Why we value employee engagement

Why we value employee engagement (photo)

Employee engagement might sound like a fancy term, but it’s vital to any successful organization. The more engaged your employees, the more motivated and productive they are likely to be. This has a whole series of knock-on effects in terms of culture, behavior, safety and – ultimately – the performance of your business.

Happy and productive employees are essential for success. Get it wrong and you may be faced with low morale, poor levels of motivation and higher levels of absence. There’s also a risk that relationships with customers could be affected. Now, more than ever, companies are powered by their people.

At AkzoNobel, we take a pro-active approach to employee engagement which is designed to measure, analyze and improve the connection with our people around the world. Fundamental to this process is our annual ViewPoint survey. It gives all 46,000 employees an opportunity to share their opinions and offers a complete picture of what’s happening throughout the company.

Conducted in association with Gallup, the independent survey provides valuable metrics that enable us to identify best practices and pinpoint areas that require attention. One of the key findings we’ve noticed is that our overall engagement score has risen for the last five years in a row. It’s no coincidence that our safety performance also improved during this period, underlining the fact that engagement drives safety. This was evidenced in the 2015 survey by the fact that our most engaged businesses reported fewer injuries and lower absence.

The results also show that our engagement journey continues to gather momentum, with the experience of working at AkzoNobel having been fundamentally transformed since we started conducting the survey in 2010. We still have work to do – highlighted by the different pace of progress within the company – and we have identified clear areas for improvement, with relevant action plans in place.

But having introduced a new set of values and behaviors in 2014 – which were very positively received – we are now targeting “leading” levels of employee engagement. This will involve offering more career opportunities, encouraging talent development, listening to feedback and providing the right environment for people to perform at their best.