Towers Watson has just issued its latest Global Workforce Study. Limited information on the report is available at this time, including, but you can pre-register to receive the full report soon. Hay Group also issued a global employee engagement study showing that “depressed employee engagement stunts global business performance.” Much of this also aligns with findings from Globoforce’s Spring 2012 Workforce Mood Tracker of employee attitudes in the workplace today.
Across them all, these 3 themes continually bubble to the top, offering strong validation of the findings on a global basis.
1) Organizations with cultures that foster high engagement are vastly more profitable than those that don’t.
- Towers Watson reports: “Workforces with high sustainable engagement had one-year operating margins three times that of the companies with disengaged workforces.”
- Hay Group reports this in less concrete terms, noting: “Global firms’ performance continues to be stunted, with more than a third of employees across the world unwilling and unable to go the extra mile for their organization.”
- The Workforce Mood Tracker showed 78% of workers said they would work harder if their efforts were better recognized and appreciated (up from 69% last Fall). Think of all that effort (and resulting productivity and profitability) left on the table simply because employee efforts weren’t acknowledged as valuable and necessary to organization success.
2) Employees lack the support they need to be engaged.
- Hay Group shows employees across the globe are not properly supported at work – and are unable to perform to their full potential as a result. Fewer than two thirds of employees around the world (62 per cent) feel that conditions at work allow them to be as productive as they could be.
- Towers Watson discusses this idea in terms of “Sustainable Employee Engagement,” which requires “Energy” and “Enablement.” Key findings from their report show employees aren’t getting the training and upgraded systems they need to keep pace with rapidly changing technology at the same time cost pressures are continuing to increase, forcing employees to do more with less.
- The Workforce Mood Tracker found that 82% of employees said being recognized actually motivated them in their jobs (up 78% from Fall 2011).
3) Employee loyalty continues to plummet.
- Hay Group reports 44% of the global workforce intend to leave their employers within five years, with 21% heading for the door in less than two years.
- Towers Watson notes more broadly the impact of ongoing employee fears notes: “Employees broadly are anxious, worried about their futures and, at least in some parts of the world, risk-averse — arguably at the very time employers can least afford that trait. The result for employers is heightened performance risk — from lower productivity to higher inefficiency, to greater rates of absenteeism and turnover, to increased costs for chronic illnesses.”
- The Workforce Mood Tracker reported 55% of workers saying they would leave their current jobs for a company that clearly recognizes its employee efforts/contributions (up 10 percentage points since last Fall). In fact, 47% list lack of recognition or negative company culture as a reason for leaving their last company (up from 41% in Fall 2011).
Tomorrow I’ll write more on Towers Watson’s idea of Sustainable Engagement and what that means for employees. In the meantime, do you have the support you need to get your job done? If you had more resources, more guidance and more recognition, would you work harder?
About Derek Irvine
The VP of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their organizations. As a renowned speaker and co-author of "The Power of Thanks" and "Winning with a Culture of Recognition," he teaches companies how to use recognition to proactively manage company culture. Derek holds a B.Comm and Masters of Business Studies from the Smurfit Graduate Business School at University College Dublin.