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By Dr. Brenda Kowske, Senior Analyst
The economic pendulum is swinging from recession to recovery. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics1, both the “quits rate”, or voluntary turnover rate, and the “hires rate” are on a progressive march (see Figure 1). In fact, the hires rate needs only gain four-tenths of a point to regain the November 2007, pre-recessionary level of 3.7. That’s great news for the nation, and particularly, for job seekers; it is an unequivocal sign that the job market is healing.
While these signals are good for the economy, they translate into organizational workforce churn. Nearly one-third of U.S. employees are seriously considering leaving their organization, as are employees in Europe. In some Latin American countries, it’s more than half2. Employees have pent up their frustrations, waiting for a new opportunity, whether within their current organization or with a competitor. Couple this with older workers’ impending retirement, and we will have a first-class game of occupational musical chairs on our hands as we scramble to get and keep the right talent in the right jobs.
Leaders and HR will scramble less if the organization’s employees are highly engaged. In fact, turnover can be 40 percent lower for organizations with a highly engaged workforce3. To support our members’ engagement efforts, we launched a first-of-its-kind report, Employee Engagement: The Market Review, Buyer's Guide and Provider Profiles, available right now to Bersin & Associates WhatWorks® members. In it, we had the opportunity to examine the market leaders and build the brand of some innovators in this space.
The report is comprehensive, to say the least. In its 160-some pages, it compares engagement providers on their strategic consulting services, their definitions of engagement, the science of their practice, their speed of delivery and reporting, their ability to benchmark, their post-survey services and products, and their ability to conduct HR analytics using engagement data. Not to mention the extensive provider profiles, detailing each provider’s offerings.
All of this information helps our members evaluate their own provider, write an engagement RFP, and compile a short list of candidates. We’re proud to support our members in being very savvy consumers of this market.
A few facts:
The engagement market is about half the size that it could be. It has the potential to reach $1.5 billion, and we believe its current size will grow given the talent scarcity in certain sectors and the upward trends of voluntary turnover.
There is no one definition of engagement – they vary all over the place. Just think of it: if you change providers, and the way they measure engagement changes, the action plans for improving engagement could totally change – even though employees feel exactly the same.
Typical surveys cover anywhere between 9 and 25 topics. As consumers, this means we need to know the most common drivers of engagement and the length of surveys employees will tolerate in order to make educated decisions about the length and content of our own surveys.
“Mobile” is only partially available. Sixty-four percent of the providers in our research offer it, so if you need that capability, you’ll want to make that a point of inquiry.
Organizations are getting bigger and increasingly global. There are only a few engagement providers who specialize in the truly massive, global engagement initiatives.
Employee engagement will continue to be at the top of executive’s scorecards as the talent becomes increasingly mobile – 71 percent of executives currently evaluate this metric. Using Bersin & Associates resources such as the Market Review as well as our entire engagement collection equips our members to improve engagement now to mitigate the risk of talent churn and loss in the future.
Purchase the new Bersin & Associates Research: Employee Engagement: Market Review, Buyers Guide, and Provider Profiles (members can download directly).
1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012). Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Data retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/jlt/#data on August 20, 2012.