Reports & research

2018 Trends in Global Employee Engagement report

In 2016, as our world faced uncertain political and economic conditions, employee engagement levels suffered as a consequence. However, as companies dove into 2017 with greater focus and commitment to their employees, their efforts were rewarded. As has been revealed in the 2018 Trends in Global Employee Engagement report, employee engagement is back up again, at levels matching an all-time high. 

Looking into the drivers of this engagement, we can see that Rewards & Recognition is the leading determining factor, closely followed by Senior Leadership, Career & Development, Employee Value Proposition and Enabling Infrastructure.

Perhaps most surprisingly, this year’s results also showcased the overwhelming importance of “the future.” Today, employees are looking for more exposure to senior leadership and strategy, so they can feel a part of their organisation’s roadmap. They are also looking to strengthen the skills and knowledge they need to drive their own – and their company’s – success. 

The 2018 Trends in Global Employee Engagement Study

Aon Hewitt’s 2018 Trends in Global Employee Engagement Study measures employee engagement by analysing data from more than 1,000 organisations across the globe from more than 60 industries. Companies ranged in size from 100 employees to the most complex international organisations.

This year, 65% of employees fall into the “Highly” or “Moderately” Engaged categories in the survey, which is a 2-point increase from the previous year across each of the three engagement measures which have been indexed.

These measures include:

  • If they Say positive things about their organisation and act as advocates
  • If they intend to Stay at their organisation for a long time
  • If they are motivated to Strive to give their best efforts to help their organisation succeed.

As all good managers know, it’s not enough to just be aware of engagement levels, nor is it sufficient to only know how the different aspects of the employee experience have shifted in the past year. To truly accelerate engagement, organisations need to identify the focus areas that have the greatest opportunity to impact their employees’ desire to Say, Stay and Strive, which is outlined in the report. 

For the second year running, the Rewards & Recognition dimension is the strongest driver of engagement, which runs contrary to the conventional wisdom that pay 
is a “hygiene” factor, but is not important for driving engagement. However, this year we do see an important nuance. Rather than “fair pay” being the main factor behind Rewards & Recognition’s appearance as a top engagement factor, this year, “recognition for contributions (beyond pay and benefits)” was the key element that moved Rewards & Recognition to the top. What’s more, while managers certainly play a role in their employees’ engagement, this year we see that Senior Leadership has a continued presence as a top focus area – showcasing that agility and direction from leaders, especially in the current state of ever-present change – is critical. 

By assessing the drivers of employee engagement and identifying opportunities to further their employee’s investment in their organisation, this report provides important insights and strategies for enhancing employee engagement and helping to create a culture of engagement within your organisation.

Download a copy of this report today.