Engagement benchmark trends report 2017

  • Common drivers of engagement
  • Historical and industry comparisons
  • Impact of transition and organisational change.
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We’re delighted to publish this employee engagement benchmark trends report.

It’s heartening that so many companies now run an employee survey. However, for lots of them, it can still be a challenge to demonstrate the value in doing so. Results are analysed and understood, and actions are discussed. Yet, and particularly where scores appear ‘high’, knowing exactly how and where to act isn’t always clear.

Benchmarking survey results provides essential context and helps you to better understand high and low scores. It enables you to compare your scores internally, and externally against other organisations of a similar size, in the same industry or against top-performers.

In this report we share data, insights and analysis to give you an overview of the current state of employee engagement. Areas we look at include; the most common drivers of engagement, historical comparisons, differences across industries, and the impact of transition and organisational change. All findings are based on the ETS benchmark data.

This table shows a snapshot of how employee survey scores have fluctuated in recent years:

And here’s a summary of the employee engagement trend headlines:

1. Engagement scores are static (between 81% and 84%)

Some of the question scores for common key engagement drivers in our benchmark are pretty high. And, at an overall level, they’ve remained static during the last five years. This is no great surprise as research shows that, during times of change, such as with the current VUCA business landscape, engagement levels for employees who are engaged remain the same, and engagement levels for those who are disengaged typically decline. This is backed up by our finding of a decrease in ‘disagree’ but an increase in ‘strongly disagree’ survey responses over the same period.

2. Drop in employees’ belief in action post survey (60%)

The 10% fall in employees believing action will be taken following a survey is worrying. If employees feel it’s just a tick box exercise then a decline in the scores, and in survey response rates, is probable. It’s probably more likely to be the case, though, that employees did not hear about actions taken post survey, which leads to cynicism on their part.

3. Employees feeling challenged is up sharply (84%)

There has been a significant rise of 13% over the last five years for employees feeling challenged and motivated. This reflects the notion that higher uncertainty equals higher challenge. The good news is that employees who are engaged are typically more resilient and therefore relish challenge. It’s no wonder then that fostering greater resilience and a ‘growth mind-set’ is something more companies are looking to develop in teams.

4. Employees’ sense of belonging is down (76%)

Widespread organisational change, mergers and acquisitions could explain the 9% fall in ‘sense of belonging’ as this leads to detachment from the brand. However, given that job enjoyment and company pride were unaffected, this is likely to be only true for companies with multiple brands. A bigger factor could be the influence of the Millennial generation as they tend to move jobs more often. From an employer’s perspective, this shift means that encouraging a sense of belonging may soon become a less significant indicator of engagement. And, in turn, employees may increasingly no longer need to feel they belong, in order to be engaged.

To learn more, please download a PDF copy of the report using the link below (no cost or sign-up required). And if our team at ETS can help you further, either with benchmarking or any other aspect of employee engagement or surveys, please do let us know.

Download the full report .