Corporate executives in India lead the world in their desire to hop job. About 60 per cent them in the country are planning to leave their present jobs within the next five years, when the global average is 44 per cent. This is without considering another interesting finding: a third of Indian executive’s plan to change office within two years.
A new study by US-based global management consultancy Hay Group says this is despite Indians being the “most engaged employees” in Asia, with engagement levels of 68 per cent. The most engaged employees, shows the study, were found in Latin America: 73 per cent.
Hay Group (India) managing director Gaurav Lahiri noted that Indian organisations, despite standing higher than the Asian average in engagement levels, find only about 40 per cent employees intending to remain loyal to them in the next five years. “It is a worrying sign,” he said. “In such a state, frustrated employees are unlikely to persist over the long term.”
The study explains two main concepts: engagement and enablement. The first is the result achieved when organisations stimulate employees’ enthusiasm for their work and direct it towards organisational success. It includes commitment, where employees are proud to work for the organisation and would recommend it as a place to work and express an intention to stay. It would also mean that employees are willing to “go the extra mile” to help the organisation succeed.(HARNESSING WORKFORCE POTENTIAL: ENGAGEMENT AND ENABLEMENT)
The study says employees are “enabled” when jobs and work environments support them to channel their enthusiasm into productive action. Enablement includes optimised roles where jobs make good use of skills/abilities and work is challenging as well as interesting.
Lahiri explained India is a place where people are achievement-driven but provided little career development opportunities despite good engagement levels. “Since the ambition levels are very high, companies should be able to create a high potential talent management programme to retain the employees,” he said. “It is still early days of this structured leadership development framework in India.”
Lack of proper employee benefits have also dissuaded Indians from staying at an organisation for too long, Lahiri said. This was unlike in Europe, where the regulatory framework supports employees and rewards them on a regular basis, he noted. For Indian exployees, the incentives “are not very attractive”.
According to Hay Group, global firms’ performance continues to be stunted, with more than a third of employees across the world unwilling and unable to go the extra mile for their organisation. The study showed that, this year, on average 66 per cent of workers felt engaged rebounding marginally over the last twelve months, but they still fell significantly behind when it came to the world’s highest performing companies (which boast engagement levels of 75 per cent). Worldwide, employee engagement levels have made only a tentative recovery from last year’s five-year low. Global engagement levels had been falling consistently since 2007, reaching just two-thirds (65 per cent) last year.
The levels of engagement in Asia stand at 63 per cent, which represents a minor rise of one percentage point over the last twelve months. In India, on the other hand, more than two in every three employees found to be effectively engaged.
Europe and Pacific face the greatest threat from employee disengagement, with engagement levels falling to a five-year low of just 63 per cent of the workforce. In the West Asia engagement has stagnated at 64 per cent, with no change since the height of recession in 2008.
Philadelphia-headquartered Hay Group senior principal Mark Royal opined that the world was seeing a “stubborn gap” between the discretionary effort employees across the world are willing to put into their work and the level of support available to help them excel. “For organisations looking to harness the full productivity of their workforce, leaving this pool of motivation untapped is a wasted opportunity,” added Royal, who is author of The Enemy of Engagement.
Hay Group’s unique data also shows that employees across the globe are not properly supported at work and are, thus, unable to perform to their full potential.
Less than two-third (62 per cent) of employees around the world felt that conditions at work allow them to be at their productive best. This fell to a low 58 per cent in Europe and the West Asia. Employees based in India were slightly better off. However, more than a quarter admitted that they could be more effective if workplace conditions allow for greater productivity.
The situation would improve, according to Lahiri, if companies to create their own talent management and reward programmes where employees are rewarded at regular intervals of every two to three years. “Among companies in India, they need to keep the employees excited and have a greater focus on professional development of employees,” he said.
“Further, lack of role clarity, which is the biggest stumbling block for an employee, needs to be clarified so that he/she can achieve greater professional enablement.”
The study is based on information from 1943-founded Hay Group’s Insight database, which includes information on annual engagement and enablement levels from 1,610 organisations across 46 countries, representing almost five million employees.