Hot topics

The future of engagement

28 Sep 2016 by  Gerhard Diedericks

This hot topic is part of the Aon Hewitt Employee Engagement Series.

It's estimated that up to 84% of market value is made up of intangible capital, with an organisation's workforce representing the biggest potential for growth, profitability and reduced risk (Source: Aon's People Fuel Growth report). The evidence is also clear that employee engagement is critical in order to realise the latent potential in your people. Aon's research indicates that a 5% increase in engagement, on average, results in 3% incremental revenue growth. Top quartile engagement companies experience a 4% increase in operating margin. The evidence is compelling and with this in mind a burning question arises:


If people – and employee engagement in particular – are so important to growth, why have so few organisations cracked the people and engagement puzzle?

Technology may be the key to unlocking employee engagement

Engagement is a complex issue driven by many factors, but we believe a significant contributor to the people and engagement dilemma organisations face has to do with how engagement is measured, the insights which are generated and the actions that are taken as a result of these insights.

With the continued digitisation of the work experience there are significant opportunities to leverage technology and data to approach employee engagement in a new way, allowing organisations to improve insight, engagement and overall performance.

What role will technology play?

We believe that the emergence and growing capabilities of technology will influence organisations in five potential ways:

  1. A full view of the people experience: Organisations will be able to develop a full view of engagement and performance across the people lifecycle. This could provide greater visibility and insights around areas such as the effectiveness of the recruitment process or how successful the induction and onboarding process may have been at creating engagement.

  2. Continuous listening: With the traditional 'big annual survey' only providing a gauge of engagement at a set point in time, the move towards a continuous listening approach will allow for employee sentiment to be monitored and evaluated more regularly and proactively. This constant dialogue will provide greater opportunity to act on insights and make decisions in a more timely and relevant manner.

  3. Integrated and predictive insights: Integrating and analysing disparate data sources (such as talent data, customer data, performance and financial data) allows organisations to create deeper and more robust insights into how performance through people may be realised.

  4. Empowering leaders: As reporting platforms become more user-friendly and effective, predictive algorithms will be at the fingertips of managers and leaders throughout the organisation, providing them with easy access to insights and patterns of engagement which were not previously available.

  5. Timely action and decision-making: Increasingly, managers will have the data and insights made available to them that allows for evidence-based action. With this, the need for expertise diminishes as managers have opportunities to act on relevant, real-time evidence.

Learn more

Our Employee Engagement Hot Topic Series provides insights and best practices about the latest developments in employee engagement strategies, including how you can leverage the latest technology advancements, predictive analytics and continuous listening approaches to empower your leaders and as a result, positively influence engagement and performance.

Start a conversation with us

Advances in technology are creating a unique opportunity for employers to implement engagement measurement strategies that improve their ability to engage, motivate and develop their people. Contact us to learn more about the tools and techniques available to your organisation.

Gerhard Diedericks

Gerhard has more than 15 years of experience in supporting organisations such as Telstra, NAB, ANZ, Barclays and BHP Billiton to better execute strategy through people. He believes that talent analytics represents the next big opportunity for organisations to unlock value and execute strategy through people.

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Denise Tzavaras
Gerhard Diedericks