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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Towers Watson finds high sustainable employee engagement produces nearly three times higher operating margins

Employee Benefit News
By News Reports
July 11, 2012

As doubts re-emerge about the strength of economic recovery in the U.S., a new global workforce study by Towers Watson reveals that 63% of U.S. employees are not fully engaged in their work and struggling to cope when sufficient support is not provided. …

“When workers are not fully engaged, it leads to greater performance risk for employers,” said Julie Gebauer, managing director, talent and rewards, Towers Watson. “It makes companies more vulnerable to lower productivity, higher inefficiency, weaker customer service and greater rates of absenteeism and turnover. Without attention and interventions aimed at improving on-the-job support for employees and creating a sense of attachment to the organization, this trend could worsen – and directly affect business outcomes.” …

“This is an important wake-up call for U.S. companies if they hope to sustain their growth,” said Laura Sejen, global practice leader, rewards, Towers Watson. “When we looked at sustainable engagement scores among 50 global companies in a related piece of research and examined their one-year operating margins, we saw dramatic evidence of the impact of sustainable engagement on performance. The companies with high sustainable engagement had operating margins almost three times those of organizations with a largely disengaged workforce. That fact alone creates a compelling case for change.”

The Towers Watson study uses a specific set of questions to measure and classify respondents as to their level of sustainable engagement. Overall, the study showed that only 37% of U.S. workers are highly engaged in a sustainable way, meaning they scored high on all three elements of sustainable engagement.

Just over one-quarter (27%) are classified as unsupported, meaning they display traditional engagement, but lack the enablement and/or energy required for sustainable engagement. Thirteen percent are detached, meaning they feel enabled and/or energized but are not willing to go the extra mile. And almost one-quarter (23%) are completely disengaged, with less favorable scores for all three aspects of sustainable engagement. …
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