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Aon: Global employee engagement rises to all-time high in 2017

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Global employee engagement levels, after slipping in 2016 for the first time since 2012, jumped back to an all-time high in 2017 according to a new report published in March 2018 by Aon.

The analysis of more than five million (!) employees at more than 1,000 organizations around the world found that global employee engagement levels rebounded back to 65 percent in 2017, up from 63 percent in 2016. The percentage of employees who were highly engaged increased from 24 percent in 2016 to 27 percent in 2017.

Citing improving political and economic stability in regions like Asia and Africa, Ken Oehler, Global Culture & Engagement practice leader at Aon stated, “Although most companies continue to face some level of disruption and uncertainty, a robust, expanding economy means organizations are typically willing to invest more in people, and that makes the work experience much better for most employees.”

Employee Engagement Since 2011

2017 65%
2016 63%
2015 65%
2014 62%
2013 60%
2012 58%
2011 59%

 

The research shows that improving engagement can pay dividends. A five point increase in employee engagement is linked to a three point increase in revenue growth in the subsequent year. “An employee’s psychological investment in their organization and motivation leads them to produce extraordinary results,” said Oehler. “Companies with above average engagement levels will see better employee productivity, lower turnover rates and higher customer satisfaction scores.” 

Regional Differences

Aon’s analysis found regional variations in engagement were driven by regional and country-specific economic, political and cultural differences.

  • Africa had the largest increase in employee engagement for 2017. Engagement rose to 66 percent, up from 61 percent in 2016. Overall, employee engagement has improved by 15 percentage points in Africa since 2012.
  • After a three-point drop in engagement last year, employee engagement levels in Asia Pacific bounced back to its highest levels at 65 percent.
  • Companies in Malaysia and the Philippines increased engagement by four and six percentage points, respectively, while Indonesia improved engagement by 15 percentage points.
  • Europe has the lowest levels of engagement in the world at 60 percent; however some European countries saw dramatic improvements in 2017. Among the top improving countries globally, four were European: France (6 percentage points), The Netherlands (7 percentage points), Austria (9 percentage points) and Sweden (9 percentage points).

Employee Engagement by Region

Region 2017
Asia Pacific 65% (+3pts)
Latin America 75% (no change)
North America 64% (no change)
Europe 60% (+2pts)
Africa 66% (+5pts)

Top Global Engagement Factors

Rewards and recognition ranked as the strongest drivers of engagement for the second year in a row, with “recognition for contributions” and “fair pay” being the most influencing factors.

This Year

Top Engagement Factors Globally Last Year
#1 Rewards & Recognition #1
#2 Senior Leadership #3
#3 Career Opportunities #4
#4 Employee Value Proposition #2
#5 Enabling Infrastructure #5

 

A copy of Aon’s Trends in Global Employee Engagement report can be downloaded here.

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