Employee engagement integral to weathering economic storm

by 23 Feb 2012

Companies that do not make employee engagement part of the daily business process risk losing productivity amid near-constant news of mass redundancies.

The latest research now demonstrates a clear link between engagement, productivity and profitability, and studies have indicated employers with an engagement score of 65% or greater achieve profit growth of almost four times that of other organisations.

According to a new report from workplace consultancy firm Aon Hewitt, companies must embed engagement into business practices, share accountability for change and focus on the basics if they are to remain competitive.

“With the recent and ongoing turbulence in the market, increased competition and almost daily news of redundancies and company shutdowns, it is important that companies make the most of the resources they have,” said Stephen Hickey, employee engagement practice lead, Aon Hewitt.

Organisations that are improving engagement do not necessarily have any secret tactics, extra time or smarter people – they are just more disciplined about implementation in these areas, Hickey added. The report identified so-called ‘non-negotiable’ practices as:

  1. 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 processes.
  2. Share accountability for change. More than 93% of companies which have improved employee engagement share accountability between senior leaders, people managers and HR, compared to 66% of organisations that have not improved. This shared accountability helps align the actions of these key influencers of employee engagement in a business.
  3. 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 improving engagement.


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