Risk 1: Benchmarking may not help you to determine what engagement scores actually mean. Although some benchmarking services claim to be the definitive engagement standard for an industry or geography, it pays to be cautious. Identifying a reliable benchmarking source—especially one that is relevant to your organization and sector—is not easy.
Even within the same industry, geography or company size, companies are as different as people and have different cultures, values and ways of getting work done. This makes comparing across companies one of the most widely misused practices. It's akin to comparing your personality test results with that of one of your peers in another company: interesting result, just not very relevant.
Risk 2: Engagement is defined differently at many organizations. Most of the major recent studies on employee engagement have defined the term differently, and as a result, studies have come up with different key drivers and implications. Companies have different definitions too. If your employee survey results indicate a pattern of low engagement, you know there is a need for improvement. If 60 percent of your employees indicate that they intend to stay with your company, and the benchmark is 52 percent, should you rest on your laurels? If you do, you miss an opportunity to reach an even higher level of engagement.
Given that employee retention is critical, it's important to understand how employee engagement scores can be improved. It is, however, less critical how these scores compare with your competitors'. Actions that will improve your baseline scores year over year can help you discover the link between engagement and key financial metrics.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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