The region’s best employers have been found to have 3.5 times lower attrition rates and 50% higher total shareholder return than the market average, reflecting the impact a highly engaged workforce can have on overall business performance. These employers understand that people fuel growth, so they are making a conscious effort to invest in talent.
In a region undergoing so much change, employees are increasingly looking to their employers for improved opportunities and increased development to thrive in this uncertainty. With an average employee engagement score of 84% (market average 67%) and ranking 24 percentage points higher than the general market for their focus on retaining talent for the future (83% versus 59%), the best employers are ahead of the curve when it comes to their people.
As HR and business leaders look to optimize their engagement plans for 2019, here are some key insights from the region’s best employers.
Engaging leaders make all the difference
Senior leaders set the direction and tone for their entire organization and are key to a highly engaged workforce. However, the best employers take this to the next level, with senior leaders ensuring they are visible and accessible to employees, while seamlessly connecting their employees to the broader purpose, vision and strategy for the organization.
Annual employee surveys won’t cut it
An annual engagement survey is important, but it is simply not enough. Think about the world around us. In today’s fast-paced, technology-fueled business environment, feedback on products, services or experiences are often requested in real time, through mobile devices. The Dubai Now app asks if we are happy every time we pay our bills, while innovative services like Deliveroo request feedback from customers upon receipt of all speedy food deliveries. There is an expectation of more dialogue, and this also exists in the workplace.
An agile mindset is key
An agile, innovative culture and the ability to adapt quickly will have a profound effect on long-term organizational survival. The best employers constantly evolve their strategies and their culture to be future-focused and have an open mindset when it comes to innovation and technology, so they are equipped for success, regardless of the operating environment.
Get creative with benefits
While bonus buckets and income pools may not be overflowing, the best employers know how to deliver meaningful benefits to their employees. Looking beyond monetary recognition, organizations with high levels of engagement get creative. Many organizations still apply a one-size-fits-all approach to employee benefits, which misses the opportunity to leverage the right benefits to attract and retain the right talent. While standardized benefits such as housing and flight allowance are still valued in this region, more targeted benefits will be a key differentiator.
To build organizations of the future, it is imperative to invest time and resource in a comprehensive employee engagement strategy. The highest-ranking companies scored over the others in their consistently high levels for employee engagement, organizational agility, engaging leadership and strong talent focus. As organizations focus on mapping out their 2019 strategy, it would be prudent to place emphasis on your most precious resource: your employees.
Dima Dimashkieh is a consultant for employee engagement at Aon Middle East & Africa