ORC International’s sixth annual Global Perspectives Survey shows a step change in results from 2014. Engagement at the global level has improved and now sits at 61%. Perceptions of many aspects of the employee experience have also improved, and this is replicated across most countries surveyed. But with a more mobile talent market – reflected in the decline in ‘stay’ scores – organisations cannot become complacent.
Engagement is being driven by organisational issues this year: how effectively employees perceive their organisation to be managed and how supportive they feel organisational policies are. Emotional factors are also influencing levels of engagement with ‘feeling valued’ remaining a key factor, and job security and wellbeing becoming proportionally more important.
The enhanced engagement measures – creative engagement, sustainable engagement and inclusive engagement – assess how responsive organisations are to evolving workplace challenges. This year’s survey results showed some improvements at the global level for the innovation index (up five points to 54%) and the diversity index (up four points to 63%) but the wellbeing index has remained fairly stable at 56%. That perceptions of innovation and diversity have improved is encouraging yet with only just over half rating innovation positively, it questions how responsive to change organisations really are. But it is a concern to see perceptions of wellbeing stagnate, particularly considering how crucial it is for engagement.
With an evolving workplace certain people challenges are becoming proportionally more important and our report discusses these in detail.
Perceptions of leadership have improved this year, yet leadership development remains a major challenge for organisations globally. Employees demand still greater authenticity from their leaders, seek more collaboration and need to be inspired by those that manage and lead them. It’s clear that leadership must step up to the mark and demonstrate its agility in the face of change.
The multi-generation workplace is the new norm, but the survey highlighted significant differences in perceptions between how the youngest and oldest employees feel about their employee experience. It seems the differing needs of each generation are not being met. With baby boomers likely to remain in work for some time to come, and the newest generation, ‘Z’, looking to join the workforce soon, organisations need to gain clarity on what motivates and engages different employee profiles.
Serving customers is the driving factor behind most jobs. Whereas this can be a strong motivator for those on the front line, our survey found that employees further removed from the end user are far less engaged. Our research has shown that connecting all employees with organisational objectives, particularly those objectives relating to the customer, is a powerful way to imbed that motivation across the organisation.
2015 has brought with it a more positive economic outlook than we’ve had for some time. But, combined with an ever evolving, technologically advanced world and a workplace full of competing needs, organisations have possibly never had so much to deal with. Understanding the story behind the employee survey data (the demographic differences, the drivers of engagement and the links between employee perceptions and organisational outcomes) will help to put our challenges into perspective and provide tangible solutions to global workplace issues.
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