Global engagement levels match the previous all-time high set in 2015.

by Jen Zimmer Read more from the CFOs in a Time of Transformation issue

Driven largely by boosts in Asia and Africa, the global employee engagement level returned to its all-time high last year. Aon’s 2018 Trends in Global Employee Engagement report measured global engagement at 65 percent, two points higher than the previous year. While engagement levels in the Americas were flat, levels in Africa and Asia Pacific rose 5 percentage points and 3 percentage points, respectively.

“In the last year, there has been political and economic stability in more mature regions and continued expansion in regions like Asia and Africa,” said Ken Oehler, Aon’s global culture and engagement practice leader. “Although most companies are continuing to face disruption and uncertainty, a robust, expanding economy means companies typically are investing more in people, and that makes the work experience much better for most employees.”

“A robust, expanding economy means companies typically are investing more in people.”

—Ken Oehler, Aon

Engaged employees, of course, are good for the bottom line: A 5-percentage-point increase in engagement is linked to a 3-percentage point increase in revenue. More engaged employees also correlate to higher retention and productivity levels and greater customer satisfaction.

So how does a company keep an employee engaged? According to the survey, the top three drivers for engagement are rewards and recognition, supportive senior leadership that frequently communicates and interacts with employees, and career opportunities.

“The concept of employee engagement is often confused with satisfaction or happiness,” Click To Tweet Mr. Oehler said, “but it’s really about an employee’s psychological investment in their organization and motivation to produce extraordinary results.”

Invested in the Job

65% Global average

75% Latin America (no change from prior year)
66% Africa (+5)
65% Asia Pacific (+3)
64% North America (no change)
60% Europe (+2)

Source: “2018 Trends in Global Employee Engagement,” Aon

This article appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Insigniam Quarterly, with the headline “Ready to Work.” To begin receiving IQ, go here.


Jen Zimmer is a consultant with Insigniam.

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