Is Your Company Getting Engaged?


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1/24/2018
Thomas Wessling, Chief Strategy Officer


Engaged employees drive innovation and profits

Annually, Willis Towers Watson’s Global Workforce Study provides a comprehensive view of the attitudes and concerns of roughly 32,000 workers around the world. The study details how employees’ views and values influence their behavior and ultimately their performance relative to the level of engagement with their employer.

A study this year shows a global workforce struggling with the impact of financial pressure and constant change. While variations exist across the regions, influenced by local economic and geopolitical conditions, employees broadly are concerned and anxious.

The data suggests we are reaching a tipping point in companies’ ability to sustain high engagement across their workforce. Globally, just over a third (35%) of employees are by definition highly engaged — a particularly disturbing fact given the strong relationship that exists between high levels of sustained engagement and company financial results.

With two-thirds of employees feeling unsupported, detached or completely disengaged, the study is a wake-up call for employers that continue to rely on practices and programs designed for an era that is rapidly disappearing. Below are just some of the key concerns that resonate worldwide:

• Technology continues to escalate the pace of change and alter the nature and structure of work itself, but the work environment and experience aren’t keeping pace.

• Cost pressures are intense and increasing in many parts of the world, putting even more pressure on already busy workers to do more with less.

• Companies continue to shift costs and risk to employees, especially in developed countries with high labor cost structures.

• Employees, even at entry levels, are showing more interest in security and express doubts about their future in terms of retirement preparedness, career growth and advancement, and the rewards available to them for their efforts on behalf of their employers.

• Employees everywhere are working more hours, taking less time off and experiencing higher levels of stress.

Exponentially engaged enterprises generate an operating margin 3x vs. low engagement enterprises.

Willis Towers Watson defines exponential engagement as:

o Relentless focus on the customer

o Emphasis on organizational efficiency

o A compelling brand or image

o A superior level of product/service quality

o A consistently exceptional level of innovation

So how do companies achieve exponential engagement?

Corporate cultures are constantly evolving. The sooner you take control of the levers that affect engagement, the sooner you can begin to reap the benefits.

Choose areas where progress is the most likely so you can begin to develop rapid positive momentum. Once the engagement flywheel is turning, new forms of engagement will come more easily.

Written by Thomas Wessling, Chief Strategy Officer, Augeo

Tom Wessling is an executive leader with a highly accomplished record of advising organizations on strategic engagement issues and solutions. He was the force behind the development of the “Ideas at Work” corporate innovation program. Tom has been a contributing editor to a college textbook now in its 5th edition, Sports Marketing: A Strategic Perspective, and a frequent guest lecturer at Georgia Tech, University of Dayton, as well as Northern Kentucky University’s MBA programs.