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Nik Penhale Smith

Effectory International

Online and Content Marketing specialist , HR Author & LinkedIn publisher

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Examining engagement and commitment in multinationals


Take a look at the full report this article is based on and find out the methods used by multinationals in your industry to bolster commitment and engagement.

Over the last six months we’ve spent time investigating engagement and commitment in multinationals. Our primary aim was to comprehend the key factors and to uncover what drives the two most valued HR themes. The results have revealed some truly fascinating insights, all of which we hope will help multinationals gain a better understanding of today’s most pressing work-related issues.

In the first of our three part series on multinationals, we look at engagement and commitment and reveal the four biggest influencers of the two key HR themes. 

What we measured and why

Within our study we specifically focused on engagement and commitment. Furthermore, we investigated the most important issues that are presently impacting the two. Our decision to focus on both engagement and commitment (as opposed to solely on engagement) is because we believe that the best case scenario is when an employee is engaged in the job and committed to the organisation.

The data used in our study was collected from employee surveys and employee engagement surveys that we conducted with multinationals over the last 18 months. Geographically, the majority of the multinationals in our study are based in Europe and for practical purposes, we have grouped the multinationals by industry.

A quick glance at the numbers (by industry)

Top three most engaged and committed

Effectory International Research

What the numbers tell us

The conclusions that we have drawn from the study is that in some industries, the figures are comparatively very high. An employee who is both engaged and committed is somewhat of a rarity, so for the results to show that in some industries more than one in three employees are engaged and committed is remarkable.

This gains even more significance when you consider our latest figures show engagement and commitment in the UK currently stands at 21%, and that the European average is 25%.

The four biggest influencers in multinationals

In order to achieve our goal of uncovering the biggest influencers we used correlation analysis to see the extent to which each employee survey statement influences engagement and commitment. For practical purposes, we have chosen to select the four most influential statements.

  1. I feel that I fit in at my organisation
  2. My work gives me energy
  3. Managers clearly indicates performance objectives
  4. If I perform well, my manager tells me so

How employees feel about the influencers

As a further analysis, we also investigated how employees in multinationals responded to each of the influencers:

  • 79% of employees feel they fit in at their organisation
  • 51% responded that their work gives them energy
  • 59% of employees stated their manager indicates performance objectives
  • 47% of employees responded that their manager tells them if they perform well

Clearly there are big differences between how employees feel about the four influencers. Whilst the majority of employees feel they fit in at their organisation, less than half of employees responded that their manager tells them if they perform well. In other words, multinationals are doings some aspects well, but lagging in other areas.

What role does HR have?

There has been a lot of discussion about the role of HR in employees’ engagement and commitment. Some commentators state that engagement has much more to do with managers, whilst other’s see HR adding value by helping to increase the two.

One of the most consistent topics we see in our research is just how important a fit between employee and employer is. Our previous article on HRZone discussed the four influencers of engagement and commitment in Europe. In identical fashion to our latest multinational study, one of the four influencers was I feel I fit it at my organisation.

From experience we’ve seen just how big a role HR has to play in employees fitting in at organisations, and it all starts in the hiring process. If engagement and commitment are to flourish, perspective employees have to complement an organisation’s culture.

At the very beginning of the process, there has to be an immediate feeling from HR that the interviewee and organisation’s culture are a match. No matter how big the talent is, if they don’t fit in at your organisation, engagement and commitment stand little chance. Skills can be taught, cultural fit cannot.

Author Profile Picture
Nik Penhale Smith

Online and Content Marketing specialist , HR Author & LinkedIn publisher

Read more from Nik Penhale Smith

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