HR Management & Compliance, Recruiting

Satisfaction and Engagement, Related but not Identical

In yesterday’s Advisor, we looked at an extensive report on the state of engagement in the workplace. Today we present more results from that report, including the relationship between satisfaction and engagement.

Other Key Findings from the Report

  • Employee engagement positively correlates with workplace satisfaction. The data show that workers who are highly satisfied with various aspects of their workplace also demonstrate higher levels of engagement. Yet, only 13 percent of global workers are highly engaged and highly satisfied with their workplace. The inverse is true as well: 11 percent of employees are highly dissatisfied with their offices and are also highly disengaged.
  • Engaged employees have more control over their experiences at work. A distinguishing characteristic of engaged employees is that they have a greater degree of control over where and how they work, including access to privacy when they need it. They are empowered, both by organizational decisions and the spaces made available to them within their workplace, to make choices about where and how they work. This means they can manage their need for privacy so they can concentrate easily and work with teams without disruptions.
  • Fixed technology exceeds mobile technology 2:1. Despite the high global adoption of mobile devices for personal use, the vast majority of study participants report that their organizations provide twice as much fixed technology versus mobile options for work. Most workers report that they are equipped with landline telephones (86 percent) and desktop computers (80 percent). Far fewer employees have laptops (39 percent), mobile phones (40 percent), or tablet computers (13 percent) available to them at work.
  • Traditional work styles persist. Across the globe, the most common workplace design features a combination of open spaces and private offices, but more than three quarters of global employees say they work in either individual or shared private offices. The greatest contrast in open environments and private or shared offices can be seen in Europe, where nearly half of all office layouts are entirely open in the United Kingdom (49 percent), but where 54 percent of German workplaces consist entirely of individual or shared private offices.
  • Cultural context influences engagement levels. The most highly engaged employees hail from emerging economies where people have different expectations of their work environments than those in established economies. Workers from developing countries such as India and Mexico are some of the most highly satisfied and engaged, while people in France, Belgium, and Spain are among the least engaged. Analysis of the data identified a pattern indicating that the country where employees live, its culture, and the resulting expectations have an impact on how highly engaged and satisfied they are with their workplace.

“For organizations on the path toward global integration, it’s important to challenge assumptions and look broadly at the diverse factors that influence employee engagement,” said Christine Congdon, director of research communications. She continued, “Well-designed workplaces can communicate a company’s strategy, brand and culture and encourage the employee behaviors leaders want in their organization – all fostering higher engagement levels.”

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