The Oakland, CA-based HR research firm Bersin & Associates recently released a market focus report on employee engagement showing that organizations currently invest approximately $720 million annually in engagement improvement, including both outsourced and internally developed programs. The report, Employee Engagement: Market Review, Buyer’s Guide and Provider Profiles, describes a number of key trends, including:
- Providers do not agree on how to define employee engagement. In fact, definitions vary dramatically, with elements including commitment, goal alignment, enjoyment, performance, and the antithesis of “burnout” – to name just a few. Buyers need to define what employee engagement means for their organization and select providers that align with that definition.
- Market innovators are integrating engagement into all HR functions. HR leaders increasingly are focused on aligning engagement efforts with business strategy, and they are also integrating engagement with HR programs and organizational operations. From recruiting to building a leadership bench to alumni relations, innovative providers are helping their clients infuse engagement into every step of the employee lifecycle.
- Global specialists are rare. As organizations expand their geographic footprint, few providers are equipped with resources around the world to handle international clients who have more than 50,000 employees.
- “Big Data” and analytics are on the rise. While most of the engagement providers reviewed in this report offer some way to measure the relationship between engagement and organizational performance, only a few have moved into a new frontier – HR analytics. Since HR analytics enables organizations to optimize workforce performance and fuels continual improvement efforts, buyers should consider their requirements in this area carefully.