Top employee engagement priorities for 2012 and 2013

Aon 2012 engagement survey web.jpg

A major global survey of employee engagement covering more than 3.100 organisations has found a small improvement in engagement levels overall, including in HR areas, but concludes that companies are not focusing on the issues that matter to employees. 
The Aon 2012 Trends in Global Employee Engagement report finds that despite the economic recession, engagement levels have remained relatively stable at 58% in 2011, up two percentage points from 56% in 2010. HR rates high among the engagement drivers that have improved: business unit leadership, HR practices and brand alignment (fulfilling the employment contract or value proposition with employees). 
But the survey concludes that: Career opportunities, recognition, and organization reputation are consistently top engagement drivers: 
“Companies should focus their efforts on improving these areas in order to have the most immediate positive impact on overall engagement scores. However, engagement drivers vary by region”. 
The report recommends what employers should do to improve employee engagement: 
  • Create a culture of engagement through leadership. 
  • Focus on what matters most and where there is greatest opportunity for improvement. 
  • Recognize people’s efforts and performance.  
  • Connect with your employees (Communicate and promote organizational reputation at every opportunity).  
  • Create employee growth opportunities. 
  • Select employees predisposed to engagement (for example, traits such as positive affect and conscientiousness can be strong indicators of engagement behaviours, and managerial skills and competencies that promote team engagement can be assessed and used for selection).  
Read on for more recently published articles on employee engagement, plus more on HR strategy, talent management, leadership, performance management, benchmarking and HR metrics. 

HR strategy
First Rule of Business: Know Your Competition, by Sharlyn Lauby on June 10, 2012 on HR Bartender. 
If strategy is painful, you’re doing it wrong, says Max Mckeown on Management Issues. 
Employee engagement
Humanizing Workplace Relationships – People Aren’t Tasks, by Louise Altman on Human Capital League. 
David Zinger, by Jo Ann Sweeney. 
What is Driving Employee Engagement? By Cathy Missildine-Martin on Profitability Through Human Capital. 
How to link benchmarking more closely to business performance, by Noel O’Reilly on XpertHR Employment Intelligence. 
How HR can gain more from benchmarking, by Ray Wilkinson on Personnel Today. 
Research published for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro by Ashridge Business School and the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) advises that companies must recognise environmental and social issues as critical to long-term business success, and warns that those that do not are missing the key value creation strategy of the next decade.
HR is key to restoring trust in banking, says new CIPD chief Peter Cheese, who wants HR “to embed ethical values and translate them into behaviours’ 
The economy
XpertHR economic commentary June 2012: The austerity trap. By Michael Carty on Employment Intelligence. 
Change management
Performance management
Performance management focus shifts from ‘high fliers’ to ‘average people’, according to five-year study, by Colin Coulson Thomas in HR magazine. 
Social media
How to boost organisational alignment by “crowdsourcing your strategy”.  Including case studies. By Arne Gast and Michele Zanini on McKinsey Quarterly. 
“Crowdsourcing Mergers and Acquisitions: A Disruption Whose Time has Come”, by Arye 
Schreiber, founder and CEO of Merjerz on website. 
Formal international HR standards
Paul Kearns argues on HR Standards blog that if ANSI (SHRM) adopt the TC260 – Human Resource Management Cost-per-Hire Standard as an international standard is will be a “very worrying development” for several reasons, including that it is evidence that “the Americans are determined to try and dictate HR standards to the rest of the international community”. 
Gender and leadership
Why Boards Need More Women, by Yilmaz Arguden on HBR Blog Network. 
A new research study, highlighting the differences in male and female leadership styles, shows that men are more strategic but women are better at the interpersonal aspects of leadership. The main finding is that organisations need a balance of both styles if they are to be truly effective. 
HR transformation 
Is HR Transformation driving business performance? asks a white paper from PWC US. 
HCM, MR metrics, HR analytics 
Removing Roadblocks to HR Analytics, by Cathy Missildine Martin on HR Examiner.  
It’s hard to rally around a metric, by Steve Boese on HR Technology. 
Some successful organisations are “total institutions.” (like, for  example prisons, mental institutions, the military, where where members spend 100% of the time.  The result is that the notion of work-life balance is pure fiction most of the time. “Total Institutions, Productivity, and Unemployment”, by Bob Sutton on Work Matters. 
Management fads and the importance of critical thinking, by Professor Chris Mowles, who teaches on the Doctorate of Management at the University of Hertfordshire. On  Reflexive Practice blog.  
Corporate culture
on the Great Leadership blog. 
Strategic workforce planning
Strategic Workforce Plannning, part of a series of articles by John Ingham on Strategic HCM.
Global HR
Managing at global scale: McKinsey Global Survey results, on McKinsey Quarterly. 
The global company’s challenge – As the economic spotlight shifts to developing markets, global companies need new ways to manage their strategies, people, costs, and risks. By Martin Dewhurst, Jonathan Harris, and Suzanne Heywood on Organization Practice. 

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