The Employee Engagement Survey elicited responses across diverse industries including manufacturing, finance, retail, healthcare, and government. Key findings that emerged from the study include that many enterprises are still over-reliant on limited-reach legacy communications to share information with employees, that engagement still remains unmeasured in many organizations, and that most organizations have plans to implement initiatives to improve the employee experience in 2018.
StaffConnect’s Employee Engagement Survey focused on 11 questions related to each organization’s current experience of employee engagement and their engagement-related plans for the future.
One surprise in the 2018 survey results is that many HR and Communications Departments—and even the C-suite—remain behind the times when it comes to appreciating and investing in new and innovative technologies to create competitive -advantage and achieve corporate goals. While the majority of today’s enterprise organizations appreciate and invest in mobile technologies and other innovative tools for these purposes, a very large percentage of study respondents indicated that they are still relying on email and newsletters to reach their entire workforce—both frontline and non-desk employees—despite the availability of mobile platforms that could more effectively and efficiently achieve these goals.
Without the proper mobile tools, NDEs and even front-line staff may be unable to receive the information needed to do their jobs. When remote staff and/or desk employees are unable to receive communications in a timely manner (or can’t access them at all), the likely result is that a growing percentage of an organization’s workforce will feel isolated, frustrated, and neglected—in short, not part of the team. This leads to a vicious cycle of lower employee engagement, dissatisfied employees, decreased productivity and customer service, dissatisfied customers which all impact the bottom-line.
The Employee Engagement Survey reinforces why the topic of employee engagement must be elevated to a top leadership issue across today’s most forward-thinking and successful organizations. To avoid the negative outcomes of low engagement—including lower revenue and profits—it is critical that today’s HR and Communications leaders, as well as C-level executives, define their employee engagement strategy and the role it plays as part of the overall employee experience and understands its impact on the organization. With this information, they can then align this to the goals of the business and procure the right mobile engagement platform and measurement methodology to help management continuously identify and refine areas related to engagement that need improvement.
The top three findings of the survey revealed that:
- Enterprise organizations are still relying primarily on email (77.94%), intranet (52.94%), newsletters (48.53%), and/or print/mailers (20.59%) to communicate with employees. Less than 2% are taking advantage of the opportunity to leverage new and innovative technologies currently available on the market, such as mobile apps.
- When it comes to measuring levels of employee engagement over time, the success of employee engagement programs is either not being measured at all (26.47%), or measurement is being limited by use of:
- Antiquated measurement tools
- Paper-based surveys (73.53%)
- Employee suggestion schemes (39.71%)
- Reward programs (20.59%)
- Insufficient indicators:
- Decreased absenteeism/employee turnover rates (35.29%)
- Increased productivity (29.41%)
- Increased profitability (23.53%)
- Antiquated measurement tools
- An overwhelming number of enterprise organizations are planning to improve their employees’ experience in 2018 (74.24%), while unfortunately a small percentage had no plans to do so (25.76%).
The study also highlighted that many organizations have a significant proportion of non-desk employees (NDEs). Over one-third of respondents (37.50%) indicated that they have 50% or more of their workforce in non-desk positions. Remote employee job positions were found across a wide range of industries and included roles such as field sales and delivery drivers to customer support and retail. These distributed workforces face increased challenges of effectively communicating across teams, which is a key part of creating and maintaining high engagement levels.
Less than one-third of respondents (32.35%) said that more than 75% of their workforce would recommend working for their organization. Nearly 30% indicated that half or fewer of their employees would make this recommendation, revealing that many employers can significantly improve their employees’ experience and job satisfaction levels.
While the vast majority of respondents do plan to attempt improving their workers’ experience in 2018, about one-quarter (25.76%) have no plans to do so. When comparing this finding to respondents’ answers on the tools used to gather employee feedback and how management measures the success of engagement programs, it’s clear that organizations may fall short in their desire to boost engagement if they don’t employ the right internal communication tools and measurement methodologies. Perhaps reflecting this reality, around 20% of respondents admitted that their company’s ranking on Glassdoor is below 2.5.