2012 Top Drivers of Employee Engagement: And the Winner Is?

This year's winner (by a nose hair) is: 'I have confidence in the leaders at XYZ Corp'

In my previous post I outlined our top driver analysis approach using our 50 Amp Engagement Survey data. The same explanations and caveats apply here. In the next series of posts I want to narrow the focus down to single survey items and investigate them a little further. And where better to start than the top driver of employee engagement.

Now, XYZ Corp is no magical place, it is just where we would substitute the name of the individual organisations we work with. And the scores we show here is the number of people who agree or strongly agree with the statements. So, for this item it represents the number of employees with confidence in the leaders of their organisations; over the last year 73% of employees indicated they had this confidence. In discussion groups we tend to find that employees think of the 'leaders' as being the people who make the big decisions: how the organisation is structured, what new products will be built and/or supported, how resources will be allocated etc. I'd guess you'd also call this 'strategic leadership'. However, it can also be illuminating to look at what other survey items are in turn related to this item.

It shouldn't surprise us that other leadership items would be strongly related to this item. However, what we found interesting was that the other item most strongly related to this sense of confidence in leadership was 'The leaders at XYZ Corp demonstrate that people are important to the success of the organisation'. A sense of confidence thus seems strongly related to a sense that leaders place people at the forefront of their decisions, and not just because people matter, but because they understand that people can make or break an organisation's success.

As it turns out, 'The leaders at XYZ Corp demonstrate that people are important to the success of the organisation', was also the third strongest driver of engagement over the last year - it is the third highest dot in the chart above. This also illustrates another common characteristic in employee survey data; many of the items are strongly inter-related. So, having confidence in the leaders is strongly related to leaders demonstrating that people are important to organisational success, and both are in turn strongly related to engagement. I don't think this would surprise anyone greatly.

So, what can driver analysis tell us amidst all this inter-relationship noise? It can confirm for us some of the major things that we might focus on to improve engagement with our organisation, and by providing a top ten list we can check whether there are any important themes running through the items most strongly related to engagement; clearly leadership is one of these. And often, it can help us avoid focusing on things that we might hear a lot about but may not be as important for engaging our employees. Consider the following place getter:

I believe I am paid fairly, relative to similar roles in other organisations - 24th position

Any guesses on what that second highest driver is just below number one above?

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Culture Amp helps you make your company a better place to work. By making it easy to collect, understand and act on employee feedback, we enable HR leaders to make better decisions, demonstrate impact, and turn company culture into a competitive edge.

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