NEW YORK, June 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Zeno Group today released findings from its Zeno "Barriers to Employee Engagement" Study, which explores the possible causes for the growing number of disengaged employees among the world's largest companies.
According to the Zeno study, conducted on its behalf by Harris Poll among more than 300 executives at firms with revenues of $1 billion or more, a full one-third (33%) of executives were not confident that their employees could accurately communicate the company's business strategy to others. Only 19 percent of executives reported being very confident that their employees could do so.
At the same time, in Zeno's related survey of 1,000 Americans, a majority (57%) reported they "would perform better at their jobs if they better understood the company's direction."
The Zeno survey findings also suggest that employees may be taking their disengaged attitudes home with them. Only 21 percent of executives say that they are very confident their employees talk positively about their company to their friends and family. According to the survey, media coverage may be an important contributor to these opinions. The majority of executives (91%) say that outside media coverage affects employees' attitudes towards their company.
These results come at a time when just 13 percent of employees worldwide are "engaged" at work.i
"The annual statistics we see on employee engagement – or disengagement – should serve as an alarm bell for management and communicators alike," said Mark Shadle, managing director of Zeno's corporate practice. "The results suggest companies should make their strategy understandable to all employees and give them the opportunity to be believers, supporters and ambassadors."
The frequency of enterprise-wide communications may be an issue worth attention. When asked how often the company's CEO communicates directly – either in-person, via teleconference or email – to all of their employees, the greatest proportion of executives (43%) report that quarterly communications are the norm.
Notably, as a firm grows, all of these statistics worsen, suggesting that size is not a company's friend when it comes to employee engagement. Executives of large firms posted the lowest confidence in employees' ability to communicate the business strategy to others (59% whose companies have 10,000+ employees vs. 78% whose companies have less than 10,000 employees) and were also less confident in their employees speaking favorably about the company to family and friends (72% vs. 89%, respectively). By contrast, smaller companies' CEOs communicate more frequently (at least monthly) with all employees (27% among companies with less than 10,000 employees vs. 16% with 10,000+ employees).
"We learned from our Zeno Human Project research earlier this year that people want their brands to treat them like 'best friends' and this engagement study suggests the same approach also may apply to the relationships employees want to have with their company," added Shadle. "Employees want to know where the relationship is headed. They want management to stay in touch, often and in meaningful ways. And, they expect the messages they hear from management to be consistent with what they hear from voices outside the company."
About the Survey
The Zeno "Barriers to Employee Engagement" Study was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll from September 25-October 13, 2014, among 305 executives at organizations with revenue of $1 billion or more. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Zeno conducted a subsequent online survey of 1,000 Americans, representative of the general population, in early 2015.
For complete methodology, including weighting variables, and further information about Zeno Group, please contact Lyndsey Slawkowski at 312.396.9727 or [email protected].
About Zeno Group
Believers in the fearless pursuit of the unexpected, the award-winning Zeno Group operates as one firm with offices across The Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. Zeno is the unprecedented 2011, 2012 and 2013 winner of the PR Week US Mid-Size Agency of the Year, the 2011 Holmes Report US Creative Agency of the Year and the 2013 Holmes Report Consumer Agency of the Year. The firm's practice areas include consumer, health, technology and corporate, all supported by planning, digital engagement and media. Clients include AstraZeneca, Bausch & Lomb, Computer Associates, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Kia Motors America, KPMG, Micron Technology, Netflix, Scotts Miracle-Gro and Seattle's Best Coffee. Zeno Group is a member of the Daniel J Edelman Holdings, Inc. Please visit us at ZenoGroup.com, like us on Facebook or follow us @zenogroup.
i Gallup – State of the Global Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for Business Leaders Worldwide, 2013
SOURCE Zeno Group