Employee benefits were found to be much less important for driving employee engagement than other factors in a new Aon survey. The value of employee benefits was reported to be inferior to other engagement drivers, such as career opportunities, recognition, compensation package, and clear communication. However, benefits were still identified as part of a larger set of requirements necessary for ensuring strong engagement and improved financial performance.
Indeed, organizations participating in the study reported shareholder returns that were 50 percent higher than average when they were ranked in the top 25 percent for employee engagement levels. Data collected from 94 international corporations representing approximately 9 million employees also showed a strong correlation between overall financial performance and a high level of employee engagement. Surprisingly, benefits placed far down Aon’s list of 29 engagement indicators while things such as corporate reputation, corporate resources, employee recognition schemes, and pay ranked much higher.
Other key findings from the study include:
• Engagement levels in the U.S. fell by 3 percent last year and unperformed compared to Europe (+5 percent in 2012) and Latin American (+3 percent), and bucked the global trend of increasing engagement.
• 40 percent of employees worldwide lack workplace engagement, as defined by Aon Hewitt.
• As the global economy has increased, so has engagement, but it has grown more slowly than the economic rate.
• Employee pay rose from no. 6 on the list of indicators in 2011 to no. 3 in 2012, behind career opportunities and organization reputation.