This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0
 

  The Herman Trend Alert

January 8, 2014

Employee Engagement---A Crisis for Employers Worldwide

At this time, employers worldwide are suffering with very low levels of employee engagement. According to the Gallup Organization, currently a mere 13 percent of employees throughout 142 countries across the globe are engaged in their jobs. What Gallup means by "engagement" is that they are "emotionally invested in and focused on creating value for their organizations every day". Similar to the firm's 2009 to 2010 global study, the number of "actively disengaged workers" continues to be twice the number of engaged employees. Gallup defines" actively disengaged workers" as those who are "negative and potentially hostile to their organizations".

As economies begin to thrive, the lack of employee engagement will become an increasingly critical issue for countries and organizations that want to boost productivity. Here we are five years after the onset of the global economic crisis, unemployment rates are still high in many developed-world countries while growth rates in China and other large developing countries have been falling.

In spite of these factors, global demographic trends are having substantial economic consequences. In several areas, including southern Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East, a "youth bulge", created by upticks in population, continues to result in record unemployment among young people. At the same time, many large economies, including China, Japan, and the United States, face talent shortages, due to aging and shrinking workforces.

Engagement scores around the world vary widely. From a low score in China of six percent to the highest score employees in the Philippines and North America (29 percent). In Brazil, the actively disengaged at 27 percent outnumber the engaged at 12 percent by more than two to one. Nonetheless, Brazil's scores were the best of any of the 19 Latin American countries for which results were available. According to Gallup, "Tens of millions of Brazilians escaped poverty [during the period of 2010 to 2012], as the country’s middle class expanded.

What organizations need is to more effectively define and capitalize on their people's talents, skills, and energy. In many countries, raising workers' levels of productivity is critical to business growth and sorely needed job creation. In countries that face talent shortages, companies that meet and exceed their employees' needs are most likely to win in the competition for top talent---translating to a competitive advantage.

Companies across the globe will need to use assessments to ensure that workers are in the right positions and emotionally invested in their jobs. In the future, building highly engaged workforces by becoming a preferred employers/Employers of Choice® will not be optional, if profitability is to be optimized.


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