At a time when Puerto Rico’s labor sector faces challenges due to the current socioeconomic situation, and the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on the island, most employees say they are committed to their employers, according to a report released by Aon Puerto Rico.
“In 2017 there was a slight decrease of three points in the level of commitment if compared to the previous year, marking a current rate of 76 percent; even so, it can be inferred that companies still have around 8 out of 10 engaged employees, mostly due to the valuation and acceptance of diversity and inclusion in local companies, as well as a clear direction on the future, provided by senior management,” said Eddaliz Berríos, employee engagement consultant at Aon Puerto Rico.
Despite the slight reduction in the level of employee engagement in Puerto Rico for 2017 (-3 points), it remains above the level of engagement observed in 2015, where there was a more marked decrease (-7 points), the study showed.
On the other hand, Aon’s most recent global report, “Employee Engagement Trends,” a comprehensive study that measures the level of employee engagement with the companies for which they work, revealed that the Latin American region — which includes Puerto Rico — maintained the same level of 2016 of 75 percent. This is greater than the level reached globally, which was 65 percent.
“The report, made with data collected from more than five million employees in more than 1,000 organizations around the world, makes it clear that the level of Employee Engagement reached historical heights in the region,” said María del Pilar Manzanera, talent practice leader of compensation and retirement in LATAM.
Aon’s analysis found regional variations in engagement were driven by regional and country-specific economic, political and cultural differences.
“Improving engagement can pay dividends. Aon research shows that a five-point increase in employee engagement is linked to a three-point increase in revenue growth in the subsequent year,” said Ken Oehler, global practice leader of culture and engagement for Aon.
What is employee engagement?
For Aon, employee engagement is a work approach that offers the right conditions for all members of an organization to give their best every day. They work committed to the objectives and values of their organization, motivated to contribute to the success of the organization, with a greater sense of their own well-being.
“The concept of employee engagement is often confused with satisfaction or happiness,” said Oehler. “But it’s really about an employee’s psychological investment in their organization and motivation to produce extraordinary results.”
“Companies with above average engagement levels will see better employee productivity, lower turnover rates and higher customer satisfaction scores -all factors that can significantly contribute to improved financial performance,” Oehler said.
Main global and local opportunities in employee engagement
According to Aon, rewards and recognition ranked as the strongest engagement opportunity for the second year in a row, with “recognition for contributions” and “fair pay” being the most influencing factors.
“Specific drivers may vary by region, by industry, by company and by role. Organizations need to identify which are the most important drivers, and then focus on creating a significant experience to yield the best return. There is not a one-size-fits all solution, but if companies learn how to identify those that matter most, they will maximize engagement,” said Berríos.
Among the main drivers to improve employee engagement in Puerto Rico are:
- Collaboration: effective cooperation between departments/groups in the company
- Rewards & recognition: pay tied to performance and appropriate recognition, not related to pay or benefits, but for contributions and achievements
- Personal/work life balance: particularly the management of work-related stress
- Attraction & retention: in regard to having enough resources to do their job and the retention of the people needed to achieve business goals
- Support infrastructure: the company provides the resources that employees need to develop ideas that will drive future success.