The Engagement Agenda: Employee effectiveness and executive incentives

Frazer Jones’ Reward team hosted our Reward Directors’ Circle at our London head office on the 17th September 2013. Reward Directors from the likes of Nokia, BAT, BP, COLT and Barclays joined for the discussion.

We were delighted to welcome Alison Dalley, Vice President Reward, for the International Business Unit at Fujitsu, as our guest speaker. Alison based the discussion on ‘The Engagement Agenda: Employee effectiveness and executive incentives’. Alison has 25 years of experience in HR with a focus on Compensation and Benefits across a global footprint with companies such as IBM and Sun Microsystems.

The discussion centred on a worldwide survey intended to increase traction on the engagement agenda. Businesses utilise Shaping Tomorrow, supported by the Hay Group, for instance to help them measure their employee effectiveness. When talking about employee effectiveness Alison differentiates between employee engagement and employee enablement. The former she defines as “a measure of motivation”, namely an employee’s desire to go the extra mile for their company. Employee enablement she defines as a measure of how well a business supports and positions its employees to be successful.

Companies who succeed in both areas typically achieve 6.5% higher profit margins than firms with low levels of engagement and enablement. Alison further highlighted that, based on figures provided by the Hay Group, typically 46% of employees worldwide have above average levels of engagement and enablement. Therefore increasing this number helps drive business productivity and performance.

There are hurdles to overcome when gaining stakeholder sponsorship and the obvious challenge is balancing medium to long-term financial gains from these measures against the business pressures to increase bottom line in the short-term. To counteract this Fujitsu implemented performance measures, focusing on increasing engagement and enablement, to the executive STIP’s with a view to achieving greater buy in and concentration for these longer term improvements.

From Alison’s experience, careful action planning, having no executive tension and a clear and promising direction are key drivers to increase employee effectiveness and thus performance. To achieve this, she believes good performance management, collaboration and the right incentive to be amongst the key focus points. Driving engagement has the added benefit of increasing retention figures.

Challenges such as; resources to invest in engagement programs, getting executive buy-in and the complexities of a diverse and varied global population remain but the return from investing in employee engagement is becoming more and more apparent. With this clarity the medium and long-term benefits to organisational productivity, performance and ultimately profit cannot go ignored for long.

If you would like to discuss the above in any more detail, be included in such future events or Frazer Jones can be of any support now or in the future please do not hesitate to contact us on +44 (0)20 7415 2815.