SlideShare a Scribd company logo
1 of 12
Download to read offline
1Big Data Helps Bust the Top Three Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership
Big data helps bust the top
three myths of employee
engagement and leadership
Insights into the global state of employee engagement to help drive
productivity through the engagement of people.
2 An IBM®
Smarter Workforce Institute Report
Authored by Jeffrey Jolton, Ph.D. and Bryan Hayes , Ph.D.
Contributions made by Rena Rasch, Ph.D. and Bob Weldon, Ph.D.
The IBM®
Smarter Workforce Institute features a multidisciplinary
team of expert psychologists and researchers. With offices in
London and Minneapolis, the Smarter Workforce Institute oversees
rigorous, global, and innovative research and development programs
spanning all aspects of human capital management.
3Big Data Helps Bust the Top Three Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership
Executive Summary
Doing more with less has become familiar to many of us—and our workforce is no exception.
The World Bank estimates global GDP grew 2.3% in 2012, with expected continued moderate
growth in 2013 (The World Bank, 2013). Much of this growth is driven by the human side of the
equation. Between 2011 and 2012, 90% of countries saw an increase in productivity i.e., GDP per
capita (IMF World Economic Database, 2013). Since 1993, revenue per employee has seen a 3.2%
compound annual growth rate compared with little to no growth in revenue per cost of goods sold
or per invested capital (CEB, 2013). These facts illustrate what most leaders know: companies
(and countries) should be able to do more with the employees they have. Employee engagement
is increasingly seen as a fundamental mechanism through which to attain superior organizational
performance (IBM, 2013). Fundamentally, organizations can do more with more engaged employees.
Presented in this report are insights into the global state of employee engagement based on one of
the biggest employee research databases ever assembled. These insights help provide a roadmap
for driving productivity through engagement of people.
Armed with these big data, we identified three key findings that can challenge some of the commonly
held beliefs concerning employee engagement and leadership:
•	 Neither the sky nor employee engagement is falling. Contrary to popular reports, in almost
each country, our big data indicate employee engagement was up in 2012 compared to both
2010 and 2011.
•	 People join companies, but leave managers companies. The adage that people leave
managers is not supported by big data. Although managers play an important role in
supporting the engagement and retention of employees, they cannot go it alone. Their senior
leaders should step up and take responsibility for delivering on what has been consistently the
most important driver of employee engagement over the last five years—communicating a
motivating vision of their organization’s future and inspiring confidence in their employees.
•	 The economic crisis should not be used a scapegoat. Compared to 2008, senior leaders’
ability to inspire confidence and motivate employees towards a shared vision was rated more
positively in 2009, at the peak of economic turmoil. Ratings generally remained consistent
or actually improved in 2010 and 2011. It was only in 2012, three years after the crisis, that
confidence in leadership took a notable hit. Further, senior leaders were rated similarly or more
positively in mature, stable and even economically challenged markets. These data suggest the
economic crisis should not be used to explain poor perceptions of senior leader performance.
In addition to sharing the evidence for these myth-busting insights, this report will also give leaders
valuable guidance into their role in promoting employee engagement to build organizational success.
For companies to be successful, employees must be engaged to perform, innovate and drive
outcomes. This report will help organizations proactively manage employee engagement for future
productivity by drawing attention away from what matters less—the economic climate and direct
managers—and focusing on what matters more—visionary leadership.
4 An IBM®
Smarter Workforce Institute Report
The Positive Power of Listening to Employees
Results of this big data analysis are shown in Figure 1. Contrary to the
proclamations of others, 70% of employees at organizations surveyed
by IBM around the world (average of 4.5 million employees surveyed
each year from 2008 to 2012) are engaged and only 12% of employees
are disengaged (not shown).
The results presented in Figure 1 also highlight the effectiveness
and protective power of listening to employees and monitoring
the workforce. Organizations that surveyed their employees saw
engagement levels on average 20 percentage points higher than those
that did not survey employees. Evidently, making engagement a priority
by listening to employees, for example by conducting a survey, does
help make a difference. How the survey is conducted also appears to
matter. Organizations using IBM’s survey methodology saw average
employee engagement levels a further three percentage points higher
than companies that surveyed employees, but not necessarily with
IBM.
Neither the Sky Nor Employee Engagement
is Falling
The big data presented here reveal the global state of employee
engagement is fairly strong and getting stronger. However, reading
news clippings and reports from many consulting firms would lead
to a very different conclusion (Zenger, 2013). In recent years, others
have published conclusions including:
•	 Only 30% of the US workforce is engaged (Gallup, 2013).
•	 Only 11% of the global workforce is engaged and 27% are
actively disengaged (Gallup, 2010).
•	 Globally, 40% of employees are passively or actively
disengaged (AONHewitt, 2013).
•	 22% to 42% of the workforce is engaged, depending on the
global region, with 11% to 24% disengaged (BlessingWhite,
2013).
Perhaps these reports simply have not considered a big enough
data source for their conclusions, because our analysis shows an
altogether brighter outlook, especially for companies that make
engagement a strategic priority by surveying their employees.
Employee engagement1
is up globally, with many countries
experiencing more motivated and committed workers.
The data used for this report come from two sources: the
WorkTrends™ survey and the WorldNorms database:
•	 WorkTrends is an annual global survey, which in 2012,
surveyed over 33,000 employees across multiple countries,
industries, and organizations.
•	 WorldNorms is IBM’s database containing survey data from:
–	 Hundreds of organizations.
–	 Over 14 million employee opinions collected from 2010 to
2012.
–	 Companies ranging in size from 100 to over 300,000
employees (20,000 average).
–	 Twenty industries and 215 countries.
–	 Over 725 million survey responses.
WorkTrends gives us a peek into the average employee’s experience,
while WorldNorms provides a full view into the experience of
employees whose leaders make engagement a strategic priority. Our
conclusions about the state of employee engagement are reinforced
by the convergence of these two independent sources of information.
“Organizations that surveyed their
employees saw engagement levels
on average 20 percentage points
higher than those that did not
survey employees.”
75
70
65
60
55
50
45
40
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
FIGURE 1: Global Employee Engagement Levels by
Year
PercentFavorable
Survey with IBM Survey with a provider
other than IBM
Do not survey
The Protective Power of Surveying Employees
The trend lines in Figure 1 reveal another important finding—IBM clients
have endured far fewer fluctuations in their employee engagement levels
over the last five years. Other organizations saw between five and nine
percentage point swings in engagement over the same time period,
yet the biggest change for IBM clients was just three percentage points
between 2008 and 2009.
The data suggest that taking action on what matters most to employee
engagement can not only build engagement, it can also help to counter
the potentially negative impact caused by outside influences. Later in
this report, we explore the top drivers of employee engagement that
have enabled these companies to buck the trend and help create a
more consistent and productive experience for employees.
1
IBM defines employee engagement as the extent to which employees are motivated to contribute to organizational success, and are willing to apply discretionary effort to accomplishing tasks important to the
achievement of organizational goals. IBM’s employee engagement index assesses employee pride, satisfaction, commitment and advocacy.
5Big Data Helps Bust the Top Three Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership
Furthermore, stories of employees bottoming out just do not seem
credible. We believe most employees want to be engaged, they want
to be excited about their company, their jobs and coming to work each
day. As a result, the evidence shows that employees voluntarily give
their feedback on surveys used to drive engagement—IBM clients
averaged an employee participation rate of over 80 percent in 2012. It
does not seem logical that so many chronically disengaged employees
would be so forthcoming and eager to share their thoughts.
People Join Companies, But Leave
Managers Companies
The second myth that our big data helps bust is the old adage that
people join companies, but leave managers. Any leader who thinks
employees’ immediate managers are primarily responsible for their
engagement and retention is sorely mistaken. While direct managers
and supervisors can certainly impact engagement, both directly and
indirectly, and no doubt some employees do indeed leave companies
because of their manager, our data suggest managers have far less
direct impact on engaging employees and driving retention than other
factors. In fact, several of the top drivers of employee engagement are
directly related to the actions of senior leaders.
Figure 3 provides evidence for what is found anecdotally across many
organizations. People primarily leave companies when they believe
they and/or their company does not have a good future. Other factors
are often secondary, such as pay, work-life-balance and treatment by
the immediate manager. One word of caution when interpreting this
table—it should not be taken as applying to each employee in each
organization. It is advisable to undertake specific analyses to isolate
the root causes of turnover in specific job families within specific
companies. The data do, however, illustrate the general trend that is
seen across organizations.
Global Employee Engagement Up in Nine out of Ten Countries
Engagement levels globally were either relatively stable or on the rise in
2012. Employees around the world reported being more engaged in 2012
compared to 2010. In particular, IBM clients saw a welcome return to
the peak engagement levels not seen since 2009. This positive outlook
can also be seen in a detailed look at individual countries—employee
engagement is up in most countries around the world.
A big data analysis of survey responses from more than nine million
employees2
shows employee engagement levels by country from 2010
to 2012 in select countries (Figure 2). The second column in Figure 2
for each country represents the percentage point change in employee
engagement in 2012 compared to 2010. Of the twenty countries
presented, only three show a decrease in engagement from 2010 to 2012,
and two of those three countries in decline demonstrated the minimal
change of a single percentage point. Almost each place where we
look across the globe, employee engagement scores are up—a happy
pandemic of sorts.
Cumulatively, these results challenge the claims of record low
engagement levels. After all, these results represent the views of nine
million employees around the world.
FIGURE 3: Determinants of Turnover Intentions
*Relative influence on turnover intentions derived from analysis of 2012 WorkTrends™ data.
Turnover intentions was measured by the combined average of responses to “I rarely think
about looking for a new job with another company” and “I am seriously considering leaving
my organization within the next 12 months”. Values represent relative weight of each factor in
explaining turnover intentions. Factors were identified using Stepwise Regression analysis with
relative influence determined by Relative Weights Analysis.
Relative Influence On
Turnover Intentions*
Determining Factor
34% I can achieve my career goals at this company.
30% I believe my organization has an outstanding future.
14% I am paid fairly for the work I do.
12%
My life is well-balanced between work, family, friends,
and my personal needs.
11% My manager treats me with respect and dignity.
100% Total variance explained was 49%
FIGURE 2: Employee Engagement Changes from 2010 to
2012 in Select Countries
Country
Employee Engagement
Score in 2012
Change from 2010
Argentina 66 +2
Australia 67 +2
Belgium 64 -1
Brazil 71 +4
Canada 69 +4
China 66 +4
Columbia 82 -5
France 61 +8
Germany 64 +2
India 75 +4
Japan 53 +3
Mexico 79 0
Russia 71 +2
Saudi Arabia 74 -1
South Africa 67 +1
Spain 70 +8
Sweden 63 +4
Turkey 68 +3
United Kingdom 63 +4
United States 71 +2
2
4.28 million employees surveyed in 2010 and 4.9 million employees surveyed in 2012.
6 An IBM®
Smarter Workforce Institute Report
Future Vision from Senior Leaders Drives Engagement
Moving beyond the retention of employees, engaging employees
is critical for productivity and organizational performance. Here
again, managers, while important, are not the most important driver.
Looking across client surveys, each year we are able to identify the
topics that have the strongest relationship to employee engagement.
We consider these topics to be “drivers” of engagement—meaning
that improvements in engagement are likely related to improvements
in these topics. Our extensive client work has demonstrated that if
organizations take action on their drivers of employee engagement,
then they can see a corresponding improvement in employee
engagement. Further, we have observed that corresponding
improvements in engagement are not as significant when action is
taken on topics that are less strongly related to engagement. Drivers
of engagement are one of the best ways to understand what can
support and increase employee engagement in work environments.
To define the top drivers of engagement, we look at commonly used
items and their statistical relationship to the employee engagement
index. Those with the strongest relationship (correlation) were given
higher rankings. Items were aligned to themes and their relative
rankings are show in Figure 4.
As demonstrated in Figure 4, the top drivers of employee
engagement have been fairly consistent over the last five years, with
leadership future vision consistently topping the list. Senior leaders
are critical to the creation and communication of their organization’s
future vision. Very simply, this is a driver of employee engagement
that should not be delegated.
In contrast, the five-year trend analysis in Figure 4 highlights that
manager effectiveness is not typically a prominent or top ranked
driver of employee engagement. In contrast to popular beliefs and
statements about managers having a great deal of influence over
their employees’ engagement, the data reveal that a sole focus
on managers to drive engagement is unlikely to deliver significant
improvements. Rather, executives or senior leaders can have a much
greater impact on employee engagement by communicating a
strong and inspiring future vision.
It is important to note that while the ranking in Figure 4 generally
holds true across organizations and industries, there are a few
notable exceptions. For example, in the retail industry, the manager
does have a more significant impact on the employee experience
and subsequent employee engagement.
It is also important to recognize that while manager effectiveness
may not rank highly as a driver of employee engagement (Figure 4),
managers do matter. A growing body of evidence confirms that a bad or
“toxic manager” (Reed, 2004) can have a profound, negative impact on
the employee experience, in effect causing disengagement.
Fundamentally, the ranked drivers analysis reveals that some of the
best possible managers in the world cannot usually retain or engage
employees on their own. Senior leaders play a fairly significant role in
driving high levels of commitment and motivation.
The data suggest that a shift in focus is required—away from direct
managers being the primary, if not sole, implementers of employee
engagement related action plans to senior executives leading by
example, creating a vision of an outstanding future for both the
company and the employee. Leaders’ ability to focus energy on
an inspiring mission is key to driving organizational success via the
alignment of employees to this vision.
How Well Are Leaders Creating a Vision?
Taking our analysis a step further, we wanted to examine how effective
leaders are at creating and communicating this future vision. In other
words, are they driving engagement as much as they possibly can, or is
there room for improvement?
We analyzed employees’ agreement with three items that are most
clearly associated with the future vision driver:
•	 I believe the company has an outstanding future.
•	 Senior leadership communicates a vision of the future that
motivates employees.
•	 I am confident that senior leadership is making the right decisions
for the company.
FIGURE 4: Ranked Drivers of Employee Engagement
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Leadership future vision 1 1 1 1 1
Recognition 4 3 2 3 2
Quality and customer focus 4 6 5 5 2
Diversity and inclusion 2 5 5 3 4
Growth and development 3 3 2 5 4
Collaboration involvement 4 2 2 2 4
Ethics and corporate governance 4 6 8 10 7
Performance management 9 10 7 7 7
Creating change 4 6 8 7 9
Open communication 9 6 8 10 9
Leadership living values 11 10 8 7 11
Manager effectiveness 11 10 8 10 11
“Leaders’ ability to focus energy
on an inspiring mission is key to
driving organizational success...”
7Big Data Helps Bust the Top Three Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership
would get them through the difficult times and could, therefore, emerge
stronger on the other side. This is mirrored by the small increase in the
communication of a future vision that motivates people between 2008
and 2009.
The analysis revealed that in 2012 across geographic regions and
industries, there is room for improvement. Across the three items,
between one-quarter and one-third of employees remain neutral or
negative about the future prospects of their company, their senior
leaders’ ability to communicate a motivating vision and their confidence
that senior leaders are making the best possible decisions (Figure 5).
More striking is the gap between the global average and top performers,
as shown in Figure 5. Top performers represent the average percent
favorable score among those companies that meet or exceed the top
10th percentile cut score for the item. In short, the top performers line
highlights the opportunity for improvement in the performance of senior
leaders, with a potential for 17 to 18 percentage point increases across
the three items. Such improvements, as we have already demonstrated
above are usually linked to improvements in employee engagement,
which in turn are typically linked to improvements in organizational
performance.
FIGURE 5: How Well Are Leaders Creating a Vision?
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
PercentFavorable
Company has
outstanding future
Senior leadership
communicates a
motivating vision
74%
Confidence in
leadership decision
making
60%
67%
78%
84%
92%
Global average 2012 Top performers 2012
FIGURE 6: Trends in Leadership Ability to Drive Future
Vision Over Five Years
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
PercentFavorable
Senior leadership
communicates a
motivating vision
Company has an
outstanding future
Confidence
in leadership
decision making
90
80
70
60
50
40
Trends in Future Vision—Trouble on the Horizon?
While this snapshot of how well leaders are doing is interesting, looking
back over the last five years allows us to identify potential trends and
make some informed predictions about the next five years.
The historical view of the performance of leaders (Figure 6) reveals
strongly consistent employee perceptions of senior leaders, despite
the economic turmoil of the time. In 2009, there was a boost in the
perceptions around the organization having an outstanding future.
Perhaps the global financial crisis of the time drove leaders to be
much more visible and to articulate where the business was going.
Furthermore, the fact that the organization was surviving through this
difficult period appears to have convinced employees that their leaders
However, the stable or slightly upward movements in employees’
views of their senior leaders changed in 2012 when all three elements
of future vision decreased (see Figure 6). Most notably, confidence in
senior leaders’ ability to make the right decisions dropped from 69 to
64 percent between 2011 and 2012. In fact, 2012 is the first year over the
last five in which all three items declined from the previous year.
This recent fall in employees’ views of senior leaders could be a matter
of serious concern. In this report, we have already demonstrated just
how strongly employee engagement is linked to leaders’ ability to
communicate a future vision. If employee perceptions of leaders are
falling, then this could be a harbinger of a future drop in employee
engagement.
One global organization recently discovered that positive
perceptions of its future vision had dropped among its senior
managers and directors. Not only that, but employee engagement
had also dropped a very significant eight percentage points.
Further analysis revealed that the messaging from senior leaders
around the future vision had become very short-term, with
a strong focus on making numbers quarter-to-quarter. That
message was more about business performance than an inspiring
goal and it lacked the personal connection that can make a strong
future vision so impactful.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LONG-TERM VISION
8 An IBM®
Smarter Workforce Institute Report
The Economic Crisis Cannot be Used a
Scapegoat
In this report, we have already established that setting a motivating
vision for the company’s future has typically been a top driver of
employee engagement over the past five years. However, it could be
argued that leadership effectiveness is simply a product of the wider
economic environment. If this were the case, then there could be very
little leaders can do to affect their employees’ engagement—after all,
the wider economic environment is not exactly under their control. To
test this hypothesis, we analyzed differences in perceptions of leaders
by countries of varying economic conditions. For simplicity, and to
ensure fair comparison between countries, the data is taken from one
time period (2012).
Room for Improvement in Mature Markets
Looking at individual countries, we can see that room for improvement
exists, especially senior leaders’ ability to communicate a vision, and
especially in Japan. Figures 7 and 8 present both percent favorable
and standardized3
scores on the three elements of future vision in six
economically mature markets.
Typically, employees rate their organization’s future most favorably and
rate their senior leaders’ ability to communicate a motivating vision least
favorably.
In relative terms, employees in mature markets consider their senior
leaders to be doing a sub-par job when it comes to communicating a
motivating vision. However, when we look at confidence in leadership
to make decisions and outstanding future, the regions are much
more diverse. Japan falls below average, European economies (UK,
Germany, and The Netherlands) are nearer to average, and United
States and Australia show the highest confidence in the future.
Leaders in Emerging Markets Doing a Better Job
Among emerging markets, there is more optimism about leaders
and the future (Figures 9 and 10). In the emerging markets, we see a
wider range of standardized scores (Figure 10) for the effectiveness
of senior leadership conveying a motivating vision than was evident in
the mature markets. Relatively speaking, emerging market leaders are
being perceived more favorably in how they relate their vision; however,
with the exception of South Africa, none are above their relative
average, suggesting, as is the case with mature markets, leaders could
be doing a better job in expressing the future vision.
Employees in emerging markets also have greater confidence in their
leaders’ decision-making ability than their mature market counterparts.
They are also more likely to say that their company has an outstanding
future. Although two mature markets (United States and Australia)
scored above the relative average on these items, each emerging
market rose above the average (see Figure 10), suggesting greater
confidence and optimism in the future. Furthermore, some of the
highest ratings of future vision were observed in emerging market
countries–specifically South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and the UAE.
FIGURE 8: Future Vision in Mature Markets
(standardized scores)
60
58
56
54
52
50
48
46
44
42
40
PercentFavorable
Senior leadership
communicates a
motivating vision
Confidence in
leadership
decision making
Company has
outstanding future
FIGURE 7: Future Vision in Mature Markets (percent
favorable)
U.S. UK Australia
Germany Japan The Netherlands
Senior leadership
communicates a
motivating vision
Confidence in
leadership
decision making
Company has
outstanding future
U.S. UK Australia
Germany Japan The Netherlands
3
To account for response sets or other country-specific biases, raw percent favorable scores were rescaled into standardized scores for each country. Standardized scores show how the three leadership items
move in comparison to a global favorability score, which was estimated as the percent favorable across all items and themes in a particular country. On the standardized scale, a score of 50 reflects a country’s
average percent favorable score. Any score above 50 indicates a more favorable than average view and any score below 50 indicates a less favorable than average view, both regardless of country-specific biases.
Avg
90
85
80
75
70
65
60
55
50
45
40
PercentFavorable
9Big Data Helps Bust the Top Three Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership
Brazil Russia China Mexico South Africa UAE
Senior leadership
communicates a
motivating vision
Confidence in
leadership
decision making
Company has
outstanding future
FIGURE 9: Future Vision in Emerging Markets (percent
favorable)
FIGURE 10:Future Vision in Emerging Markets
(standardized scores)
60
58
56
54
52
50
48
46
44
42
40
PercentFavorable
Senior leadership
communicates a
motivating vision
Confidence in
leadership
decision making
Company has
outstanding future
FIGURE 11: Future Vision in Challenged Markets
(percent favorable)4
90
85
80
75
70
65
60
55
50
45
40
PercentFavorable
Egypt Spain Greece
Senior leadership
communicates a
motivating vision
Company has
outstanding future
FIGURE 12: Future Vision in Challenged Markets
(standardized)
60
58
56
54
52
50
48
46
44
42
40
PercentFavorable
Egypt Spain Greece
Senior leadership
communicates a
motivating vision
Company has
outstanding future
But our intuition would be wrong. Figures 11 and 12 show scores on
confidence in the company’s future are at least average or higher in all
challenged countries—in Egypt the score on this item is higher than that
in each mature market country. In contrast, employees in challenged
markets are more critical of their senior leaders’ ability to communicate
a motivating vision—the score in each country is below average.
Brazil Russia China Mexico South Africa UAE
4
Sufficient data on the item “I am confident that senior leadership is making the right decisions for the company” were not available in these countries, and was therefore excluded from analysis.
Avg
Leaders in Hard-Hit Markets Rise to the Challenge
In addition to examining emerging markets, we looked at three other
markets where the macro-economic conditions are not as optimistic for
various reasons: Egypt, Spain and Greece. We have called this group of
countries “challenged markets.” Our intuition might lead us to expect
scores in these countries to be markedly lower than scores in more
economically stable countries.
Avg
90
85
80
75
70
65
60
50
45
40
PercentFavorable
10 An IBM®
Smarter Workforce Institute Report
However, these scores are still similar to (Spain) or higher than (Egypt
and Greece) scores in mature market countries. In other words, despite
the macro-economic challenges being faced by employees in these
countries, they still rate their senior leaders as well or better than leaders
in more mature markets.
Perhaps the most astounding insight gathered from these analyses
is the robustness of leadership effectiveness (see Figure 13), even
in some of the most challenging economic situations. As presented
previously in Figure 4, compared to 2008, senior leaders’ ability to
inspire confidence and motivate employees towards a shared vision was
rated more positively in 2009, at the peak of economic turmoil. Further,
as summarized in Figure 13, compared to employees in more mature
markets, like the U.S. and Australia, employees in challenged markets,
like Greece and Spain, are just as happy or happier with their senior
leaders’ ability to communicate a motivating vision and feel just as or
more confident in their organization’s future.
Senior leaders seem to be the masters of their own fate, which is
good news for them and their employees, as their efforts to lead their
organizations through tumultuous times are not wasted. But by the
same token, leaders cannot blame the economy for low scores if they
are rated poorly.
Conclusion
This report has used big data to shed new light on some commonly
held beliefs. Our analysis has revealed that:
•	 Employee engagement is not in the dire state that other
commentators would have us believe. In fact, a large majority of
countries in our big data analysis have seen a small increase in
employee engagement between 2011 and 2012.
•	 The ability of senior leaders to communicate an inspiring and
motivating vision is a driver of employee engagement. This is no
fad, but something that demands urgent attention. Furthermore,
there is a significant gap between average and top performers
when it comes to employee perceptions of their leaders. There
is a significant opportunity for average leaders to up their
game by creating and communicating an inspiring vision. Such
actions would help drive higher levels of engagement, which in
turn has been linked to enhanced organizational performance.
Furthermore, the trend in employee perceptions of senior leaders
indicates a worrying dip in 2012 that could be an early warning
signal of a future decline in employee engagement levels.
•	 Senior leaders may believe that employees’ views are heavily
influenced by the economic conditions of the time, but at least
when it comes to employee perceptions of leaders, there is very
little correlation to the economic environment. In fact, leaders
in emerging and challenged markets are usually rated more
favorably by their employees than those in mature markets. n
FIGURE 13: Summary of Vision and Future Ratings for
Mature, Emerging and Challenged Markets
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
PercentFavorable
Company has outstanding
future
Senior leadership
communicates a motivating
vision
51
Mature Emerging
55
45
49
46
53
Challenged
“...leaders cannot blame the
economy for low scores if they are
rated poorly.”
11Big Data Helps Bust the Top Three Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership
References
AONHewitt. (2013). Trends in Global Employee Engagement. Lincolnshire, IL: Aon
plc. http://www.aon.com/human-capital-consulting/thought-leadership/talent_
mgmt/2013_Trends_in_Global_Employee_Engagement.jsp
BlessingWhite (2013). Employee Engagement Research Report Update. Skillman,
NJ: BlessingWhite, A Division of GP Strategies. http://www.blessingwhite.com/
EEE__report.asp
The Corporate Executive Board Company (2013). Breakthrough Performance in
the New Work Environment. Arlington, VA: CEB. http://www.executiveboard.com/
exbd/executive-guidance/2013/annual/index.page
Gallup, Inc. (2013). State of the American Workplace. Washington, D.C.: Gallup, Inc.
http://www.gallup.com/strategicconsulting/163007/state-american-workplace.
aspx
Gallup, Inc. (2010). The State of the Global Workplace. Washington, D.C.: Gallup,
Inc. http://www.gallup.com/strategicconsulting/157196/state-global-workplace.
aspx
International Monetary Fund. IMF World Economic Database, April 2013. http://
www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2013/01/weodata/index.aspx
IBM (2013). Beyond engagement: The definitive guide to employee surveys and
organizational performance. http://public.dhe.ibm.com/common/ssi/ecm/en/
low14043usen/LOW14043USEN.PDF
Reed, G. E. (2004). Toxic Leadership, Military Review, July-August 2004. http://
www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/dclm/Toxic_Leadership.pdf
World Bank (2013). Global Economic Prospects, Volume 7, June 2013 :
Less Volatile, but Slower Growth. Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://
openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/13892 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
Zenger, Jack. (2013). Why Gallup’s 70% Disengagement Data Is Wrong. Forbes.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jackzenger/2013/11/14/why-gallups-70-
disengagement-data-is-wrong/
WorkTrends
WorkTrends is a research program begun in 1984. In its current
form, WorkTrends is a multi-topic survey completed online by
a sample of employees representative of a country’s working
population in terms of industry mix, job type, gender, age and
other key organizational and demographic variables. In most
countries, survey takers must be adults who work full-time for
an organization of 100 employees or more; this threshold drops
to 25 employees or more in countries with smaller economies
or hard-to-reach populations. The survey has over 200 items
that cover a wide range of workplace issues, including senior
leader and direct manager effectiveness, recognition, growth
and development, employee engagement, customer orientation,
quality emphasis, innovation, corporate social responsibility,
workplace safety, work stress and performance confidence. In
2012, over 33,000 employees were surveyed.
WorldNorms
The WorldNorm database contains employee engagement
survey data that has been gathered from over 200 companies
each year with employees in over 200 countries. These
companies range in size from over 300,000 employees to as
few as 200 employees (median employee size is 6,000). The
current database contains over 250 million responses from
approximately five million employees per year. This database
has over 736 survey items that measure many important work
place issues including employee engagement, employee
alignment with corporate strategies, change management,
communication, compensation and benefits, company culture,
mission and values, customer focus, diversity, inclusion, ethics
and corporate social responsibility, future vision, employee
growth and development, innovation, involvement, leadership
and manager effectiveness, performance management,
recognition, quality products and services, safety and physical
work environment, teamwork and collaboration, trust in
leadership, and work/life balance.
About WorkTrends and WorldNorms Data
© Copyright IBM Corporation 2014
IBM Global Services
Route 100
Somers, NY 10589
U.S.A.
Produced in the United States of America
February 2014
All Rights Reserved
IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, the planet icon, WorkTrends and WorldNorms
are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines
Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. These and other
IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information
with the appropriate symbol (® or ™), indicating US registered or common law
trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such
trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries.
A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at ibm.com/legal/
copytrade.shtml
References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM
intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates.

More Related Content

What's hot

The Democratization of Entrepreneurship: a case for coworking and collaboration.
The Democratization of Entrepreneurship: a case for coworking and collaboration.The Democratization of Entrepreneurship: a case for coworking and collaboration.
The Democratization of Entrepreneurship: a case for coworking and collaboration.Jonathan El Kordi-Hubbard
 
Impact Hiring: How Data Will Transform Youth Employment
Impact Hiring: How Data Will Transform Youth EmploymentImpact Hiring: How Data Will Transform Youth Employment
Impact Hiring: How Data Will Transform Youth EmploymentThe Rockefeller Foundation
 
Trends global employee_engagement_final
Trends global employee_engagement_finalTrends global employee_engagement_final
Trends global employee_engagement_finalRye Cruz
 
Edelman Berland Research Findings: Veterans as Strategic Assets Initiative
Edelman Berland Research Findings: Veterans as Strategic Assets InitiativeEdelman Berland Research Findings: Veterans as Strategic Assets Initiative
Edelman Berland Research Findings: Veterans as Strategic Assets InitiativeEdelman
 
Shutting down fraud, waste, and abuse: Moving from rhetoric to real solutions...
Shutting down fraud, waste, and abuse: Moving from rhetoric to real solutions...Shutting down fraud, waste, and abuse: Moving from rhetoric to real solutions...
Shutting down fraud, waste, and abuse: Moving from rhetoric to real solutions...Deloitte United States
 
Peeling Back the Layers of the Small Business Market
Peeling Back the Layers of the Small Business MarketPeeling Back the Layers of the Small Business Market
Peeling Back the Layers of the Small Business MarketCompTIA
 
A Powerful Group of Small and Mid-Size Business Owners
A Powerful Group of Small and Mid-Size Business OwnersA Powerful Group of Small and Mid-Size Business Owners
A Powerful Group of Small and Mid-Size Business OwnersThe Business Journals
 
2013 Bullhorn North American Trends Report
2013 Bullhorn North American Trends Report2013 Bullhorn North American Trends Report
2013 Bullhorn North American Trends ReportBullhorn
 
First Friday for April 2015 news letter
First Friday for April 2015 news letterFirst Friday for April 2015 news letter
First Friday for April 2015 news letterJCianciolo
 
Myths exaggerations and uncomfortable truths executive report
Myths exaggerations and uncomfortable truths executive reportMyths exaggerations and uncomfortable truths executive report
Myths exaggerations and uncomfortable truths executive reportSyl Cotter
 
Deloitte M&A focus on: Analytics survey findings
 Deloitte M&A focus on: Analytics survey findings Deloitte M&A focus on: Analytics survey findings
Deloitte M&A focus on: Analytics survey findingsDeloitte United States
 
Naviagting Uncertainty - nashkpmgcio survey2017
Naviagting Uncertainty  - nashkpmgcio survey2017Naviagting Uncertainty  - nashkpmgcio survey2017
Naviagting Uncertainty - nashkpmgcio survey2017Pankaj Mistry
 
5 Tips Every Job-Hunting IT Pro Should Know
5 Tips Every Job-Hunting IT Pro Should Know5 Tips Every Job-Hunting IT Pro Should Know
5 Tips Every Job-Hunting IT Pro Should KnowChris Ross
 
Gen Now - Understanding the Multi-Gen Workforce and the Coming Leadership Def...
Gen Now - Understanding the Multi-Gen Workforce and the Coming Leadership Def...Gen Now - Understanding the Multi-Gen Workforce and the Coming Leadership Def...
Gen Now - Understanding the Multi-Gen Workforce and the Coming Leadership Def...Kelly Services
 
The Changing L&D Landscape: How Do We Reach Modern Learners?
The Changing L&D Landscape: How Do We Reach Modern Learners?The Changing L&D Landscape: How Do We Reach Modern Learners?
The Changing L&D Landscape: How Do We Reach Modern Learners?PageUp
 
Viability of HR Analytics
Viability of HR AnalyticsViability of HR Analytics
Viability of HR AnalyticsJonathan Gunter
 

What's hot (20)

The Democratization of Entrepreneurship: a case for coworking and collaboration.
The Democratization of Entrepreneurship: a case for coworking and collaboration.The Democratization of Entrepreneurship: a case for coworking and collaboration.
The Democratization of Entrepreneurship: a case for coworking and collaboration.
 
Impact Hiring: How Data Will Transform Youth Employment
Impact Hiring: How Data Will Transform Youth EmploymentImpact Hiring: How Data Will Transform Youth Employment
Impact Hiring: How Data Will Transform Youth Employment
 
Trends global employee_engagement_final
Trends global employee_engagement_finalTrends global employee_engagement_final
Trends global employee_engagement_final
 
Edelman Berland Research Findings: Veterans as Strategic Assets Initiative
Edelman Berland Research Findings: Veterans as Strategic Assets InitiativeEdelman Berland Research Findings: Veterans as Strategic Assets Initiative
Edelman Berland Research Findings: Veterans as Strategic Assets Initiative
 
Shutting down fraud, waste, and abuse: Moving from rhetoric to real solutions...
Shutting down fraud, waste, and abuse: Moving from rhetoric to real solutions...Shutting down fraud, waste, and abuse: Moving from rhetoric to real solutions...
Shutting down fraud, waste, and abuse: Moving from rhetoric to real solutions...
 
Peeling Back the Layers of the Small Business Market
Peeling Back the Layers of the Small Business MarketPeeling Back the Layers of the Small Business Market
Peeling Back the Layers of the Small Business Market
 
A Powerful Group of Small and Mid-Size Business Owners
A Powerful Group of Small and Mid-Size Business OwnersA Powerful Group of Small and Mid-Size Business Owners
A Powerful Group of Small and Mid-Size Business Owners
 
2013 Bullhorn North American Trends Report
2013 Bullhorn North American Trends Report2013 Bullhorn North American Trends Report
2013 Bullhorn North American Trends Report
 
It's Time for a Change
It's Time for a ChangeIt's Time for a Change
It's Time for a Change
 
First Friday for April 2015 news letter
First Friday for April 2015 news letterFirst Friday for April 2015 news letter
First Friday for April 2015 news letter
 
Myths exaggerations and uncomfortable truths executive report
Myths exaggerations and uncomfortable truths executive reportMyths exaggerations and uncomfortable truths executive report
Myths exaggerations and uncomfortable truths executive report
 
Deloitte M&A focus on: Analytics survey findings
 Deloitte M&A focus on: Analytics survey findings Deloitte M&A focus on: Analytics survey findings
Deloitte M&A focus on: Analytics survey findings
 
Naviagting Uncertainty - nashkpmgcio survey2017
Naviagting Uncertainty  - nashkpmgcio survey2017Naviagting Uncertainty  - nashkpmgcio survey2017
Naviagting Uncertainty - nashkpmgcio survey2017
 
2016 SMB Insights
2016 SMB Insights2016 SMB Insights
2016 SMB Insights
 
5 Tips Every Job-Hunting IT Pro Should Know
5 Tips Every Job-Hunting IT Pro Should Know5 Tips Every Job-Hunting IT Pro Should Know
5 Tips Every Job-Hunting IT Pro Should Know
 
Gen Now - Understanding the Multi-Gen Workforce and the Coming Leadership Def...
Gen Now - Understanding the Multi-Gen Workforce and the Coming Leadership Def...Gen Now - Understanding the Multi-Gen Workforce and the Coming Leadership Def...
Gen Now - Understanding the Multi-Gen Workforce and the Coming Leadership Def...
 
LeaDroid
LeaDroidLeaDroid
LeaDroid
 
2019 Women in the Workplace
2019 Women in the Workplace2019 Women in the Workplace
2019 Women in the Workplace
 
The Changing L&D Landscape: How Do We Reach Modern Learners?
The Changing L&D Landscape: How Do We Reach Modern Learners?The Changing L&D Landscape: How Do We Reach Modern Learners?
The Changing L&D Landscape: How Do We Reach Modern Learners?
 
Viability of HR Analytics
Viability of HR AnalyticsViability of HR Analytics
Viability of HR Analytics
 

Similar to Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership | InspireOne

powering-your-bottom-line
powering-your-bottom-linepowering-your-bottom-line
powering-your-bottom-lineLee Saunders
 
Powering Your Bottom Line Through Employee Engagement
Powering Your Bottom Line Through Employee EngagementPowering Your Bottom Line Through Employee Engagement
Powering Your Bottom Line Through Employee EngagementKip Michael Kelly
 
intllab.com - Gen y beyond satisfaction
intllab.com - Gen y beyond satisfactionintllab.com - Gen y beyond satisfaction
intllab.com - Gen y beyond satisfactionintllab.com
 
The negative effect and consequences of employee turnover and retention on th...
The negative effect and consequences of employee turnover and retention on th...The negative effect and consequences of employee turnover and retention on th...
The negative effect and consequences of employee turnover and retention on th...Alexander Decker
 
Happiness At Work - Hppy white paper
Happiness At Work  - Hppy white paperHappiness At Work  - Hppy white paper
Happiness At Work - Hppy white paperHppy
 
Employee Engagement-Beyond-Engagement - InspireOne
Employee Engagement-Beyond-Engagement - InspireOneEmployee Engagement-Beyond-Engagement - InspireOne
Employee Engagement-Beyond-Engagement - InspireOneInspireone
 
Ibm smarter workforce Unlock the people equation using workforce analytics to...
Ibm smarter workforce Unlock the people equation using workforce analytics to...Ibm smarter workforce Unlock the people equation using workforce analytics to...
Ibm smarter workforce Unlock the people equation using workforce analytics to...Pauline Mura
 
Employee Recognition Survey - Driving Stronger Performance Through Employee R...
Employee Recognition Survey - Driving Stronger Performance Through Employee R...Employee Recognition Survey - Driving Stronger Performance Through Employee R...
Employee Recognition Survey - Driving Stronger Performance Through Employee R...Elizabeth Lupfer
 
The Engagement Gap: How executives and employees think differently about empl...
The Engagement Gap: How executives and employees think differently about empl...The Engagement Gap: How executives and employees think differently about empl...
The Engagement Gap: How executives and employees think differently about empl...Brian Solis
 
STATE OF THE AMERICAN WOR KPLACEEMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT INSI.docx
STATE OF THE AMERICAN WOR KPLACEEMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT INSI.docxSTATE OF THE AMERICAN WOR KPLACEEMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT INSI.docx
STATE OF THE AMERICAN WOR KPLACEEMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT INSI.docxwhitneyleman54422
 
Employee Engagement - How to Achieve it
Employee Engagement - How to Achieve itEmployee Engagement - How to Achieve it
Employee Engagement - How to Achieve itKim Parker, CMA
 
GALLUP REPORT ON AMERCIAN WORK PLACE
GALLUP REPORT ON AMERCIAN WORK PLACEGALLUP REPORT ON AMERCIAN WORK PLACE
GALLUP REPORT ON AMERCIAN WORK PLACEHomer Zhang
 
Deloitte India : 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends
Deloitte India : 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital TrendsDeloitte India : 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends
Deloitte India : 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trendsaakash malhotra
 
Digital Salary and Industry Insights 6th Edition
Digital Salary and Industry Insights 6th EditionDigital Salary and Industry Insights 6th Edition
Digital Salary and Industry Insights 6th EditionAlex Straw
 
How Extraordinary Leaders Double Profit
How Extraordinary Leaders Double ProfitHow Extraordinary Leaders Double Profit
How Extraordinary Leaders Double ProfitJim Clemmer
 
Hiring for success — what makes the difference? Why are so many organisations...
Hiring for success — what makes the difference? Why are so many organisations...Hiring for success — what makes the difference? Why are so many organisations...
Hiring for success — what makes the difference? Why are so many organisations...Steven Jagger
 

Similar to Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership | InspireOne (20)

powering-your-bottom-line
powering-your-bottom-linepowering-your-bottom-line
powering-your-bottom-line
 
Powering Your Bottom Line Through Employee Engagement
Powering Your Bottom Line Through Employee EngagementPowering Your Bottom Line Through Employee Engagement
Powering Your Bottom Line Through Employee Engagement
 
intllab.com - Gen y beyond satisfaction
intllab.com - Gen y beyond satisfactionintllab.com - Gen y beyond satisfaction
intllab.com - Gen y beyond satisfaction
 
The negative effect and consequences of employee turnover and retention on th...
The negative effect and consequences of employee turnover and retention on th...The negative effect and consequences of employee turnover and retention on th...
The negative effect and consequences of employee turnover and retention on th...
 
Happiness At Work - Hppy white paper
Happiness At Work  - Hppy white paperHappiness At Work  - Hppy white paper
Happiness At Work - Hppy white paper
 
Employee Engagement-Beyond-Engagement - InspireOne
Employee Engagement-Beyond-Engagement - InspireOneEmployee Engagement-Beyond-Engagement - InspireOne
Employee Engagement-Beyond-Engagement - InspireOne
 
Why would someone want to work for you?
Why would someone want to work for you?Why would someone want to work for you?
Why would someone want to work for you?
 
Driving Employee Engagement
Driving Employee EngagementDriving Employee Engagement
Driving Employee Engagement
 
ADP_Engagement_WP_Final
ADP_Engagement_WP_FinalADP_Engagement_WP_Final
ADP_Engagement_WP_Final
 
Ibm smarter workforce Unlock the people equation using workforce analytics to...
Ibm smarter workforce Unlock the people equation using workforce analytics to...Ibm smarter workforce Unlock the people equation using workforce analytics to...
Ibm smarter workforce Unlock the people equation using workforce analytics to...
 
Employee Recognition Survey - Driving Stronger Performance Through Employee R...
Employee Recognition Survey - Driving Stronger Performance Through Employee R...Employee Recognition Survey - Driving Stronger Performance Through Employee R...
Employee Recognition Survey - Driving Stronger Performance Through Employee R...
 
The Engagement Gap: How executives and employees think differently about empl...
The Engagement Gap: How executives and employees think differently about empl...The Engagement Gap: How executives and employees think differently about empl...
The Engagement Gap: How executives and employees think differently about empl...
 
STATE OF THE AMERICAN WOR KPLACEEMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT INSI.docx
STATE OF THE AMERICAN WOR KPLACEEMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT INSI.docxSTATE OF THE AMERICAN WOR KPLACEEMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT INSI.docx
STATE OF THE AMERICAN WOR KPLACEEMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT INSI.docx
 
Employee Engagement - How to Achieve it
Employee Engagement - How to Achieve itEmployee Engagement - How to Achieve it
Employee Engagement - How to Achieve it
 
GALLUP REPORT ON AMERCIAN WORK PLACE
GALLUP REPORT ON AMERCIAN WORK PLACEGALLUP REPORT ON AMERCIAN WORK PLACE
GALLUP REPORT ON AMERCIAN WORK PLACE
 
Deloitte India : 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends
Deloitte India : 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital TrendsDeloitte India : 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends
Deloitte India : 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends
 
Digital Salary and Industry Insights 6th Edition
Digital Salary and Industry Insights 6th EditionDigital Salary and Industry Insights 6th Edition
Digital Salary and Industry Insights 6th Edition
 
How Extraordinary Leaders Double Profit
How Extraordinary Leaders Double ProfitHow Extraordinary Leaders Double Profit
How Extraordinary Leaders Double Profit
 
Hiring for success — what makes the difference? Why are so many organisations...
Hiring for success — what makes the difference? Why are so many organisations...Hiring for success — what makes the difference? Why are so many organisations...
Hiring for success — what makes the difference? Why are so many organisations...
 
MSA 699 Capstone
MSA 699 CapstoneMSA 699 Capstone
MSA 699 Capstone
 

More from Inspireone

Leadership and Organization Development - InspireOne
Leadership and Organization Development - InspireOneLeadership and Organization Development - InspireOne
Leadership and Organization Development - InspireOneInspireone
 
Systemic Approach to Cultural Transformation - InspireOne
Systemic Approach to Cultural Transformation - InspireOneSystemic Approach to Cultural Transformation - InspireOne
Systemic Approach to Cultural Transformation - InspireOneInspireone
 
Digitize Megalearning to Microlearning - Master-O APP
Digitize Megalearning to Microlearning - Master-O APPDigitize Megalearning to Microlearning - Master-O APP
Digitize Megalearning to Microlearning - Master-O APPInspireone
 
Leadership and Employee Engagement - InspireOne
Leadership and Employee Engagement - InspireOneLeadership and Employee Engagement - InspireOne
Leadership and Employee Engagement - InspireOneInspireone
 
Leadership Assessment - Guide Railing Your Talent Path - InspireOne
Leadership Assessment - Guide Railing Your Talent Path - InspireOneLeadership Assessment - Guide Railing Your Talent Path - InspireOne
Leadership Assessment - Guide Railing Your Talent Path - InspireOneInspireone
 
Leadership Development Process - InspireOne - Redefining Learning Journeys
Leadership Development Process - InspireOne - Redefining Learning JourneysLeadership Development Process - InspireOne - Redefining Learning Journeys
Leadership Development Process - InspireOne - Redefining Learning JourneysInspireone
 
Leadership and Employee Engagement in Tomorrow Organization - InspireOne
Leadership and Employee Engagement  in Tomorrow Organization - InspireOneLeadership and Employee Engagement  in Tomorrow Organization - InspireOne
Leadership and Employee Engagement in Tomorrow Organization - InspireOneInspireone
 
Master O - Modern Learning - Introduction To MicroSkills
Master O - Modern Learning - Introduction To MicroSkillsMaster O - Modern Learning - Introduction To MicroSkills
Master O - Modern Learning - Introduction To MicroSkillsInspireone
 
Performance Management - InspireOne
Performance Management - InspireOnePerformance Management - InspireOne
Performance Management - InspireOneInspireone
 
Employee Engagement Strategies - InspireOne
Employee Engagement Strategies - InspireOneEmployee Engagement Strategies - InspireOne
Employee Engagement Strategies - InspireOneInspireone
 
Employee Engagement Strategies | InspireOne
Employee Engagement Strategies | InspireOneEmployee Engagement Strategies | InspireOne
Employee Engagement Strategies | InspireOneInspireone
 

More from Inspireone (11)

Leadership and Organization Development - InspireOne
Leadership and Organization Development - InspireOneLeadership and Organization Development - InspireOne
Leadership and Organization Development - InspireOne
 
Systemic Approach to Cultural Transformation - InspireOne
Systemic Approach to Cultural Transformation - InspireOneSystemic Approach to Cultural Transformation - InspireOne
Systemic Approach to Cultural Transformation - InspireOne
 
Digitize Megalearning to Microlearning - Master-O APP
Digitize Megalearning to Microlearning - Master-O APPDigitize Megalearning to Microlearning - Master-O APP
Digitize Megalearning to Microlearning - Master-O APP
 
Leadership and Employee Engagement - InspireOne
Leadership and Employee Engagement - InspireOneLeadership and Employee Engagement - InspireOne
Leadership and Employee Engagement - InspireOne
 
Leadership Assessment - Guide Railing Your Talent Path - InspireOne
Leadership Assessment - Guide Railing Your Talent Path - InspireOneLeadership Assessment - Guide Railing Your Talent Path - InspireOne
Leadership Assessment - Guide Railing Your Talent Path - InspireOne
 
Leadership Development Process - InspireOne - Redefining Learning Journeys
Leadership Development Process - InspireOne - Redefining Learning JourneysLeadership Development Process - InspireOne - Redefining Learning Journeys
Leadership Development Process - InspireOne - Redefining Learning Journeys
 
Leadership and Employee Engagement in Tomorrow Organization - InspireOne
Leadership and Employee Engagement  in Tomorrow Organization - InspireOneLeadership and Employee Engagement  in Tomorrow Organization - InspireOne
Leadership and Employee Engagement in Tomorrow Organization - InspireOne
 
Master O - Modern Learning - Introduction To MicroSkills
Master O - Modern Learning - Introduction To MicroSkillsMaster O - Modern Learning - Introduction To MicroSkills
Master O - Modern Learning - Introduction To MicroSkills
 
Performance Management - InspireOne
Performance Management - InspireOnePerformance Management - InspireOne
Performance Management - InspireOne
 
Employee Engagement Strategies - InspireOne
Employee Engagement Strategies - InspireOneEmployee Engagement Strategies - InspireOne
Employee Engagement Strategies - InspireOne
 
Employee Engagement Strategies | InspireOne
Employee Engagement Strategies | InspireOneEmployee Engagement Strategies | InspireOne
Employee Engagement Strategies | InspireOne
 

Recently uploaded

Annual General Meeting Presentation Slides
Annual General Meeting Presentation SlidesAnnual General Meeting Presentation Slides
Annual General Meeting Presentation SlidesKeppelCorporation
 
APRIL2024_UKRAINE_xml_0000000000000 .pdf
APRIL2024_UKRAINE_xml_0000000000000 .pdfAPRIL2024_UKRAINE_xml_0000000000000 .pdf
APRIL2024_UKRAINE_xml_0000000000000 .pdfRbc Rbcua
 
Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...
Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...
Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...Peter Ward
 
Darshan Hiranandani [News About Next CEO].pdf
Darshan Hiranandani [News About Next CEO].pdfDarshan Hiranandani [News About Next CEO].pdf
Darshan Hiranandani [News About Next CEO].pdfShashank Mehta
 
Global Scenario On Sustainable and Resilient Coconut Industry by Dr. Jelfina...
Global Scenario On Sustainable  and Resilient Coconut Industry by Dr. Jelfina...Global Scenario On Sustainable  and Resilient Coconut Industry by Dr. Jelfina...
Global Scenario On Sustainable and Resilient Coconut Industry by Dr. Jelfina...ictsugar
 
Kenya Coconut Production Presentation by Dr. Lalith Perera
Kenya Coconut Production Presentation by Dr. Lalith PereraKenya Coconut Production Presentation by Dr. Lalith Perera
Kenya Coconut Production Presentation by Dr. Lalith Pereraictsugar
 
Call US-88OO1O2216 Call Girls In Mahipalpur Female Escort Service
Call US-88OO1O2216 Call Girls In Mahipalpur Female Escort ServiceCall US-88OO1O2216 Call Girls In Mahipalpur Female Escort Service
Call US-88OO1O2216 Call Girls In Mahipalpur Female Escort Servicecallgirls2057
 
Digital Transformation in the PLM domain - distrib.pdf
Digital Transformation in the PLM domain - distrib.pdfDigital Transformation in the PLM domain - distrib.pdf
Digital Transformation in the PLM domain - distrib.pdfJos Voskuil
 
Traction part 2 - EOS Model JAX Bridges.
Traction part 2 - EOS Model JAX Bridges.Traction part 2 - EOS Model JAX Bridges.
Traction part 2 - EOS Model JAX Bridges.Anamaria Contreras
 
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Kotla Mubarakpur Delhi NCR
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Kotla Mubarakpur Delhi NCR8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Kotla Mubarakpur Delhi NCR
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Kotla Mubarakpur Delhi NCRashishs7044
 
Kenya’s Coconut Value Chain by Gatsby Africa
Kenya’s Coconut Value Chain by Gatsby AfricaKenya’s Coconut Value Chain by Gatsby Africa
Kenya’s Coconut Value Chain by Gatsby Africaictsugar
 
Cyber Security Training in Office Environment
Cyber Security Training in Office EnvironmentCyber Security Training in Office Environment
Cyber Security Training in Office Environmentelijahj01012
 
Innovation Conference 5th March 2024.pdf
Innovation Conference 5th March 2024.pdfInnovation Conference 5th March 2024.pdf
Innovation Conference 5th March 2024.pdfrichard876048
 
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Uttam Nagar Delhi NCR
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Uttam Nagar Delhi NCR8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Uttam Nagar Delhi NCR
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Uttam Nagar Delhi NCRashishs7044
 
Buy gmail accounts.pdf Buy Old Gmail Accounts
Buy gmail accounts.pdf Buy Old Gmail AccountsBuy gmail accounts.pdf Buy Old Gmail Accounts
Buy gmail accounts.pdf Buy Old Gmail AccountsBuy Verified Accounts
 
Youth Involvement in an Innovative Coconut Value Chain by Mwalimu Menza
Youth Involvement in an Innovative Coconut Value Chain by Mwalimu MenzaYouth Involvement in an Innovative Coconut Value Chain by Mwalimu Menza
Youth Involvement in an Innovative Coconut Value Chain by Mwalimu Menzaictsugar
 
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Shivaji Enclave Delhi NCR
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Shivaji Enclave Delhi NCR8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Shivaji Enclave Delhi NCR
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Shivaji Enclave Delhi NCRashishs7044
 
FULL ENJOY Call girls in Paharganj Delhi | 8377087607
FULL ENJOY Call girls in Paharganj Delhi | 8377087607FULL ENJOY Call girls in Paharganj Delhi | 8377087607
FULL ENJOY Call girls in Paharganj Delhi | 8377087607dollysharma2066
 

Recently uploaded (20)

Annual General Meeting Presentation Slides
Annual General Meeting Presentation SlidesAnnual General Meeting Presentation Slides
Annual General Meeting Presentation Slides
 
APRIL2024_UKRAINE_xml_0000000000000 .pdf
APRIL2024_UKRAINE_xml_0000000000000 .pdfAPRIL2024_UKRAINE_xml_0000000000000 .pdf
APRIL2024_UKRAINE_xml_0000000000000 .pdf
 
Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...
Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...
Fordham -How effective decision-making is within the IT department - Analysis...
 
Japan IT Week 2024 Brochure by 47Billion (English)
Japan IT Week 2024 Brochure by 47Billion (English)Japan IT Week 2024 Brochure by 47Billion (English)
Japan IT Week 2024 Brochure by 47Billion (English)
 
Darshan Hiranandani [News About Next CEO].pdf
Darshan Hiranandani [News About Next CEO].pdfDarshan Hiranandani [News About Next CEO].pdf
Darshan Hiranandani [News About Next CEO].pdf
 
Global Scenario On Sustainable and Resilient Coconut Industry by Dr. Jelfina...
Global Scenario On Sustainable  and Resilient Coconut Industry by Dr. Jelfina...Global Scenario On Sustainable  and Resilient Coconut Industry by Dr. Jelfina...
Global Scenario On Sustainable and Resilient Coconut Industry by Dr. Jelfina...
 
Corporate Profile 47Billion Information Technology
Corporate Profile 47Billion Information TechnologyCorporate Profile 47Billion Information Technology
Corporate Profile 47Billion Information Technology
 
Kenya Coconut Production Presentation by Dr. Lalith Perera
Kenya Coconut Production Presentation by Dr. Lalith PereraKenya Coconut Production Presentation by Dr. Lalith Perera
Kenya Coconut Production Presentation by Dr. Lalith Perera
 
Call US-88OO1O2216 Call Girls In Mahipalpur Female Escort Service
Call US-88OO1O2216 Call Girls In Mahipalpur Female Escort ServiceCall US-88OO1O2216 Call Girls In Mahipalpur Female Escort Service
Call US-88OO1O2216 Call Girls In Mahipalpur Female Escort Service
 
Digital Transformation in the PLM domain - distrib.pdf
Digital Transformation in the PLM domain - distrib.pdfDigital Transformation in the PLM domain - distrib.pdf
Digital Transformation in the PLM domain - distrib.pdf
 
Traction part 2 - EOS Model JAX Bridges.
Traction part 2 - EOS Model JAX Bridges.Traction part 2 - EOS Model JAX Bridges.
Traction part 2 - EOS Model JAX Bridges.
 
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Kotla Mubarakpur Delhi NCR
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Kotla Mubarakpur Delhi NCR8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Kotla Mubarakpur Delhi NCR
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Kotla Mubarakpur Delhi NCR
 
Kenya’s Coconut Value Chain by Gatsby Africa
Kenya’s Coconut Value Chain by Gatsby AfricaKenya’s Coconut Value Chain by Gatsby Africa
Kenya’s Coconut Value Chain by Gatsby Africa
 
Cyber Security Training in Office Environment
Cyber Security Training in Office EnvironmentCyber Security Training in Office Environment
Cyber Security Training in Office Environment
 
Innovation Conference 5th March 2024.pdf
Innovation Conference 5th March 2024.pdfInnovation Conference 5th March 2024.pdf
Innovation Conference 5th March 2024.pdf
 
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Uttam Nagar Delhi NCR
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Uttam Nagar Delhi NCR8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Uttam Nagar Delhi NCR
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Uttam Nagar Delhi NCR
 
Buy gmail accounts.pdf Buy Old Gmail Accounts
Buy gmail accounts.pdf Buy Old Gmail AccountsBuy gmail accounts.pdf Buy Old Gmail Accounts
Buy gmail accounts.pdf Buy Old Gmail Accounts
 
Youth Involvement in an Innovative Coconut Value Chain by Mwalimu Menza
Youth Involvement in an Innovative Coconut Value Chain by Mwalimu MenzaYouth Involvement in an Innovative Coconut Value Chain by Mwalimu Menza
Youth Involvement in an Innovative Coconut Value Chain by Mwalimu Menza
 
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Shivaji Enclave Delhi NCR
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Shivaji Enclave Delhi NCR8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Shivaji Enclave Delhi NCR
8447779800, Low rate Call girls in Shivaji Enclave Delhi NCR
 
FULL ENJOY Call girls in Paharganj Delhi | 8377087607
FULL ENJOY Call girls in Paharganj Delhi | 8377087607FULL ENJOY Call girls in Paharganj Delhi | 8377087607
FULL ENJOY Call girls in Paharganj Delhi | 8377087607
 

Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership | InspireOne

  • 1. 1Big Data Helps Bust the Top Three Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership Big data helps bust the top three myths of employee engagement and leadership Insights into the global state of employee engagement to help drive productivity through the engagement of people.
  • 2. 2 An IBM® Smarter Workforce Institute Report Authored by Jeffrey Jolton, Ph.D. and Bryan Hayes , Ph.D. Contributions made by Rena Rasch, Ph.D. and Bob Weldon, Ph.D. The IBM® Smarter Workforce Institute features a multidisciplinary team of expert psychologists and researchers. With offices in London and Minneapolis, the Smarter Workforce Institute oversees rigorous, global, and innovative research and development programs spanning all aspects of human capital management.
  • 3. 3Big Data Helps Bust the Top Three Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership Executive Summary Doing more with less has become familiar to many of us—and our workforce is no exception. The World Bank estimates global GDP grew 2.3% in 2012, with expected continued moderate growth in 2013 (The World Bank, 2013). Much of this growth is driven by the human side of the equation. Between 2011 and 2012, 90% of countries saw an increase in productivity i.e., GDP per capita (IMF World Economic Database, 2013). Since 1993, revenue per employee has seen a 3.2% compound annual growth rate compared with little to no growth in revenue per cost of goods sold or per invested capital (CEB, 2013). These facts illustrate what most leaders know: companies (and countries) should be able to do more with the employees they have. Employee engagement is increasingly seen as a fundamental mechanism through which to attain superior organizational performance (IBM, 2013). Fundamentally, organizations can do more with more engaged employees. Presented in this report are insights into the global state of employee engagement based on one of the biggest employee research databases ever assembled. These insights help provide a roadmap for driving productivity through engagement of people. Armed with these big data, we identified three key findings that can challenge some of the commonly held beliefs concerning employee engagement and leadership: • Neither the sky nor employee engagement is falling. Contrary to popular reports, in almost each country, our big data indicate employee engagement was up in 2012 compared to both 2010 and 2011. • People join companies, but leave managers companies. The adage that people leave managers is not supported by big data. Although managers play an important role in supporting the engagement and retention of employees, they cannot go it alone. Their senior leaders should step up and take responsibility for delivering on what has been consistently the most important driver of employee engagement over the last five years—communicating a motivating vision of their organization’s future and inspiring confidence in their employees. • The economic crisis should not be used a scapegoat. Compared to 2008, senior leaders’ ability to inspire confidence and motivate employees towards a shared vision was rated more positively in 2009, at the peak of economic turmoil. Ratings generally remained consistent or actually improved in 2010 and 2011. It was only in 2012, three years after the crisis, that confidence in leadership took a notable hit. Further, senior leaders were rated similarly or more positively in mature, stable and even economically challenged markets. These data suggest the economic crisis should not be used to explain poor perceptions of senior leader performance. In addition to sharing the evidence for these myth-busting insights, this report will also give leaders valuable guidance into their role in promoting employee engagement to build organizational success. For companies to be successful, employees must be engaged to perform, innovate and drive outcomes. This report will help organizations proactively manage employee engagement for future productivity by drawing attention away from what matters less—the economic climate and direct managers—and focusing on what matters more—visionary leadership.
  • 4. 4 An IBM® Smarter Workforce Institute Report The Positive Power of Listening to Employees Results of this big data analysis are shown in Figure 1. Contrary to the proclamations of others, 70% of employees at organizations surveyed by IBM around the world (average of 4.5 million employees surveyed each year from 2008 to 2012) are engaged and only 12% of employees are disengaged (not shown). The results presented in Figure 1 also highlight the effectiveness and protective power of listening to employees and monitoring the workforce. Organizations that surveyed their employees saw engagement levels on average 20 percentage points higher than those that did not survey employees. Evidently, making engagement a priority by listening to employees, for example by conducting a survey, does help make a difference. How the survey is conducted also appears to matter. Organizations using IBM’s survey methodology saw average employee engagement levels a further three percentage points higher than companies that surveyed employees, but not necessarily with IBM. Neither the Sky Nor Employee Engagement is Falling The big data presented here reveal the global state of employee engagement is fairly strong and getting stronger. However, reading news clippings and reports from many consulting firms would lead to a very different conclusion (Zenger, 2013). In recent years, others have published conclusions including: • Only 30% of the US workforce is engaged (Gallup, 2013). • Only 11% of the global workforce is engaged and 27% are actively disengaged (Gallup, 2010). • Globally, 40% of employees are passively or actively disengaged (AONHewitt, 2013). • 22% to 42% of the workforce is engaged, depending on the global region, with 11% to 24% disengaged (BlessingWhite, 2013). Perhaps these reports simply have not considered a big enough data source for their conclusions, because our analysis shows an altogether brighter outlook, especially for companies that make engagement a strategic priority by surveying their employees. Employee engagement1 is up globally, with many countries experiencing more motivated and committed workers. The data used for this report come from two sources: the WorkTrends™ survey and the WorldNorms database: • WorkTrends is an annual global survey, which in 2012, surveyed over 33,000 employees across multiple countries, industries, and organizations. • WorldNorms is IBM’s database containing survey data from: – Hundreds of organizations. – Over 14 million employee opinions collected from 2010 to 2012. – Companies ranging in size from 100 to over 300,000 employees (20,000 average). – Twenty industries and 215 countries. – Over 725 million survey responses. WorkTrends gives us a peek into the average employee’s experience, while WorldNorms provides a full view into the experience of employees whose leaders make engagement a strategic priority. Our conclusions about the state of employee engagement are reinforced by the convergence of these two independent sources of information. “Organizations that surveyed their employees saw engagement levels on average 20 percentage points higher than those that did not survey employees.” 75 70 65 60 55 50 45 40 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 FIGURE 1: Global Employee Engagement Levels by Year PercentFavorable Survey with IBM Survey with a provider other than IBM Do not survey The Protective Power of Surveying Employees The trend lines in Figure 1 reveal another important finding—IBM clients have endured far fewer fluctuations in their employee engagement levels over the last five years. Other organizations saw between five and nine percentage point swings in engagement over the same time period, yet the biggest change for IBM clients was just three percentage points between 2008 and 2009. The data suggest that taking action on what matters most to employee engagement can not only build engagement, it can also help to counter the potentially negative impact caused by outside influences. Later in this report, we explore the top drivers of employee engagement that have enabled these companies to buck the trend and help create a more consistent and productive experience for employees. 1 IBM defines employee engagement as the extent to which employees are motivated to contribute to organizational success, and are willing to apply discretionary effort to accomplishing tasks important to the achievement of organizational goals. IBM’s employee engagement index assesses employee pride, satisfaction, commitment and advocacy.
  • 5. 5Big Data Helps Bust the Top Three Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership Furthermore, stories of employees bottoming out just do not seem credible. We believe most employees want to be engaged, they want to be excited about their company, their jobs and coming to work each day. As a result, the evidence shows that employees voluntarily give their feedback on surveys used to drive engagement—IBM clients averaged an employee participation rate of over 80 percent in 2012. It does not seem logical that so many chronically disengaged employees would be so forthcoming and eager to share their thoughts. People Join Companies, But Leave Managers Companies The second myth that our big data helps bust is the old adage that people join companies, but leave managers. Any leader who thinks employees’ immediate managers are primarily responsible for their engagement and retention is sorely mistaken. While direct managers and supervisors can certainly impact engagement, both directly and indirectly, and no doubt some employees do indeed leave companies because of their manager, our data suggest managers have far less direct impact on engaging employees and driving retention than other factors. In fact, several of the top drivers of employee engagement are directly related to the actions of senior leaders. Figure 3 provides evidence for what is found anecdotally across many organizations. People primarily leave companies when they believe they and/or their company does not have a good future. Other factors are often secondary, such as pay, work-life-balance and treatment by the immediate manager. One word of caution when interpreting this table—it should not be taken as applying to each employee in each organization. It is advisable to undertake specific analyses to isolate the root causes of turnover in specific job families within specific companies. The data do, however, illustrate the general trend that is seen across organizations. Global Employee Engagement Up in Nine out of Ten Countries Engagement levels globally were either relatively stable or on the rise in 2012. Employees around the world reported being more engaged in 2012 compared to 2010. In particular, IBM clients saw a welcome return to the peak engagement levels not seen since 2009. This positive outlook can also be seen in a detailed look at individual countries—employee engagement is up in most countries around the world. A big data analysis of survey responses from more than nine million employees2 shows employee engagement levels by country from 2010 to 2012 in select countries (Figure 2). The second column in Figure 2 for each country represents the percentage point change in employee engagement in 2012 compared to 2010. Of the twenty countries presented, only three show a decrease in engagement from 2010 to 2012, and two of those three countries in decline demonstrated the minimal change of a single percentage point. Almost each place where we look across the globe, employee engagement scores are up—a happy pandemic of sorts. Cumulatively, these results challenge the claims of record low engagement levels. After all, these results represent the views of nine million employees around the world. FIGURE 3: Determinants of Turnover Intentions *Relative influence on turnover intentions derived from analysis of 2012 WorkTrends™ data. Turnover intentions was measured by the combined average of responses to “I rarely think about looking for a new job with another company” and “I am seriously considering leaving my organization within the next 12 months”. Values represent relative weight of each factor in explaining turnover intentions. Factors were identified using Stepwise Regression analysis with relative influence determined by Relative Weights Analysis. Relative Influence On Turnover Intentions* Determining Factor 34% I can achieve my career goals at this company. 30% I believe my organization has an outstanding future. 14% I am paid fairly for the work I do. 12% My life is well-balanced between work, family, friends, and my personal needs. 11% My manager treats me with respect and dignity. 100% Total variance explained was 49% FIGURE 2: Employee Engagement Changes from 2010 to 2012 in Select Countries Country Employee Engagement Score in 2012 Change from 2010 Argentina 66 +2 Australia 67 +2 Belgium 64 -1 Brazil 71 +4 Canada 69 +4 China 66 +4 Columbia 82 -5 France 61 +8 Germany 64 +2 India 75 +4 Japan 53 +3 Mexico 79 0 Russia 71 +2 Saudi Arabia 74 -1 South Africa 67 +1 Spain 70 +8 Sweden 63 +4 Turkey 68 +3 United Kingdom 63 +4 United States 71 +2 2 4.28 million employees surveyed in 2010 and 4.9 million employees surveyed in 2012.
  • 6. 6 An IBM® Smarter Workforce Institute Report Future Vision from Senior Leaders Drives Engagement Moving beyond the retention of employees, engaging employees is critical for productivity and organizational performance. Here again, managers, while important, are not the most important driver. Looking across client surveys, each year we are able to identify the topics that have the strongest relationship to employee engagement. We consider these topics to be “drivers” of engagement—meaning that improvements in engagement are likely related to improvements in these topics. Our extensive client work has demonstrated that if organizations take action on their drivers of employee engagement, then they can see a corresponding improvement in employee engagement. Further, we have observed that corresponding improvements in engagement are not as significant when action is taken on topics that are less strongly related to engagement. Drivers of engagement are one of the best ways to understand what can support and increase employee engagement in work environments. To define the top drivers of engagement, we look at commonly used items and their statistical relationship to the employee engagement index. Those with the strongest relationship (correlation) were given higher rankings. Items were aligned to themes and their relative rankings are show in Figure 4. As demonstrated in Figure 4, the top drivers of employee engagement have been fairly consistent over the last five years, with leadership future vision consistently topping the list. Senior leaders are critical to the creation and communication of their organization’s future vision. Very simply, this is a driver of employee engagement that should not be delegated. In contrast, the five-year trend analysis in Figure 4 highlights that manager effectiveness is not typically a prominent or top ranked driver of employee engagement. In contrast to popular beliefs and statements about managers having a great deal of influence over their employees’ engagement, the data reveal that a sole focus on managers to drive engagement is unlikely to deliver significant improvements. Rather, executives or senior leaders can have a much greater impact on employee engagement by communicating a strong and inspiring future vision. It is important to note that while the ranking in Figure 4 generally holds true across organizations and industries, there are a few notable exceptions. For example, in the retail industry, the manager does have a more significant impact on the employee experience and subsequent employee engagement. It is also important to recognize that while manager effectiveness may not rank highly as a driver of employee engagement (Figure 4), managers do matter. A growing body of evidence confirms that a bad or “toxic manager” (Reed, 2004) can have a profound, negative impact on the employee experience, in effect causing disengagement. Fundamentally, the ranked drivers analysis reveals that some of the best possible managers in the world cannot usually retain or engage employees on their own. Senior leaders play a fairly significant role in driving high levels of commitment and motivation. The data suggest that a shift in focus is required—away from direct managers being the primary, if not sole, implementers of employee engagement related action plans to senior executives leading by example, creating a vision of an outstanding future for both the company and the employee. Leaders’ ability to focus energy on an inspiring mission is key to driving organizational success via the alignment of employees to this vision. How Well Are Leaders Creating a Vision? Taking our analysis a step further, we wanted to examine how effective leaders are at creating and communicating this future vision. In other words, are they driving engagement as much as they possibly can, or is there room for improvement? We analyzed employees’ agreement with three items that are most clearly associated with the future vision driver: • I believe the company has an outstanding future. • Senior leadership communicates a vision of the future that motivates employees. • I am confident that senior leadership is making the right decisions for the company. FIGURE 4: Ranked Drivers of Employee Engagement 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Leadership future vision 1 1 1 1 1 Recognition 4 3 2 3 2 Quality and customer focus 4 6 5 5 2 Diversity and inclusion 2 5 5 3 4 Growth and development 3 3 2 5 4 Collaboration involvement 4 2 2 2 4 Ethics and corporate governance 4 6 8 10 7 Performance management 9 10 7 7 7 Creating change 4 6 8 7 9 Open communication 9 6 8 10 9 Leadership living values 11 10 8 7 11 Manager effectiveness 11 10 8 10 11 “Leaders’ ability to focus energy on an inspiring mission is key to driving organizational success...”
  • 7. 7Big Data Helps Bust the Top Three Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership would get them through the difficult times and could, therefore, emerge stronger on the other side. This is mirrored by the small increase in the communication of a future vision that motivates people between 2008 and 2009. The analysis revealed that in 2012 across geographic regions and industries, there is room for improvement. Across the three items, between one-quarter and one-third of employees remain neutral or negative about the future prospects of their company, their senior leaders’ ability to communicate a motivating vision and their confidence that senior leaders are making the best possible decisions (Figure 5). More striking is the gap between the global average and top performers, as shown in Figure 5. Top performers represent the average percent favorable score among those companies that meet or exceed the top 10th percentile cut score for the item. In short, the top performers line highlights the opportunity for improvement in the performance of senior leaders, with a potential for 17 to 18 percentage point increases across the three items. Such improvements, as we have already demonstrated above are usually linked to improvements in employee engagement, which in turn are typically linked to improvements in organizational performance. FIGURE 5: How Well Are Leaders Creating a Vision? 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 PercentFavorable Company has outstanding future Senior leadership communicates a motivating vision 74% Confidence in leadership decision making 60% 67% 78% 84% 92% Global average 2012 Top performers 2012 FIGURE 6: Trends in Leadership Ability to Drive Future Vision Over Five Years 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 PercentFavorable Senior leadership communicates a motivating vision Company has an outstanding future Confidence in leadership decision making 90 80 70 60 50 40 Trends in Future Vision—Trouble on the Horizon? While this snapshot of how well leaders are doing is interesting, looking back over the last five years allows us to identify potential trends and make some informed predictions about the next five years. The historical view of the performance of leaders (Figure 6) reveals strongly consistent employee perceptions of senior leaders, despite the economic turmoil of the time. In 2009, there was a boost in the perceptions around the organization having an outstanding future. Perhaps the global financial crisis of the time drove leaders to be much more visible and to articulate where the business was going. Furthermore, the fact that the organization was surviving through this difficult period appears to have convinced employees that their leaders However, the stable or slightly upward movements in employees’ views of their senior leaders changed in 2012 when all three elements of future vision decreased (see Figure 6). Most notably, confidence in senior leaders’ ability to make the right decisions dropped from 69 to 64 percent between 2011 and 2012. In fact, 2012 is the first year over the last five in which all three items declined from the previous year. This recent fall in employees’ views of senior leaders could be a matter of serious concern. In this report, we have already demonstrated just how strongly employee engagement is linked to leaders’ ability to communicate a future vision. If employee perceptions of leaders are falling, then this could be a harbinger of a future drop in employee engagement. One global organization recently discovered that positive perceptions of its future vision had dropped among its senior managers and directors. Not only that, but employee engagement had also dropped a very significant eight percentage points. Further analysis revealed that the messaging from senior leaders around the future vision had become very short-term, with a strong focus on making numbers quarter-to-quarter. That message was more about business performance than an inspiring goal and it lacked the personal connection that can make a strong future vision so impactful. THE IMPORTANCE OF LONG-TERM VISION
  • 8. 8 An IBM® Smarter Workforce Institute Report The Economic Crisis Cannot be Used a Scapegoat In this report, we have already established that setting a motivating vision for the company’s future has typically been a top driver of employee engagement over the past five years. However, it could be argued that leadership effectiveness is simply a product of the wider economic environment. If this were the case, then there could be very little leaders can do to affect their employees’ engagement—after all, the wider economic environment is not exactly under their control. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed differences in perceptions of leaders by countries of varying economic conditions. For simplicity, and to ensure fair comparison between countries, the data is taken from one time period (2012). Room for Improvement in Mature Markets Looking at individual countries, we can see that room for improvement exists, especially senior leaders’ ability to communicate a vision, and especially in Japan. Figures 7 and 8 present both percent favorable and standardized3 scores on the three elements of future vision in six economically mature markets. Typically, employees rate their organization’s future most favorably and rate their senior leaders’ ability to communicate a motivating vision least favorably. In relative terms, employees in mature markets consider their senior leaders to be doing a sub-par job when it comes to communicating a motivating vision. However, when we look at confidence in leadership to make decisions and outstanding future, the regions are much more diverse. Japan falls below average, European economies (UK, Germany, and The Netherlands) are nearer to average, and United States and Australia show the highest confidence in the future. Leaders in Emerging Markets Doing a Better Job Among emerging markets, there is more optimism about leaders and the future (Figures 9 and 10). In the emerging markets, we see a wider range of standardized scores (Figure 10) for the effectiveness of senior leadership conveying a motivating vision than was evident in the mature markets. Relatively speaking, emerging market leaders are being perceived more favorably in how they relate their vision; however, with the exception of South Africa, none are above their relative average, suggesting, as is the case with mature markets, leaders could be doing a better job in expressing the future vision. Employees in emerging markets also have greater confidence in their leaders’ decision-making ability than their mature market counterparts. They are also more likely to say that their company has an outstanding future. Although two mature markets (United States and Australia) scored above the relative average on these items, each emerging market rose above the average (see Figure 10), suggesting greater confidence and optimism in the future. Furthermore, some of the highest ratings of future vision were observed in emerging market countries–specifically South Africa, Brazil, Mexico and the UAE. FIGURE 8: Future Vision in Mature Markets (standardized scores) 60 58 56 54 52 50 48 46 44 42 40 PercentFavorable Senior leadership communicates a motivating vision Confidence in leadership decision making Company has outstanding future FIGURE 7: Future Vision in Mature Markets (percent favorable) U.S. UK Australia Germany Japan The Netherlands Senior leadership communicates a motivating vision Confidence in leadership decision making Company has outstanding future U.S. UK Australia Germany Japan The Netherlands 3 To account for response sets or other country-specific biases, raw percent favorable scores were rescaled into standardized scores for each country. Standardized scores show how the three leadership items move in comparison to a global favorability score, which was estimated as the percent favorable across all items and themes in a particular country. On the standardized scale, a score of 50 reflects a country’s average percent favorable score. Any score above 50 indicates a more favorable than average view and any score below 50 indicates a less favorable than average view, both regardless of country-specific biases. Avg 90 85 80 75 70 65 60 55 50 45 40 PercentFavorable
  • 9. 9Big Data Helps Bust the Top Three Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership Brazil Russia China Mexico South Africa UAE Senior leadership communicates a motivating vision Confidence in leadership decision making Company has outstanding future FIGURE 9: Future Vision in Emerging Markets (percent favorable) FIGURE 10:Future Vision in Emerging Markets (standardized scores) 60 58 56 54 52 50 48 46 44 42 40 PercentFavorable Senior leadership communicates a motivating vision Confidence in leadership decision making Company has outstanding future FIGURE 11: Future Vision in Challenged Markets (percent favorable)4 90 85 80 75 70 65 60 55 50 45 40 PercentFavorable Egypt Spain Greece Senior leadership communicates a motivating vision Company has outstanding future FIGURE 12: Future Vision in Challenged Markets (standardized) 60 58 56 54 52 50 48 46 44 42 40 PercentFavorable Egypt Spain Greece Senior leadership communicates a motivating vision Company has outstanding future But our intuition would be wrong. Figures 11 and 12 show scores on confidence in the company’s future are at least average or higher in all challenged countries—in Egypt the score on this item is higher than that in each mature market country. In contrast, employees in challenged markets are more critical of their senior leaders’ ability to communicate a motivating vision—the score in each country is below average. Brazil Russia China Mexico South Africa UAE 4 Sufficient data on the item “I am confident that senior leadership is making the right decisions for the company” were not available in these countries, and was therefore excluded from analysis. Avg Leaders in Hard-Hit Markets Rise to the Challenge In addition to examining emerging markets, we looked at three other markets where the macro-economic conditions are not as optimistic for various reasons: Egypt, Spain and Greece. We have called this group of countries “challenged markets.” Our intuition might lead us to expect scores in these countries to be markedly lower than scores in more economically stable countries. Avg 90 85 80 75 70 65 60 50 45 40 PercentFavorable
  • 10. 10 An IBM® Smarter Workforce Institute Report However, these scores are still similar to (Spain) or higher than (Egypt and Greece) scores in mature market countries. In other words, despite the macro-economic challenges being faced by employees in these countries, they still rate their senior leaders as well or better than leaders in more mature markets. Perhaps the most astounding insight gathered from these analyses is the robustness of leadership effectiveness (see Figure 13), even in some of the most challenging economic situations. As presented previously in Figure 4, compared to 2008, senior leaders’ ability to inspire confidence and motivate employees towards a shared vision was rated more positively in 2009, at the peak of economic turmoil. Further, as summarized in Figure 13, compared to employees in more mature markets, like the U.S. and Australia, employees in challenged markets, like Greece and Spain, are just as happy or happier with their senior leaders’ ability to communicate a motivating vision and feel just as or more confident in their organization’s future. Senior leaders seem to be the masters of their own fate, which is good news for them and their employees, as their efforts to lead their organizations through tumultuous times are not wasted. But by the same token, leaders cannot blame the economy for low scores if they are rated poorly. Conclusion This report has used big data to shed new light on some commonly held beliefs. Our analysis has revealed that: • Employee engagement is not in the dire state that other commentators would have us believe. In fact, a large majority of countries in our big data analysis have seen a small increase in employee engagement between 2011 and 2012. • The ability of senior leaders to communicate an inspiring and motivating vision is a driver of employee engagement. This is no fad, but something that demands urgent attention. Furthermore, there is a significant gap between average and top performers when it comes to employee perceptions of their leaders. There is a significant opportunity for average leaders to up their game by creating and communicating an inspiring vision. Such actions would help drive higher levels of engagement, which in turn has been linked to enhanced organizational performance. Furthermore, the trend in employee perceptions of senior leaders indicates a worrying dip in 2012 that could be an early warning signal of a future decline in employee engagement levels. • Senior leaders may believe that employees’ views are heavily influenced by the economic conditions of the time, but at least when it comes to employee perceptions of leaders, there is very little correlation to the economic environment. In fact, leaders in emerging and challenged markets are usually rated more favorably by their employees than those in mature markets. n FIGURE 13: Summary of Vision and Future Ratings for Mature, Emerging and Challenged Markets 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 PercentFavorable Company has outstanding future Senior leadership communicates a motivating vision 51 Mature Emerging 55 45 49 46 53 Challenged “...leaders cannot blame the economy for low scores if they are rated poorly.”
  • 11. 11Big Data Helps Bust the Top Three Myths of Employee Engagement and Leadership References AONHewitt. (2013). Trends in Global Employee Engagement. Lincolnshire, IL: Aon plc. http://www.aon.com/human-capital-consulting/thought-leadership/talent_ mgmt/2013_Trends_in_Global_Employee_Engagement.jsp BlessingWhite (2013). Employee Engagement Research Report Update. Skillman, NJ: BlessingWhite, A Division of GP Strategies. http://www.blessingwhite.com/ EEE__report.asp The Corporate Executive Board Company (2013). Breakthrough Performance in the New Work Environment. Arlington, VA: CEB. http://www.executiveboard.com/ exbd/executive-guidance/2013/annual/index.page Gallup, Inc. (2013). State of the American Workplace. Washington, D.C.: Gallup, Inc. http://www.gallup.com/strategicconsulting/163007/state-american-workplace. aspx Gallup, Inc. (2010). The State of the Global Workplace. Washington, D.C.: Gallup, Inc. http://www.gallup.com/strategicconsulting/157196/state-global-workplace. aspx International Monetary Fund. IMF World Economic Database, April 2013. http:// www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2013/01/weodata/index.aspx IBM (2013). Beyond engagement: The definitive guide to employee surveys and organizational performance. http://public.dhe.ibm.com/common/ssi/ecm/en/ low14043usen/LOW14043USEN.PDF Reed, G. E. (2004). Toxic Leadership, Military Review, July-August 2004. http:// www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/dclm/Toxic_Leadership.pdf World Bank (2013). Global Economic Prospects, Volume 7, June 2013 : Less Volatile, but Slower Growth. Washington, DC. © World Bank. https:// openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/13892 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO. Zenger, Jack. (2013). Why Gallup’s 70% Disengagement Data Is Wrong. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/jackzenger/2013/11/14/why-gallups-70- disengagement-data-is-wrong/ WorkTrends WorkTrends is a research program begun in 1984. In its current form, WorkTrends is a multi-topic survey completed online by a sample of employees representative of a country’s working population in terms of industry mix, job type, gender, age and other key organizational and demographic variables. In most countries, survey takers must be adults who work full-time for an organization of 100 employees or more; this threshold drops to 25 employees or more in countries with smaller economies or hard-to-reach populations. The survey has over 200 items that cover a wide range of workplace issues, including senior leader and direct manager effectiveness, recognition, growth and development, employee engagement, customer orientation, quality emphasis, innovation, corporate social responsibility, workplace safety, work stress and performance confidence. In 2012, over 33,000 employees were surveyed. WorldNorms The WorldNorm database contains employee engagement survey data that has been gathered from over 200 companies each year with employees in over 200 countries. These companies range in size from over 300,000 employees to as few as 200 employees (median employee size is 6,000). The current database contains over 250 million responses from approximately five million employees per year. This database has over 736 survey items that measure many important work place issues including employee engagement, employee alignment with corporate strategies, change management, communication, compensation and benefits, company culture, mission and values, customer focus, diversity, inclusion, ethics and corporate social responsibility, future vision, employee growth and development, innovation, involvement, leadership and manager effectiveness, performance management, recognition, quality products and services, safety and physical work environment, teamwork and collaboration, trust in leadership, and work/life balance. About WorkTrends and WorldNorms Data
  • 12. © Copyright IBM Corporation 2014 IBM Global Services Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America February 2014 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, the planet icon, WorkTrends and WorldNorms are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. These and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with the appropriate symbol (® or ™), indicating US registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at ibm.com/legal/ copytrade.shtml References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates.