Study: Employee engagement ticking up, but it’s not all good news

Despite reports that look to the summary statistic that employee engagement rose by two percentage points in 2011, the details show a mixed bag.

But that figure doesn’t tell the whole story. Of the four regions included in the study, only two—Asia Pacific and Europe—saw increases of a few percentage points. One region, Latin America, dropped a percentage point and North America stayed exactly where it was.

The language the study report’s authors use is that engagement levels are “stabilizing” after a drop-off in the previous year. They acknowledge that employee engagement is a tough proposition right now.

“The global recession has taken its toll on employees as pay freezes, benefit cuts, and layoffs permeate the workforce, making it more difficult to maintain high levels of engagement,” the report states. “Against this backdrop, it is more important than ever for employers to develop and maintain a highly engaged workforce.”

So should human resource managers and corporate communicators be heartened by the news of any increase, or should they take this news with a grain of salt? Experts chimed in.

Chin up

Research from the Great Place to Work Institute, which annually names the 100 best places to work in the United States and globally, shows that employees are starting to take a rosier look at their places of business, says Leslie Caccamese, senior strategic marketing manager for the Institute.

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