Hewitt: Workers More Engaged at Top Companies

January 3, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Because workers at Canada's top companies are so much more engaged in their work, those firms can attract the best employees who are more energized in helping their employer meet its financial goals.

That was a key conclusion by Hewitt Associates about the results of its latest employee survey to find the top 50 Best Employers inCanada.

“The organizations on the 50 Best Employers list have developed people strategies that are designed to facilitate, promote and achieve corporate success,” said Hewitt consultant Ted Emond, in a Hewitt news release. “Our research continues to demonstrate that Best Employers have a more motivated, engaged and responsive workforce, where employees both see and feel a connection between their own daily contributions and the success of the organization.”

According to Hewitt, employees of Best Employers are, on average, 21% more engaged than other employees. In fact, Best Employers have an 80% engagement score, compared to just 59% at other participating organizations, the announcement said.

“Employee engagement, a concept Hewitt Associates has researched and developed, is not about creating ‘happy’ or ‘loyal’ employees, but about measuring the emotional and intellectual commitment employees demonstrate for the organization for which they work,” said Hewitt consultant Chris Howe, in the news release. “Best Employers know that a highly engaged workforce provides a strategic advantage that will benefit them in working through any current and future human resources challenge including attraction and retention.”

Not surprisingly, then, the 50 Best Employers receive an average 45% more unsolicited employment applications than the other participating organizations. In addition, the average full-time voluntary turnover rate for Best Employers is 8%, versus 11% at other participating organizations. The difference is even more dramatic when it comes to the average part-time voluntary turnover rate: 12% at the Best Employers and 23% at other participants.

Bottom Line Implications

According to Hewitt, one of the more persuasive reasons for becoming a Best Employer is the bottom line. “Hewitt’s research establishes a connection between high employee engagement and better business results,” said Neil Crawford, a Hewitt consultant. “The data demonstrates that efforts that drive engagement are worth the investment.”

Fifty-five of the organizations that participated in the 2005 study are publicly traded. Those that appear on the 50 Best Employers list have an average compound annual growth rate of revenue (averaged over their last five fiscal years) of 16.4% per annum, while those that did not make the list have an average growth rate of 6.1%. Likewise, when average cash flow return is examined (averaged over their last five fiscal years), Best Employers come in at 13.7% per annum and the other publicly traded participants are at 10.2%.

Other findings include, according to Hewitt:

  • Leaders at the 50 Best Employers say they expect to grow/expand in the next few years – and they are well positioned for it. They have built the organizational capability to grow and transform. Human Resources provides direction in preparing for and leading change.
  • Best Employers consistently focus on getting the right people in the right roles led by the right leaders. Human Resources and leadership actively manage the talent pipeline together, from attraction, hiring, retaining and developing, and finally to inspiring high performance.
  • Hewitt designed and conducted the study using its proprietary methodology. Organizations with at least 300 full-time or full-time equivalent employees are eligible to participate, as long as they have been in operation inCanada for at least three years. This year, data was analyzed from more than 80,000 employees and over 1,200 leaders at the 120 organizations that successfully completed the entry requirements for the 2005 Best Employers in Canada study.

The 2005 list of top 50 companies is at http://was4.hewitt.com/bestemployers/canada/best_companies/the_list/the_list_2005.htm .