The Outlook Business-AON Hewitt Best Employers Study results in India are out.
The Aon Hewitt Best Employers in India 2011 study is supposed to be the largest employee research project of its kind. Surveying began in September 2010, with employee engagement results available as early as three weeks from the completion of online surveying.
Overall to me, the results indicated that companies which were consistent in their practices, communicated effectively, supported employees through change, nurtured cultures, included employees in decision making, made them feel secure came on top.
Surprisingly, Infosys, GE and Intel, companies who we always expect to feature in such studies don’t show up in the top 25 best employers.
Here are the top themes:
- Making employees employable makes them stay more committed to the organization
- Nothing called best practices and no ‘one size fits all’ – important to focus on what you do well and what works for you as an organization
- Helping employees connect to the work they do and how it impacts business outcomes
- Most best employers did this right – aiming at business results and long term value for shareholders, clients and employees
- The best employers conceptualized and delivered on critical human resources programs and tools
- Leaders emphasized on building a high performing and engaged workforce
- Interesting to note that people related metrics were seen as important by these organizations. People management and employee engagement figure in the top 5 metrics that CEOs track to measure the orgs business performance
- The biggest driver of employee engagement seemed to be personal growth – as in how does my career and recognition get linked to where my company is heading?
- Employees expect more attention to their growth within the existing role. It is now more about individual potential.
- How employers dealt with the 2009 economic crisis impacted how employees perceived them. In terms of honoring commitment to recruitment and performance bonus, continued investment in employee development.
HR Teams among best employers did the following:
- Measured performance more stringently on metrics such as talent, efficiency, effectiveness, attrition and HR costs
- Had stronger, structured and frequent connections with leadership and managers
- Had daily interactions with senior leaders and managers
- Key differentiator: focused on developing skills of the HR team
Performance management systems ensured only a small % of employees were recognized as high performers. They were provided coaching and mentoring and customized internal training. External and internal 360 degree feedback assessments were used by best employers.
Recognizing the need for high impact, people related actions and behaviors for each employee segment – based on needs and expectations.
Leaders: best employers invested more time on development and budgets for programs. Found executive sponsorship for leadership development. Rotational assignments and development through special projects were key elements.
Managers: HR spent a 3rd of their L&D budget on building manager capability to manage employees better
Employees: CEOs of best employers believe that employees can clearly and confidently articulate organizational goals and relate to how work and development impacts organizational success.
Overall, two key points emerge:
1) best employers have build and sustained people practices that are customized to the industry and aligned to business, leadership and employees’ needs.
2) they have nurtured an environment which gets the best out of people, make them feel good about work and assures them of a future in the organization.
What does it all mean for internal communicators?
HR needs the expertise and guidance of communicators like never before to manage change better, grow employees and help them connect to the organization’s goals.
Audience segmentation within the organization will mean that the internal communicators’ time will get divided
Internal communication is viewed more prominently as a medium to keep employees engaged – be it offline or online. Therefore there is an expectation for increased coaching for leaders on what communication can do for the organization.
Lastly, there will be more specialized roles emerging within the internal communication domain. That means, we could see people only dedicated to change management or HR process communication or even an internal social media expert.