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Employee engagement strategic priority for 80% of US employers, according to TalentKeeper

Florida-based TalentKeepers has released Workplace America, its 12th annual report of employee engagement and retention trends.


Over 880 organisations participated for the 2016 report, now the longest continuously running study of engagement and retention in the US, with 27% employing over 5,000 and 30% with 1,000-5,000 employees.

The report revealed that employee engagement is gaining respect as a key strategy for many organisations. For four years running, over 80% of US employers rank employee engagement as a strategic priority. Even though the number of organisations rating themselves as very effective in engaging employees nearly doubled from 14% in 2015 to 26% in 2016, this is a surprisingly large gap given the consequences of poor engagement, TalentKeepers says.

Another increase was "Morale and Culture" as the top thing impacted by poor engagement and turnover among employees. This number grew from 50% in 2014 to 72% in 2016, beating things like productivity and team performance by a large margin.


Christopher Mulligan, TalentKeepers CEO, said, "This reflects a growing awareness of the significant impact poor engagement can have on an organization's performance. In fact, three of the top issues linked to poor engagement were directly related to bottom-line performance.”

In a troubling trend, employee engagement budgets across America have fallen for the third straight year. In 2014, 71% of all employees had some level of funding but it is now down to 61% in 2016.


Craig Taylor, a vice president at TalentKeepers and the report's lead author, commented, "What we also see is best-in-class organizations all dedicate some of the highest percentages of their labor and operations budgets to engagement strategies.”

From 2011 to 2016, unmanaged attrition has been fuelled by "Job and Career" issues, however, also notable is 'Leadership" steadily growing for the past four years as a stimulus for turnover. This emerging trend should motivate us to refocus efforts on making leaders the primary reason people stay.

Taylor added, "In 2015 Millennials became the largest cohort in America workforce and 40% of organizations are acknowledging that by providing formal training for leaders on how to manage them.


"This is incredible growth in just two years up from 25% in 2014."

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