How to motivate employees
Best employers building strong infrastructure for sustainable growth
By Charles Kim
Everyone in any organization asks himself a single meaningful question ― “Is there a compelling reason for me to work here?” If you never ask this question, you must be in trouble.
You could ask yourself more questions ― “Will our company attain sustainable growth in the future?” and “In the meanwhile, will I be effectively developed and fairly rewarded for making extra efforts?” and “Do I receive timely and quality support?” and “Am I trusted and encouraged to take ownership?”
If you are a leader, whatever level or type, you must have experienced lying awake at night thinking about answers to the questions above.
However, if you cannot find answers to these questions and challenges, Aon Hewitt’s Best Employers Study can offer you a dose of wisdom.
Aon Hewitt conducts Best Employers studies around the world in North America, South America, Europe, and APAC. Since 2001, Aon Hewitt has completed and announced the Asia Pacific Best Employers Study. The recent study was conducted covering all locations in the Asia Pacific region: Australia/New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Middle East, Singapore, and Thailand. Across these markets, over 800 organizations representing 23 industries participated. In total, information was collected from over 143,000 employees representing the diverse views of over 2.5 million employees across the Asia Pacific region. This makes the Aon Hewitt Best Employers study the most comprehensive research study on people in the Asia Pacific region.
Over the last 10 years, Aon Hewitt’s studies have shown that the Best Employers engage with and motivate employees to a greater extent than their competitors, which in turn has helped them achieve better financial results. Being an Aon Hewitt Best Employer in not just about being an “Employer of Choice,” it signifies that organizations have unleashed the capabilities and skills in employees to deliver better business results.
The Best Employers studies have consistently shown that the “Best” have differentiated business performance through both economic growth periods and downturns. Aon Hewitt has conducted the Best Employers in Asia Pacific study since around the time of the September 2001 11 tragedy ― our first study results were published a few days before the tragedy); through SARS many of our award events were cancelled in 2003 when SARS rampaged its way through Asia; in 2005, when Asia was still recovering from the tsunami; in 2007, when the sub-prime problem was just starting to bubble and again in 2009, when the world braced for a severe financial and economic crisis. In uncertain times, perhaps more than ever, employers need to stay focused on delivering on their promises to employees, while engaging employees to deliver that extra effort.
For the 2011 study, it is this extra effort shown during the recent economic downturn that could well make the difference as to how these organizations are currently positioned to take advantage of the emerging growth climate in Asia Pacific.
And as of today, we are preparing for a 2013 study facing tough challenges and uncertainties starting from Europe with a strong belief that the “Best” companies during this period will excel in engaging people, aligning leaders, and building strong infrastructure for future growth.
What we learned from Best Employers in Korea
1. Highly engaged employees are the competitive advantage of the “Best”
The Best Employers in Korea have a stronger competitive advantage with a highly engaged workforce that is prepared to go the extra mile for their organization and its customers.
The Best Employers continue to have significantly higher employee Engagement scores of 77 percent, compared to only 47 percent in The Rest in Korea. Engaged employees display the behaviors that are critical to business success and competitive differentiation.
They speak positively about the company, have no immediate intention or desire to leave, and willingly put in extra effort to ensure strong company performance.
Since we started the “Best Employers in Korea” as a part of APAC study in 2001, we have been able to see continuous increase employee engagement level of the “Best.” Best Employers in Korea monitor their employee engagement level and make diligent effort to improve it because they truly realize that a high level of employee engagement drives the sustainable business performance.
2. Achieving the results that Matter
Given that most participants in the study indicated that they are pursuing fast or sustainable growth, actual ability of the organization to deliver has great relevance. The overall financial results for organizations that participated in the study show that the Best Employers in Korea delivered differentiated business results, revenue growth and profit growth, from the Rest. From 2007 to 2009, the Best Employers in Korea have grown more profit than the Rest. A particularly noteworthy point is during the period every company needs to go through, such as an unexpected tough business environment, which is the global financial crisis in late 2008; we were able to see how Best Employers successfully protected their business with sound profit.
3. Execute right things
Throughout the last 10 year study, Aon Hewitt realized there are some common factors where the “Best” excel. We call them “Best Employer Drivers” or “Right things to do.” We learned there are five things you can focus on your journey to becoming one of the Best Employers.
― Strong organization alignment ― Leaders regularly deliver timely, transparent, inspiring and clear communication, and HR, managers deliver on these communications by actively partnering by applying insights on the business strategies and capabilities to improve people management.
― Clear vision and compelling employee promise ― They continuously inspire and meet the changing needs and expectations of employees as they progress through their lifecycle. They have effective leaders who deliver on their commitments and managers who provide clear directions on the skills and knowledge needed for future success, identifying new opportunities to develop their teams with or without promotions.
― Performance driven culture ― They instill higher performance as an integral part of their day-to-day activities. Their leaders drive continuous improvement. Their managers sustain this culture by working towards stretch goals, providing valuable performance based feedback and coaching.
― Efficient and effective people practices ― They differentiated themselves through people programs that are designed and continuously improved, based on a deeper understanding of the specific needs and pulse of different employee segments. They do this while meeting the goals of speed, quality and value.
― Pervasive accountability and trust ― They enable employees to take ownership for actions and decisions and build trusting relationships. Their leaders effectively “own” the improvement of people management and continuously empower and encourage their employees to drive execution and make decisions
Your turn to discover yourself
So what are you waiting for? Do you want to know your company’s position of talent management in Korea? Do you really believe engaged employees make a difference, allowing sustainable growth for your company? Do you want to compare perception of employees in your company with perception of other companies in Korea? Then it is your time to participate in the study.
In the Best Employers in Korea 2013 study which will launch July 2012, we have another environmental challenge, global recession and uncertainties, as we had in previous studies. So it will be the same test for all participants how they wisely overcome the obstacles for them to move forward while managing risks.
Crystal lessons will be still valid; your people are the most valuable asset in your company, and engaged people are the capital you can leverage for the future.
Aon Hewitt has been providing insights into Asia's Best Employers for over 10 years. The next Best Employers 2.0 study will be launched in Korea (along with 8 markets in Asia) in July 2012 with a new image. We had added new elements to the study to provide more in-depth insights to our participants. Study participants will receive reports focused not only on their employee engagement, but also on whether they have a compelling employer brand, effective leadership and a high performance culture. These four factors have been shown to contribute to which companies are the 'Best Employers'. Each participant will also receive an in-house debrief session on Engagement Improvement from an experienced engagement consultant. Multinational organizations can benefit from our regional accreditation program given our largest coverage of countries in Asia Pacific. Study participants are provided membership in Best Employers network, with ongoing best practice events and updates. Along with these new elements, our study continues to be supported with our existing proposition of offering a robust, data driven approach to defining ‘Best Employers’ (using three data sources and an external judging panel, unlike any other study)
If you believe that your organization is a ‘Best Employers’ or, at the least, an organization on that journey, you are invited to participate in the Aon Hewitt Best Employers 2.0 – Asia 2013 study. Surveying begins in August 2012.
This article was provided by Aon Hewitt Korea. If you are interested in Best Employers in Korea 2013 study, please contact Aon Hewitt Consulting Korea (email@example.com).