Recent research confirms beyond any doubt that a high level of employee engagement is not just a soft, ‘nice-to-have’ score, but is one of the greatest assets an organisation can have for building resilience and achieving corporate goals.
Companies with a highly engaged workforce can improve operating income by more than 19 percent over a period of 12 months and, in 2010, Gallup Consulting stated “workplace engagement may be a more important predictor of a firm’s economic health than earnings per share”.
Unfortunately, many Australian companies are underperforming when it comes to engaging their employees and this is leaving them vulnerable and far less effective than they could be.
A 2011 Gallup survey identified that 82 percent of Australian workers are not fully engaged in their current role. Of that group, 21 percent were actively disengaged and likely to be spreading negativity, adding to the absenteeism figures or contributing at a very low level (‘presenteeism’).
BlessingWhite research in 2011 also shows that 15 percent of employees in Australia and New Zealand are determined to leave their workplaces in the next 12 months. A greater proportion of employees considered to be high performers are planning their exit.
These figures are disastrous news for employers who are watching valuable talent walk out of the door, particularly at a time of skills shortage in many industries. They also highlight an opportunity for many organisations to improve their employee engagement strategies and their capacity to meet future challenges.