Being named an Aon Best Employer is about much more than an office full of happy employees. Best Employers – who lead across a number of business-critical indices including employee engagement, organisational agility, talent focus, and engaging leadership – are found to have 3.5 times lower attrition rates and report 50% higher total shareholder return (TSR) than the market average, reflecting the impact a highly engaged workforce has on overall business performance.
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%), Best Employers are clearly ahead of the curve when it comes to their people practices.
Here are some key insights from the Aon Best Employers Middle East 2018 study:
Engaging leaders make all the difference
Engagement surveys often look at the impact direct managers have on their people, and the most recent study emphasised the impact that senior leaders have on driving engagement. Aon Best Employers take engagement 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 organisation as a whole. The study revealed that 83% of employees at Best Employer organisations report that their senior leadership makes them excited about the future of the organisation (market average, 64%), with the same number also believing that their senior leadership provides a clear vision for the company (market average, 66%).
Annual employee surveys won’t cut it
In today’s fast-paced, technology-fuelled 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, whilst innovative services such as Deliveroo request feedback from customers upon receipt of all speedy food deliveries. There is clearly an expectation for more dialogue, and Best Employers understand that this expectation also exists in the workplace.
These changing expectations of employees, along with improvements in feedback gathering software, have enabled Best Employers to move towards continuous dialogue strategies, giving them the agility to adjust to employee feedback in relevant and timely ways.
Get creative with benefits
Looking beyond monetary recognition, organisations with high levels of engagement are creative and know how to deliver meaningful benefits to their employees. The study revealed that 75% of Best Employers differentiate rewards for leaders that develop high-performing teams through higher short-term incentives, with the same number offering flexible benefits that can be tailored according to the needs of different employee groups. Whilst standardised benefits are still valued, more targeted benefits will be a key differentiator.
As organisations focus on mapping out their 2019 strategy, it would be prudent to place emphasis on your most precious resource: Your employees!
This article first appeared in Forbes Middle East.