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September 16, 2010
Engage Employees or Risk an Exodus, Says Survey
Research from the Hay Group found that some companies are gearing up to face a ‘brain drain,’ beginning as soon as the end of 2010. After 2 years of tough circumstances in the workplace, employees may be planning to look for a new job as soon as they can, and Hay recommends engaging and enabling employees to keep them from moving on.

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Hay Group defines enabling as empowering employees in their jobs. By engaging and enabling employees, companies can improve their revenue growth, staff retention, and employee performance, according to the research. In fact, organizations that ranked high in employee engagement and enablement achieved revenue growth 4.5 times greater than their industry peers who ranked lowest in the study.

To illustrate, the Hay Group research uses a typical company with $5 billion in revenues, in an industry that averages 8% revenue growth. In an average year, revenue growth would be $400 million. A company in the top quartile in terms of employee engagement could expect an increase of $1 billion, and a company in the top quartile for both engagement and enablement could anticipate an increase of $1.8 billion, says the Hay Group.

 “The workplace landscape has changed,” said William Werhane, managing director from Hay Group Insight. “Workers who, last year, were grateful to hold onto employment are sticking their heads above the parapet and gauging what the recovery means for their career prospects. This could spell particularly bad news for companies who have failed to take necessary steps to implement effective enablement and engagement programs during the tough times.

“Looking back to the last downturn in 2001-02, Hay Group studies then saw that companies that kept a focus on employee engagement came out of the recession with better levels of motivation and loyalty, and a greater ability to attract and retain top talent, and this recession is no different. Highly engaged and enabled workers undoubtedly create dramatically better business outputs, more loyal customers, and better financial performance during good times and bad.

“An enabling workplace can also actively deal with employee concerns rather than allowing them to continue unnoticed, which could subsequently result in demotivated and frustrated staff who may start to feel the grass is greener elsewhere.”

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