WASHINGTON, D.C., February 10, 2009 —As the economic downturn continues, ensuring that employees are engaged is crucial to keep workplace morale and productivity high, according to Watson Wyatt, a leading global consulting firm.
Watson Wyatt’s 2008/2009 WorkUSA Report found that when employees are highly engaged, their companies enjoy 26 percent higher employee productivity, have lower turnover risk and are more likely to attract top talent. Their companies have also earned 13 percent greater total returns to shareholders over the last five years.
According to the survey findings, highly engaged employees are twice as likely as their less engaged peers to be top performers. They also miss 20 percent fewer days of work and three-quarters of them exceed or far exceed expectations in their most recent performance review. Additionally, highly engaged workers tend to be more supportive of organizational change initiatives and resilient in the face of change. The report surveyed more than 13,000 full-time U.S. workers in May and June 2008, before the full advent of the financial crisis.
“Keeping workers engaged and productive is always a daunting challenge. However, it’s even more crucial in this type of economic environment when organizations are striving to do more with less and employees are paying closer attention,” said Ilene Gochman, global practice leader for organization effectiveness at Watson Wyatt. “There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to employee engagement. Segmenting the workforce and tailoring communication, performance management programs and other resources to specific employee groups is the most effective way to engage workers.”
Findings from the 2008/2009 WorkUSA Survey Report suggest that employers can take specific actions to increase engagement and productivity. Some of these actions are:
“Improving employee engagement will help drive business results in the long run by improving employee commitment to corporate goals and generating exceptional individual performance and productivity,” said Gochman.
To view the 2008/2009 WorkUSA Survey Report, visit watsonwyatt.com/workusa.
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About Watson Wyatt
Watson Wyatt (NYSE, NASDAQ: WW) is the trusted business partner to the world’s leading organizations on people and financial issues. The firm’s global services include: managing the cost and effectiveness of employee benefit programs; developing attraction, retention and reward strategies; advising pension plan sponsors and other institutions on optimal investment strategies; providing strategic and financial advice to insurance and financial services companies; and delivering related technology, outsourcing and data services. Watson Wyatt has 7,700 associates in 32 countries and is located on the Web at http://www.watsonwyatt.com.