Interpretation from Effectory International
A rough outline of the results of the Global Employee Engagement Index™ is presented below.
The Global Employee Engagement Index™ is a general interpretation of results that are compiled from a diverse population of employees. However, we see an upwards trend across all the results, which could be linked to a renewed trust in the economy. Interestingly, an engagement score of 7.2 (on a 10-point scale) is unexpectedly high for the era we live in.
Trust is key in these moderately rising results: there appears to be more trust in the economy, employees generally feel that their job is not as vulnerable as it was a year ago and that there is now more room for developing visions rather than merely surviving.
Interestingly, Europe and North America score high in different areas. Europeans score significantly higher on employee commitment, engagement and working atmosphere, whereas North Americans score higher on effectiveness, leadership and performance. Culturally, ‘achieving’ in North America is an important element of life, business is a way of expressing your performance. In Europe, however, it is not perceived as a good thing to express your achievements, and may even be considered boastful.
Looking at the Asian results, you might be intrigued by the relatively low scores compared to the global average and compared to North America and Europe. In Asia, the labour market is constantly in motion: working conditions in countries such as China and Taiwan are frequently in the news. This implies that the Chinese and Taiwanese are becoming more critical of their (foreign) employers. India is emerging as an important IT development market. Religion and culture clearly influence how people perceive their working environment. This is particularly true when you look closer at the results from the different countries, where you can read the cultural footprint, between the lines.
The differences in Europe are fascinating. Last year, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark have the highest scores on almost every element. In addition, Austria and Bulgaria are among the top 5 best scoring countries.
On the other hand, France, Spain, Italy, the Baltic States and Russia are the worst scoring countries. We see a correlation between the level of employee engagement within the organisation and the high scores in all the other areas. Once an employee is more committed to the actual tasks (or the team to which he/she belongs) than to the organisation as a whole, the gap between employer and employee increases. This results in lower satisfaction scores, less role clarity and a decreasing willingness to change.
Canada and the United States reflect the global norm. On most elements, the USA scores slightly higher than Canada except for employee commitment and employee retention. In the USA, much emphasis is placed on leadership and performance. More management books are published each day in the USA than anywhere else in the world. Even though good leadership is important for achieving high organisational performance, the American scores for employee engagement and motivation are not dramatically higher. This could result in over-emphasising leadership and forgetting about the individual who requires a certain level of attention, recognition, appreciation and a good work-life balance.
BRIC countries and South Africa
The fastest developing economies, also known as the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries, appear to be similar but the differences in employee experiences are massive. India, in particular, towers above every other country with an employee engagement score of 7.8. India also scores 7.8 for willingness to change and customer orientation. The only area in which India can improve is employee retention. Employers, make sure you engage and retain your highly engaged key staff in India!
Russia is very different. Although employees seem to understand what is expected of them, they do not show a very high level of loyalty and are not as motivated as other employees in the region. Compared to India, Russia also scores lower on employee retention, indicating that employees are less willing to stay at their organisations. However, the reason behind this is different from India. It seems that the power in India lies with employees, whereas in Russia the power lies with the employer.
In Brazil and China, retention is also a point of concern. In China, however, it seems that the gap between employer and employee is much bigger than in Brazil. Chinese employees have become more critical of their employers, which indicates that China is in a state of flux: the power is shifting from employer to employee.
In Brazil, it appears that people do not experience a huge gap between staff and the organisation they work for (‘the organisation’ is generally perceived as ‘senior management’). Brazilians are happy to change if needed, as long as the working atmosphere is good, it is clear why change is needed and what is expected of them. Brazilians are less likely to be absent and are motivated and engaged, and respond well to good leadership. Areas to watch are performance, effectiveness and productivity.
With a 4.6, South Africa has the lowest employee retention rate. This could be the result of a lack of loyalty, satisfaction, role clarity or efficiency. Interestingly, employees in South Africa show a high willingness to change, feel vital and are highly engaged. It seems that the South African workforce is prepared to go the extra mile, but the facilities, infrastructure and so on make it difficult to achieve excellent performance.
Global labour market scores versus Effectory International’s client benchmark
Effectory conducts more than 600 employee surveys each year for organisations in a variety of industries all over the world. If you compare the labour market scan to Effectory’s client benchmark, you can conclude that companies that conduct an Effectory survey score up to 1.7 points higher than the global norm.
The decision to conduct an employee survey has an immediate effect on your employees’ engagement, because you, the employer, indicate that you are prepared to listen.
It goes without saying that you need to ask the right questions to gather information that will be helpful to your organisation. More specifically, once you understand what drives your employees and what holds them back, you need to act on those results. You’re well on your way to a more productive organisation!