re saying:

1. Flexibility is expected, and anything but flexibility puts long-term commitment in doubt

    1. Around 88% of job hunters prioritize the flexibility of their working hours and location
    2. 83% of workers think businesses will leverage flexibility as a hiring tool in the next decade
    3. 76% of job hunters will be happy to work a lower-paying job if it means they can spend more time with their family and pursue their interests
    4. Location will become less important over time and people will move away from the cities as remote work opportunities increase and improve

2. Employees will want to work on more diverse teams, rather than be surrounded by people who look, sound, and think just like them

    1. 86% of employees believe that a diverse workforce will become more important for meeting business requirements
    2. Interestingly, only 66% of HR directors agree!
    3. Most employees want transparent and accessible data about diversity and inclusion

3. Productivity will be measured in new ways

    1. Traditional metrics are outdated, as 86% of employees want to be measured on outcomes rather than output. In simpler terms, start measuring impact now
      1. HR directors are split, with half believing this increased trust would improve productivity and half thinking it would hinder it!
    2. Productivity results will also address things like potential and personal development

Training, Methodologies, and Approaches to Maximize Human Potential

So, what can businesses do to improve retention and engagement, whilst helping their teams to fulfill their potential?

1. Less stress - do your best

    1. Make jobs more fun and enjoyable by providing activities, exercises, and checks that make sure employees are suited to their tasks and that they gain intrinsic benefit from their work
    2. Go one step further and trial job rotation schemes that help employees or new recruits see how they might enjoy alternative positions - this can also be used as part of a cross-skilling strategy to great effect
    3. Give employees more freedom,, more autonomy, and simply lead them in the right direction regarding what is good for the business. Employees will be accountable to one another, rather than a power hierarchy, which makes them responsible, collaborative, confident, and able to initiate tasks that they’re good at and can be impactful with

2. Create an engagement manifesto for your business that intends to:

  1. Find the point where job responsibilities and personal interests overlap to get the most out of the workforce 
  2. Place more importance on employees and positive social change in the company’s mission and purpose to create a sense of alignment
  3. Explore how a job role connects to the business mission and how the person fulfilling that role is key to its success
  4. Reframing positions to create more engagement with the role and company statement, for example, an estate agent isn’t selling houses, they’re helping families to find happy homes. This is also known as ‘job crafting’ and can have a dramatic effect on finding the best talent and keeping them
  5. Create and fund internal networks and groups to help employees become part of a community. A hiking club, an LGBTQ society, parenting groups, the what is less relevant than the how. Delivering these groups brings people together through value alignment and makes their connection to the business greater than simply receiving a paycheck

3. Make time a reward

    1. It’s that simple. 
    2. People want more flexibility and an improved work-life balance, so take a look at the commission structure and award paid vacation or extra time off as part of the reward scheme
    3. Transitioning employees into remote work does not mean you can leverage their old commute times or take advantage of their lunch break. Time is time
    4. Find ways to make life easier and more convenient for employees
    5. Forbid out-of-hours emails and calls

The Emergence of the Hybrid Workplace Culture

We’ve spoken at length about the hybrid workplace culture, so we’re going to keep this section brief and encourage you to right-click and open new tabs on these two great resources:

The hybrid workplace solves a number of old issues - awful mornings and evenings sitting in a traffic-laden commute, being asked to work late and feeling uncomfortable saying no, missing sacred time with your family, prioritizing work over health because of antiquated rules that make personal appointments difficult to attend.

It was a minefield. Flexible and hybrid work solved this, for 83% of polled workers who argued that the new way is better. More than 50% said it’s either remote work or resignation for them personally. 

Here’s why hybrid work is just so great:

  1. It’s organized, intentional, relaxed, and based around efficient communication
  2. Everything is documented, recorded, and recognized
  3. Burnout is becoming a rarity as people get more sleep, mental health acknowledgment, and receive less micromanagement and external pressure
  4. More time for family, pets, exercise, cooking, and reading
  5. It forces a business to invest in technology, which conversely improves processes, efficiency, and systems
  6. Work in your pajamas if you want to

Global Employee Engagement Statistics

To finish, take a look at some of these stats...

Snarp’s employee engagement blog says:

  • More than a third of all employees are actively looking for a new job, with 47% of them claiming company culture is the main reason for wanting to leave and 33% citing boredom!
  • 69% of employees admit to not working hard because their efforts are never acknowledged, though another survey said only 37% of workers care about this
  • Higher employee engagement is proven to reflect higher profits (21%) and lower absenteeism (41%)
  • Losing an employee costs on average around $5,000 each time, due to the cost of hiring and onboarding a replacement
  • Only 29% of workers are happy with career advancement opportunities, considerably fewer than the 41% who indicated this as being vital to job satisfaction

This Forbes blog also presents some interesting stats, including:

Employee Engagement Forbes

  • 89% of HR leaders say that ongoing feedback directly relates to engagement outcomes
  • 96% of employees believe empathetic leaders and bosses directly affect retention numbers
  • 61% of workers are burned out and 31% report extreme stress levels
  • 89% of workers at companies with well-being initiatives are more likely to recommend the company (and stay there themselves)
  • 87% of workers expect their employers to help them manage their work and personal commitments

Want to find more stats? Check out these links:

Thank you for reading. 

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Topics: People Management

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