Are you on the right path?
Keeping your employees motivated, productive and engaged.
With economic volatility continuing in 2012, employee engagement is critical.
For large multinational employers
operating in multiple regions, a one-size-fits-all strategy for engagement across
the globe is not the solution. Employee
engagement drivers vary significantly
depending on the region in which an
"One thing is certain - employees
and their behaviour are at the centre
of business success or failure," says
Stephen Hickey, Employee Engagement
Practice Lead in Aon Hewitt. "Ensuring
that employees invest efforts in the
right behaviours and actions is critical in
delivering the business results needed in
conditions of recession, stagnation, or
A global perspective
Aon Hewitt's 2012 Global Engagement report found that 58 per cent of
employees were engaged in 2011, up
from 56 per cent in 2010. The report
provides insights and analysis into global
employee engagement trends over the
last three years.
With analysis drawn from employee
engagement trends of more than 3,100
organisations representing 9.7 million
employees worldwide - it is clear
that career opportunities, employee
recognition and an organisation's
reputation are top engagement drivers
around the globe. The time appears
right for a positive global shift when
it comes to emotional and intellectual
involvement in the workplace.
"Employees are at the core of an
organisation and their engagement
serves as a barometer of organisational
health," says Hickey.
By measuring employee engagement,
employers can create an engagement
improvement plan to address
employee motivation and behaviour,
leading to improved productivity, and
subsequently better business results.
Aon Hewitt recently released a report
entitled Your Pathway to Improving
Employee Engagement - providing
valuable insights into how clients can
improve employee engagement to drive
workforce performance and productivity.
Many Australian and New Zealand
organisations are being confronted
with the challenge of managing
organisational restructures, reducing
costs, market volatility and large-scale
"Despite these challenges, boards,
shareholders and other stakeholders
expect most organisations to develop
and deliver on growth targets," says Hickey. "Developing a highly
engaged and productive workforce
is paramount to delivering on these
The purpose of
Why does employee engagement
matter? When it comes to improving
engagement it is important to
understand the underlying benefits
to an organisation.
The pathway report indicates that
organisations that improve engagement
are increasingly building a workforce
prepared to contribute discretionary
effort and go above and beyond
the basic requirements of the job.
Organisations will benefit from having
a workforce with a strong sense of
purpose and pride - with increased
levels of motivation from employees
who are inspired to achieve their full
potential and capabilities.
There are clear business advantages in
improving engagement and becoming
an Aon Hewitt Best Employer - a leading
employer accreditation program. It's
important to note that Aon Hewitt
Best Employers on average have profit
growth almost four times that of other
When it comes to improving employee
engagement, the pathway report
emphasises that it is critical to focus on
the following three non-negotiables:
- Embed engagement into business
practices. Engagement improvement
plans must be aligned with the business
strategy and managed as an ongoing
activity, rather than a one-off standalone
initiative. Engaging people must be part
of everyday business.
- Share accountability for change. More than nine out of ten (93 per
cent) of those companies which
improved employee engagement share
responsibility for this between senior
leaders, people managers and HR,
compared with 66 per cent of other
organisations. This shared responsibility
helps align the actions of these key
influencers of employee engagement
in a business.
- Focus on the basics and good
communication. There is no substitute for
frequent, quality conversations between a
team member and their immediate manager.
Don't be over-reliant on HR systems, processes
and frameworks as the sole method for
A focus on improvement
"Our research has validated the linkage
between improving employee engagement and
performance," says Hickey. "Organisations who
are improving engagement do not necessarily
have any secret tactics, extra resources or
smarter people - they are just more disciplined
about implementation in these areas."