5 employee engagement stats that are raising HR managers’ eyebrows

Oliver · 05 Feb

MIT research shows that enterprises with a top-quartile employee experience achieve twice the innovation, double the customer satisfaction, and 25 percent higher profits than organisations with a bottom-quartile employee experience.

Wow - powerful stuff

Definitions of employee engagement vary, but three consistent characteristics include realising employee potential, sharing organisational goals, and promoting employee wellbeing. Organisations that tick all three boxes tend to perform better and grow faster.

Here are five eye-opening stats that our own 2018 study revealed:

1. Just 41% of employees feel aligned with their organisations’ goals

Although it’s disheartening to find that so few employees have bought into their organisations' visions, the silver lining is that only 13% said they didn’t want to become more aligned. HR’s duty is to enable this transition.

Goal alignment strengthens leadership and creates flexibility; with a mobilised team working towards shared objectives, businesses can execute strategy faster and with more agility. Achieving this means encouraging your workforce to think beyond their personal and team objectives, towards a wider company movement.

Checking in on your employees with surveys and polls can help keep everyone aligned. 

2. 36% of employees are likely to leave their jobs within one year

This figure increases with younger generations, with 49% of millennials identifying as likely to move company – or quit outright – within a year. Imagine the amount of time and resources that would go into replacing over a third of your entire workforce.

Although the study found that pay is the most important factor to lead an employee away from their organisation, it’ll be welcome news to HR managers that more budget-friendly initiatives such as engagement and career development programmes ranked highly as incentives to remain.

3. 59% of employees said a personalised benefits package would encourage them to stay at their companies

That’s right – six in 10 employees said that a personalised benefits package would either influence or highly influence their decision to remain at their companies, while a further 15% were on the fence.

Benefits packages can vary hugely. Google, for example, offers its employees bi-weekly massages, while learning allowances are popular among many organisations. Whatever the programme, it’s clear that competitive salaries are only one item in HR’s arsenal for earning their employees’ loyalty.

4. 23% of employees believe their management team contributes towards a negative environment

In other words, almost a quarter of the people who keep our businesses ticking over have fundamental issues with those in charge. The employee-manager relationship will always be prone to stresses and strains, but the way in which these problems are prepared for and addressed is rapidly changing.

If your company hasn’t undergone some form of management training, this study suggests it might be time to make the first move. In addition, frequent dialogue through feedback loops and both formal and informal conversations is a good way to devise a plan for addressing these latent frustrations.

5. Prior to accepting a new role, 46% of employees consider the benefits package on offer

Unless unknown and radical external influences transform the nature of work, payment will usually take precedence – but clearly that doesn’t mean it’s the only criteria. Employee benefits packages were ranked the second biggest consideration, followed by management styles and office culture.

Despite many compelling arguments against its very existence – or at least its practicality as a theory – work-life balance also ranked as hugely important to employees. In a world of Glassdoor reviews, organisations must not only be transparent, but also creative in how they attract and retain talent.