How does employee engagement stack up in Europe?

Posted in Thoughts & Culture

by

I recently took the move to pick up my life and relocate to London, from Sydney. As many Londoners have told me, “You’re not doing this for the weather, are you”, which is very true (although to be fair, it’s been pretty stunning so far!). The reason was much more ambitious – to try and drive engaging employee experiences across companies throughout Europe.

Coming from the isolated part of the world, Australia, I wasn’t sure where the local market sat in thinking about the importance of employee engagement. What I’ve quickly noticed is how far ahead of the world little old Australia actually is! With this in mind, I wanted to pen my initial reactions to what I’m seeing in the market. Here are some trends I’ve noticed.

Metrics are important

Having effective check-points in place to gauge perceptions is something that many companies in Australia are doing well. Through tools like Culture Amp, companies are understanding exactly what issues are, and how often these are occurring before the employee begins with the organisation. From what I have observed so far in Europe, many companies are only now becoming aware of the importance of the employee experience from a formal tracking perspective. The gut feeling tells teams that something is not right, however formal metrics are often not tracked.

Australia seems to be a bit more mature in the sense of connecting results and performance with a great onboarding experience. When thinking about measures of an engaging experience, often the subjective feelings of an employee are hard to quantify. Something that I haven’t seen so far in Europe, and something I’m extremely excited to begin to explore, are the actual results that are coming from employees' who have a powerful and exciting experience before and during their first months with a new company. Areas around time to fully ramp, sales performance and higher scores in half and full year reviews are some areas that I have observed being correlated in the Southern Hemisphere.

The employee experience role

A trend that I was always so impressed by, is the fact that many Australian companies are investing in people to own the employee experience program. Not only are they investing in talent brand and recruitment experience, many are choosing to employ a ‘recruitment concierge’, as they see the ROI that this can create. The recruitment and onboarding process often involves multiple departments and a large array of touch points in setup and welcomes, so these people act as the glue to bind it all together. So far, I have not seen the same trend being repeated as heavily in Europe.

Despite this lack of maturity in the employee engagement space that I’m seeing, one thing is for sure – European companies are perhaps even more open than companies in Australia, to the idea and process changes introduced into their businesses.

“How can we completely WOW our new hires?”… ”We’ve invested so heavily in the customer experience, so we would love to make this even more for our own team!”… ”It’s a natural next step for us, as we have now nailed our talent brand!”

This willingness to be so open to new ideas and concepts is incredibly refreshing. I’m actually running a webinar March 15th just on this topic – running through our learnings of how a killer employee engagement experience can be a huge competitive talent advantage.

Despite the cold weather, and fact that London is so close to Europe (Isn’t that just an awful thing to have to deal with…) I’m incredibly excited to see just what Europe can bring in enhancing the employee experience – and I’m so pumped that I can play a small part in bringing this movement to life!

 

Our Europen office is based out of UK. If you are interested in creating an incredible employee experience, or have you seen this happening elsewhere? We would love to hear from you!