Mon, Jan 10, 2011
Guest Post by Kevin Sheridan, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Consultant of HR Solutions, Inc.
As another year begins, organizations will be challenged to prepare for the economic recovery, engage their employees and retain their high performers.
In fact, Employee Engagement and retention were two of the biggest concerns for HR professionals in 2010, according to a survey conducted by Human Resource Executive magazine, and will continue to be in the year ahead. HR Solutions has predicted some of the top employee engagement trends for 2011.
1) The recession was a perfect storm for Disengagement as pay freezes, benefit cuts and layoffs permeated the workforce. Based on 2010 data in HR Solutions’ International Normative Database, only 27 percent of employees are ‘Actively Engaged.’ The remaining 73 percent is divided between ‘Ambivalent’ employees (60 percent) and ‘Actively Disengaged’ employees (13 percent).
To clean up the aftermath of the storm, organizations will utilize their most Actively Engaged employees as mentors to help motivate and re-energize their disenchanted colleagues.
2) Company morale and Engagement levels fluctuate dramatically during tough economic times. According to a 2010 survey of 802 Human Resource Executive readers, nearly half of readers (48 percent) responded neutral when asked about the current state of employee morale and Engagement at their organization.
Now that the economy is slowly rebounding, such ambivalence will lead more organizations to get a pulse on company morale through Employee Engagement Surveys, department meetings and focus groups.
3) As the economy continues to improve, more and more employees will begin to look for other job opportunities in 2011. According to Harris Interactive, over half (54 percent) of employees plan on looking for a new job once the economy improves. The importance of retaining employees, especially high performers, cannot be underestimated.
HR professionals will start to devote more time and money toward establishing a strategic retention plan and understanding their organization’s key retention factors. Beyond compensation and benefits, offering effective training and professional development, increasing career advancement opportunities and improving work/life balance will prevent companies from losing their top talent.
4) More organizations and HR leaders will embrace social media as a means of not only engaging employees but also recruiting new ones. For example, organizations can use internal social networks to recognize employees for a job well done or promote initiatives that the organization is doing in the community. Companies can also use social media to reach potential job candidates.
According to a September 2010 Economist Intelligence Unit report, sponsored by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 28 percent of survey respondents (among 479 senior executives) say their company will use IT and social networking tools to tap into the global talent pool over the coming decade.
5) Multi-national “super unions,” which represent employees in multiple countries, are predicted to skyrocket in the coming years, according to a September 2010 Littler Mendelson P.C. report. Over the past decade, the healthcare industry in particular has been very susceptible to union formation. In fact, more than 960,000 healthcare workers were members of unions in 2009.
Smart employers will begin to determine which of their departments are vulnerable to union formation and decide what steps need to be taken to preempt unionization before it occurs.
Which of trends do you think is going to be most important to your organization in 2011? What employee engagement trends did we miss? What is your organization doing to improve retention and engagement in the year ahead?
Leave a comment and let us know!