The World of Engagement Research
A critical element of Enterprise Engagement involves studying the diverse audiences and specific engagement levers that need to be addressed in order to understand the facts behind certain key assumptions. Research plays a major role in that effort. For those looking for benchmarks to measure their engagement efforts against, ammunition to convince corporate leaders or board members that engagement is a topic of critical importance, ROI data to justify program costs – whatever your needs, you’ll hopefully find a stat, study or survey here that will help you reach your goal.
ESM regularly features new research and will update this page with highlights from the latest posts.
Quick Jumps to content
Engaged Employees and the Bottom Line
Operating income at companies with high levels of employee engagement improved 19.2%, while low-engagement companies reported a drop of 32.7%. Net income for high-engagement companies advanced 13.2%, while the low-engagement companies saw a decline of 3.8%. High-engagement companies had EPS growth of 27.8%, while companies with low employee engagement reported an 11.2% decline. [Read More]
‘Attachment’ Levels Between Employers and Employees on the Rise
According to the latest Randstad Employee Attachment Index, 78% of respondents report feeling inspired to do their best at work; 76% are proud to work for their companies; and 66% enjoy going to work every day. Likewise, researchers found that employee volatility is down, with 60% reporting they would not give consideration to or accept a new job offer in the next six months. [Read More]
Older Workers Most Engaged
A research study by the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College examined work experiences of employees, finding that those 40 years old and older are the most engaged and demonstrate the highest level of organizational commitment, and that those 50 years old and older are the most satisfied with their jobs. The Generations of Talent study is one of few to assess the effects of country, age, and career stage among employees worldwide. [Read More]
Engaged Workers See Glass as Half-Full
A Gallup study reports that employees who are in engaged in their work and workplace are twice as likely to report their organization is hiring new workers as those who are actively disengaged. On the other hand, workers who are emotionally disconnected from their work and workplace are far more likely to report their organization is letting people go than those who are engaged. These findings are from a special Gallup Daily tracking series conducted January through June 2011 to thoroughly explore American workers' engagement levels. [Read More]
The Meaning of Employee Engagement
Published by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Valtera execs William H. Macey and Benjamin Schneider’s The Meaning of Employee Engagement is one of the first scholarly papers to discuss the “conceptual framework” of employee engagement in all its various forms and facets, providing a solid knowledge base for those looking to better understand the term and its history. [Read More]
Engagement Affects Employee Attitude, Perceptions
Engaged employees are better equipped to handle workplace relationships, stress and change, according to a Gallup Management Journal survey. When respondents were asked how they would characterize their interactions with their coworkers, 86% of engaged employees said their interactions were always positive or mostly positive, vs. 72% of unengaged workers and just 45% of actively disengaged workers. [Read More]
Block the Exits or Start Building Employee Loyalty
Two out of every three of your employees are likely to be heading for the exits and new jobs when the U.S. economy turns around, says this research report from ITAGroup. Three ways to quickly turn the situation around are: 1) Build transparency within your organization, 2) Provide opportunities for growth, and 3) Reward employees for meeting or exceeding those expectations. [Read More]
Employee Engagement Rooted in Managers’ Leadership Skills
To drive higher levels of employee engagement, companies should work on improving the leadership skills of frontline managers, says a report from Aberdeen Group. According to Beyond Satisfaction: Engaging Employees to Retain Customers, more than half of best-in-class organizations provide training and tools to managers to help them better engage employees, and nearly all of the rest (45%) are planning to extend this type of training in the future. [Read More]
Study Links Engagement and Performance
In a study of 245 firefighters and their supervisors, researchers Bruce Louis Rich, Jeffrey A. LePine and Eean R. Crawford found that job engagement was a significant predictor of both task performance and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). This is especially significant because job engagement was tested for its effect on performance and OCB simultaneously with job involvement, job satisfaction, and intrinsic motivation. [Read More]
Engaged and Enabled Is Better
In a study by Hay Group, companies that effectively combine employee engagement and what researchers term “enablement” – essentially, putting them in the right roles and providing a supportive work environment – report significantly improved revenue growth, staff retention and employee performance. The top organizations in both engagement and enablement achieved revenue growth 4.5 times greater than their industry peers who ranked lowest in the study. Similarly, companies that both engage and enable employees demonstrate a total reduction in voluntary turnover of 54% vs. 40% with engaged employees. [Read More]
In a report entitled Turbocharging Employee Engagement, Towers Watson researchers examined the three main drivers of recognition by managers – inclusiveness, communication and trust. Each factor has important aspects that can power up or power down the effect of recognition on employee engagement. This “virtuous circle” represents one of management’s most potent tools for focusing employees on what matters to the enterprise and reinforcing the behaviors that contribute most directly to strategic success. [Read More]
Engaging ‘Virtual’ Employees
At their Fourth Annual Think Tank, the Forum for People Performance Management & Measurement examined the challenges of building relationships between a company and virtual workers who may feel disenfranchised due to geography or cultural barriers. Key findings:
- Engaging remote employees must be a strategic part of a bigger virtual employee management practice endorsed by top organizational leaders.
- Formal policies and programs for virtual employees enhance the performance and quality of the work experience.
- Leaders need to actively work on integrating virtual employees into the organizational culture.
The Top Drivers of Employee Engagement
Human capital management firm Sodexo’s 2012 Workplace Trends Report combines insight from clients, academia, principal research and leading facilities management and human resource trade organizations. Some highlights:
- Employees are looking to organizations for tools and resources to help them simplify their lives, stay healthy and balanced, and bring their “whole self” to work as these continue to be top drivers of engagement.
- Employee engagement, productivity, brand image and loyalty continue to be relevant measures of success.
- Employees perceive the level of attention given to “soft” benefits such as wellness programs, on-site dining and gyms as a direct reflection on senior leadership and, more importantly, their level of engagement.
The Engagement/Wellness Connection
Research carried out in conjunction with Aon Hewitt’s Best Employers in Canada study shows a link between highly engaged employees and improved health and overall well-being. Those working at high-engagement organizations reported better physical health: 56% vs. 47% for employees at organizations with moderate engagement and 41% with low-engagement. Job stress levels were lower, too. Only 28% of employees at high-engagement locations reported high job stress, as opposed to 33% at moderate-engagement firms and 39% of those at low-engagement companies. [Read More]
Engaged Workers Less Stressed by Commuting
Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index data confirms that a lengthy trek to work hampers the mood of many employees. The good news is that workers who are engaged in their work and workplace appear to be buffered from some of the effects of long commutes. The percentage of actively disengaged workers who report a lot of stress and worry in their lives without a lot of happiness and enjoyment increases from 15.5% for those with short commutes to 27.1% for those with long commutes. In contrast, engaged workers’ low worry and stress levels do not change significantly, regardless of commute time. [Read More]
Behaviors that Drive Engagement
The extent to which managers provide guidance, feedback and the appropriate level of autonomy for staff is key to whether employees go the extra mile for their organization, suggests research for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). The central role of managers in boosting individual and organizational performance is well recognized, but managers need more specific, tried-and-tested guidance on what they can do on a day-to-day basis to fulfill this key role. [Read More]
Want Better Revenue Growth? Engage Your Workforce!
Research by CLC-Genesee and its parent, the Corporate Executive Board, shows that the potential outcomes of a highly engaged workforce include:
- 3-year revenue growth of 20.1% compared to an industry average of 8.9%
- Higher stock price over a period of 3 years compared to a sample of 500 leading companies
- Three times higher EBITA growth as compared to industry average.
Engagement Program Returns $2 for Every Dollar Spent
The Enterprise Engagement Alliance measured the return on investment (ROI) of an annual meeting of healthcare insurance brokers that stressed training, relationship-building and networking opportunities found the sponsoring company enjoyed a return of almost $2 for every $1 invested in the program. Parts 1 and 2 of the study, The ‘ROI in Channel Partner’ Conferences – A Case Study, can be downloaded at www.enterpriseengagement.org
Engagement Linked to Economic Recovery
A report from the Enterprise Engagement Alliance and the Human Capital Institute, The Economics of Engagement, provides a comprehensive analysis of research in the field of Enterprise Engagement and offers how-to information on benchmarking tools that can quantitatively measure the benefits of employee and customer engagement. These measurement tools are critical to demonstrate the bottom-line impact of enterprise engagement, both to corporations and to the economy as a whole, using financial language that senior executives, investors and economists are accustomed to. [Read More]
Using Rewards & Recognition Results In Higher Revenues
Organizations that implement non-cash reward and recognition programs have annual revenue increases averaging of 9.6% vs. just 3% for all other companies – more than three times higher. A study by the Aberdeen Group, distributed by the IRF, underscores the importance of rewards and recognition as a vital compensation component and outlines the competitive advantage companies gain when they go outside their organization for assistance in designing and implementing such programs. [Read More]
Higher Engagement Can Lead to Increased Performance, Profits
A global study by Hay Group found that while companies focused on engagement during the recession have been successful, harnessing and channeling that motivation is critical to delivering superior financial results, customer satisfaction and employee performance. The study found that despite current economic conditions, more than 75% of these organizations realized improvements in survey scores. By emphasizing employee engagement factors, these companies have been able to increase organizational commitment levels and employee satisfaction with job roles. [Read More]
Engagement – The New Competitive Advantage
Engagement as the new battleground for business is the subject of a new white paper published jointly by Peppers & Rogers Group and Allegiance. Engagement: The New Competitive Advantage provides readers with an enhanced understanding of engagement, a recognition of why it is so critical today, a realization that it can be measured and managed, knowledge of what drives it, and an appreciation of its multi-faceted impact on the business. [Read More]
7 Steps to Measure and Build Engagement
Many organizations successfully design questionnaires that generate high participation rates and gather a lot of good information. But where survey processes most commonly break down is in the hand off between a survey team and line managers. This Hay Group white paper offers seven recommendations for increasing the commitment and support of line managers throughout the organization to an employee engagement survey process. [Read More]
Take Action on Engagement Survey Results!
Results from BlessingWhite’s 2011 Employee Engagement Report show that companies planning an employee survey better be ready for some meaningful follow-up. If you ask for an opinion and then are seen not to act upon it, you may lose employees’ trust. The good news is that Survey + Action = More Engaged Employees. Nearly half (47%) of all employees who said their organization conducted a survey and demonstrated visible actions at the organization or department level are fully engaged. This finding was consistent across all regions and organization sizes. [Read More]
Employee Engagement Critical to Business Success
A survey conducted by Mercer with over 160 members of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that 78% believe employee engagement is important or extremely important to their organization in the current economic and business climate. However, only 45% of respondents report that their organization is actually attempting to measure it. The most common forms of measurement are surveys (85%), focus groups (42%) and management interviews (25%). Researchers say businesses that don’t research employee engagement often make the wrong choices concerning benefits and HR policy, and that it’s essential that leaders take employee engagement seriously. [Read More]
Adding Engagement to ‘Brand Architecture’
This white paper by EGR International posits that “Brand Architecture” is an essential process in all marketing, as it provides the framework for establishing an organization’s personality and unique selling proposition. In today’s world, the most effective Brand Architecture incorporates key elements of engagement: how people directly or indirectly interface with customers; how vendors affect employees and customers; how the organization affects the community; and vice versa. These inter-connections can have profound and lasting effects on the way an organization puts its Brand Architecture into action. [Read More]
Engagement and Loyalty
The Maritz white paper A New Paradigm for Loyalty Marketing: Building Loyalty Along the ‘Earn, Burn, Yearn’ Continuum notes that just as advertising has evolved to address multiple consumer segments, loyalty marketing’s approach must also adapt to multiple customer personas. Research shows that there’s much more going on in the minds of consumers these days, and marketers who expand the opportunities for consumers to interact with their brand will increase the likelihood of loyalty-driven behavior. [Read More]
Examining the Engagement/Performance Equation
A recent study by Aberdeen Group surveyed 438 organizations in 2011, examining strategies, tools and processes designed to improve engagement and performance in order to understand which are the most effective. The subsequent report offers recommendations on how organizations can use these findings to improve employee retention, leadership bench strength, customer satisfaction and profitable growth. There is a charge for the full report. [Read More]
Social Networking Sites Key to Engagement
More than three-quarters of students say social networking sites are key to employers engaging them, and nearly half say social media is ideal for conveying an employer brand, according to a report by TMP Worldwide and TARGETjobs. A full 80% believe organizations active on websites like Facebook and Twitter are working hard to engage their target market. However, respondents were clear that employers should not exploit social media, with 70% noting they wouldn’t want businesses using such sites to “sell” jobs. [Read More]
More Engagement Stats and Studies…
Gallup research indicates that public organizations ranking in the top quartile of employee engagement had EPS growth more than two-and-a-half times greater than organizations that were below average. (Gallup Management Journal survey, 1/12/06)
Sirota Survey Intelligence found that when managers become disengaged, their employees are over three times as likely to be disengaged; 12% less likely to stay; 13% less likely to be innovative; and 33% more likely to be frustrated with the company’s systems and processes. (Sirota, ‘The Enthusiastic Employee,’ 2009)
A recent BlessingWhite study found that there’s a clear correlation between engagement and retention, with 85% of engaged employees indicating that they plan to stay with their employer for at least the next 10 months. (BlessingWhite State of Engagement 2008 report, April/May 2008)
Data from Best Buy show that stores where employee engagement increased by a tenth of a point (on a five-point scale) experienced a $100,000 increase in annual sales. (CFO magazine, ‘Measuring Up,’ 6/26/07)
JC Penney has found that store with top-quartile engagement scores generate roughly 10% more in sales per square foot than average and 36% more operating income than similar-sized stores in the lowest quartile. (JC Penney 8-K SEC Filing, 4/17/07)
A Manpower survey of call center customers and employees revealed that centers with high employee satisfaction also have high customer satisfaction, whereas centers with low employee satisfaction have low customer satisfaction. (Manpower/SQM Group survey, September 2006)
A report by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates that by strengthening engagement, MolsonCoors saved more than $1.7 million in one year (SHRM ‘Employee Engagement and Commitment,’ 2006)
Gallup research has also shown that engaged employees are more productive, profitable, safer, create stronger customer relationships and stay longer with their company than less engaged employees. (Gallup Management Journal survey, 1/12/06)