Employee engagement on the rise across Europe

Employee engagement levels in Europe rose to 57% in 2012, up from 52% in 2011 and 51% in 2010, according to research by Aon Hewitt.

Its Global engagement trends report, which surveyed more than 3,500 organisations, representing more than 3.8 million employees, found that the top five drivers of engagement for European workers were: career opportunities, organisational reputation, pay, work processes and innovation.

The research also found:

  • In the UK, engagement levels have stabilised at 47%, having fallen from 52% to 47% between 2010 and 2011.
  • Communication was cited as one of the top five engagement drivers in the UK.
  • The largest engagement increases were in Europe (improving by 5%) and Latin America (improving by 3%).
  • In North America, engagement levels dropped slightly to 63%, the lowest score for that region since 2008.
  • Executives and senior managers were the most engaged (66%), followed by middle managers, team leaders and supervisors.
  • Professional employees, such as engineers, lawyers and nurses, had the lowest level of engagement globally, with only 55% being engaged.
  • There were also substantial differences identified by generations. For instance, Baby Boomers had the highest level of engagement, at 65%, followed by Generation X (58%) and Millennials (55%).

Jenny Merry, engagement practice leader at Aon Hewitt in the UK, said: “Organisations in the UK and across the European region are paying more attention to employee engagement, with improved focus on action planning and supporting managers and leaders, and more focus on the drivers that make a difference.

“There is still some way to go, but this is starting to have a positive impact on the overall perception that employees have of their work experience.

“Engaging the right employees in the right behaviours is the critical ingredient for successfully managing through diverse economic conditions.

“Our research shows that organisations with higher levels of engagement relative to their peers during economic recession also have higher growth in the years that follow. We expect that organisations that actively manage employee engagement today will have a better shot at growth opportunities in the future.”