Employee Engagement Trends 2016


Employee Engagement Trends In #Retail

Quantum Workplace released their 57 page report on Employee Engagement Trends Report waaaayyyy back in June and now that I am on vacation for the holidays, I have an opportunity to read, digest, and understand the information they reported on.

In 2015 Employee Engagement was at an 8 year low. In essence, what that means is that employees feel undervalued and they aren’t willing to do what it takes to produce and deliver greatness, because they don’t see a benefit to it. There are lots of reports out there on “Employee Engagement” but this one is particularly valuable because of the detail it provides to the areas that employees are most “uncertain” about.

At the conclusion of 2014 here is how the workforce was divided:

-65.9% Engaged
-24.3% Contributing
-7.1% Disengaged
-2.7% Hostile

Here are the three main areas that the employees lack confidence in their employers on (if a compelling package is built around any of these by another opportunity, they are likely to strongly consider leaving their current employer):

1. Commitment to valuing employees
-Growth opportunities
2. Benefits and compensation
-Opportunity for employers to better explain and differentiate how their benefits compare to other employers (and the current trends available)
3. Global information
-Sharing and transparency of information disseminated throughout the organization, better communication, better guidance from leaders

Here are the Top Drivers of Engagement:

1. The leaders of our organization are committed to making this a great place to work.
2. I trust the leaders of this organization to set the right course.
3. I believe this organization will be successful in the future.
4. The leaders of our organization value their people as their greatest resource.
5. I see professional growth and career development for myself in this organization.
6. I trust the senior leadership team to lead the company to success.

Based on this study – here are some very interesting takeaways:

Engagement Improves Results

-In organizations where 69% of employees were engaged, profits increased.
-Organizations with improved retention over the past three years had an actively engaged workforce at a 70% (and retention showed a critical decline when engaged employees only made up 59% of the workforce).
-When engagement levels are 69% or higher there are increased sales.
-Organizations with 68% or higher engagement had increased market share

Regionally the Midwest has the lowest engagement, the South the highest level at 69.2%. The Midwest and West have the highest levels of “hostile” employees.

The Top 10 Engaged Cities:
-Washington, DC
-New York
…these cities average a 71% employee engagement rate.

Our Retail Industry is ranked #10 in employee engagement at 63% (under the average). That is a YOY decline of 2%.

In my final published blog post of 2015, Organizational Success In #Retail: What You Need To Know, I covered some of the leadership concerns that exist in the workplace and suggestions on how to overcome those challenges. In October 2015 I wrote a blog post titled What Is Employee Engagement in Retail, outlining specific points that our industry is hungry for and suggestions that encourage engagement, retention, and workplace happiness.

We possess all of the knowledge to support and inspire our employees. To help them grow and plan for their future careers in our industry. We know what is keeping our employees from falling in love with their jobs. What we are lacking is the leadership role in most retail organizations to devote the time and focus needed to make these things priorities in the business. We know that when the employees are engaged customer service improves, customer experience is elevated, sales increase, profits increase, we retain our valuable employees, employee happiness is elevated…so, why is this not a huge initiative? Why are we not looking at our new hires and sales associates as the future leaders of our business as opposed to transient employees who will leave for $1.00 more an hour? Why are we not aggressively and consistently developing our Store Managers and Assistant Managers to fill future critical roles in the company? Why are we utilizing our DM’s & RM’s for what they know and giving the top performers more work to do instead of recognition and reward for their contributions? Why are we still stuck in “managing vs. interacting” in most retail organizations? What is their growth planning and future path? These are things that our business drivers want and need to know to be engaged. We know this, we have the data and analytics to support these key points. There needs to be action around it and there is no better time than the right now to create this balance between compliance and growth in our industry.


Founder and Editor in Chief of Excellence In Retail. Published writer. Frequent Podcast Guest. Speaker. Twenty year [oy vey!] retailer. I am passionate about leadership development and workplace culture. 646 246 1380 | beth@excellencein-retail.com [No Sales Contact, please} But it you want to call just to say hello or have a question - that's awesome!

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