Employee Engagement Across the Globe

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What does employee engagement mean in India? In China? How about in France? Across the globe, employee engagement takes different forms. According to new research by human resources consultancy Mercer, employees from different countries are connecting to very different aspects of their work environment. The notion that there could be a global, one-size-fits-all approach to employee engagement has taken a back seat to a new reality. Each region has its own unique idea of what it means to be engaged on the job.
 
Mercer studied workers in 22 countries to find out what makes them 'tick'. Employees were asked which of 12 factors most influenced their engagement at work, and the results varied greatly dependent on geography. Despite the variations, there was one unifying factor that drove employee engagement across the globe 'respect. It was also the top factor noted in the U.S.and the UK.   It was interesting to note that in Japan, where respect is considered a 'given?' in the society, it was less of a determining factor in employee engagement. Employees in Japan cited base pay as the main driver of their engagement; while in China, benefits topped the list.  

For workers in France and India, it is the type of work that they do that was the strongest driver of employee engagement. Meanwhile, the Germans noted that the people with whom they work was the strongest factor in their on-the-job engagement.  

A healthy work/life balance was another factor that topped the list of employee engagement factors; however, this was found to be less of a qualifying factor in China and India. The ability to provide exceptional customer service was also a driving global factor, especially in the UK, although the Japanese rated this as the least important of the 12 factors.  

'Even when workplace characteristics are shared' such as English as a first language 'differences in national culture, the state of economic development, and market conditions can have a significant influence on employee expectations and perceptions of the workplace and, subsequently, on employee engagement,' said Dr. Patrick Gilbert, a principal and employee research expert at Mercer.

Written by: Bright Horizons Blog Editor

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