Keeping employees engaged and positioned to succeed is a demanding task in itself. But in today’s world it’s even more difficult, as leaders are challenged to engage and motivate their people while responding to disruptive shifts in the workplace. The business environment is evolving, with technology changing the way we collaborate and interact. The workforce is changing as well, with employees becoming increasingly diverse, mobile and remote—all taking place amid rapid globalization.

Engagement and productivity

Business success continues to depend on an engaged workforce, with our research showing that firms that engage and enable their employees achieve up to 4.5 times more revenue growth than companies that don’t. As organisations become increasingly global, however, they need to rethink engagement approaches.

Specifically, rapid growth in emerging markets and economic power shifting toward the East means that multinational organisations have to consider the diverse needs of their global workforces—and accommodate those needs in more personalized ways. One-size-fits-all approaches will not work. Instead, local leaders will need to be empowered to develop engagement strategies that support employees in their teams based on their unique values, needs and expectations.

Failure isn’t an option. The labour market has gone global, leading to a new competitive landscape for talent acquisition and retention. Likewise, the ability to collaborate effectively across borders is increasingly key. To respond effectively, organisations will be challenged to establish the cultures, processes and systems that promote meaningful collaboration and motivate and inspire performance in new ways.

Engagement around the world

Korn Ferry ’s Employee Effectiveness normative data are based on the perspectives of 6.4 million employees in 390 organisations worldwide, in a wide variety of industries. Our insights help leaders understand what engages people and inspires their best performance.

Our data show that engagement scores in Australia and New Zealand have improved compared to last year but we are yet to catch up the Americas where employee engagement is high and employees reported an increased willingness to stay with their organisations for five years or more. Engagement is also on the rise in the Middle East and Africa, due in part to employees who are willing to deliver more for their organisations. After several years of improvement, we see engagement scores in Europe stagnating. And, in Asia, there is a high level of variation across regions and cultures.

Understanding how engagement differs around the world is essential for leaders who want to inspire their employees to be at their best—and interpret engagement levels in the right context. Download the country map in the right.

Highlight: Portugal boasts the highest level of employee commitment, as expressed by workers’ intent to stay at their current organization for five or more years. Download the country map to see how Australia and NZ compare to the rest of the world.


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About the contributor

Chris Mayler is a Senior Client Director for Korn Ferry Advisory, Australia. For the last 15 years, Chris helped organisations maximise the potential of their workforce to drive business performance.

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