5 Unexpected Employee Engagement Survey Results

by Apr 30, 2018Employee Engagement Training

Unexpected Employee Engagement Survey Results
Every year we conduct employee engagement surveys that cross industries, company sizes and the globe.  Based upon surveying over half a million employees across more than 5,000 organizations, we encountered some unexpected employee engagement survey results this year.

Not Trends Yet, But…
The data may not yet describe genuine engagement trends but do provide warning signs that we should all take seriously.  Of the data we analyzed, we found the following five results to be the most surprising.  We list them here accompanied by some recommended steps on how to counter them and move the employee engagement needle in a more positive direction.

Five Unexpected Employee Engagement Survey Results

1. Poor Communication is Causing M&A Failures
We thought this problem would be decreasing. However, it seems that there are still some serious gaps in communication between employees involved in a merger or acquisition.  Though employers have learned that open and clear communication is essential to successfully bringing two companies together, they apparently are not actually practicing what they intellectually believe.

During a merger or acquisition, leaders need to work harder at opening discussions around:

  • Performance (set clear expectations)
  • Compensation (be fair and transparent)
  • Change management (explain why change is needed and present the future vision)

2. Employee Recognition Practices Are Still Unsatisfactory
Recognition of superior employee performance is still not happening enough. Is it because employee recognition is not being prioritized?  We’re not sure.  But we do know that only about one-third of companies use recognition software which could make the practice much easier.

And we do know that employee recognition should be higher on the list of manager responsibilities to their employees.

3. New Employees Need Different Incentives than Tenured Employees
It’s really just a matter of common sense but the data make it abundantly clear. While more recently hired employees want opportunities to grow professionally and develop a career, more tenured employees have a need to feel valued. You can’t just “shelve” an employee who’s experienced; you need to continue to show them how much they matter to the success of the organization.

4. Hourly Workers Have Different Motivators than Salaried Workers
This is not a surprise in and of itself…but the split may be. While most of the engagement drivers are the same, hourly employees value recognition whereas salaried employees value challenging jobs that allow them to learn and grow.  Make sure you keep this in mind as you thank your hourlies for jobs well done and offer your salaried workers more responsibility or status.

5. Non-profits Are Gaining on Other Companies
Non-profits typically rate low on the employee engagement scale compared to companies that are in it for profit. They still lag behind; but this year they showed a significant increase in their percentage of employees who are highly engaged.   Privately-owned companies need to make a greater effort to define how they make a positive difference in the world.

The Bottom Line
Employee engagement is an ongoing challenge.  Pay attention to these unexpected employee engagement survey results.  Do they signal warning signs that engagement is slipping at your company?

To learn more about improving employee engagement, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways Employees Want You to Boost Engagement.

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