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Engagement during COVID-19 Benchmark


How is Engagement trending during COVID-19? 

In the early stages of the crisis, we recommended using one of our COVID-19 response templates. Now that some areas have entered the new normal, some companies are running Engagement surveys. We recognize that companies are in different phases of their COVID-19 response and need flexibility in mixing and matching from different templates. For that reason, we have developed our Combined Covid-19 2020 benchmark to include not only data from our COVID-19 templates but also Engagement and Inclusion surveys. 

This article focuses on the insights from Engagement results during COVID-19. Between March 15 and late July 2020, over 900 companies launched an Engagement survey resulting in over 500,000 responses (more than half a million!). The insights below reflect all data collected during that time period. If you’re interested in the results from our COVID-related surveys, you can learn more in our Combined COVID-19 benchmark article.

About the benchmark data set

As you reference the valuable benchmark insights, keep in mind a few limitations to the data set:

  • Well over a third of the data comes from North America (43%), followed by Oceania (34%) and then Europe (14%).
  • Over a third of companies are in the Tech of IT industries (36%), and there is a skew towards small and medium-size organizations with 50% of surveys launched by companies with 200 employees or lower and 23% between 200-500 employees. 

You can explore more detail about the benchmark data set in Combined COVID-19 Benchmark.

How to use this benchmark

You can load the Combined COVID-19 benchmark as a source of comparison within the platform, regardless of which survey template you have used (Engagement, D&I, COVID-19 Pandemic Response, COVID-19 Wellbeing, Prepare for Returning to the Workplace).This means that you are able to mix and match questions across our template library and will only need to upload a single comparison file. 

While interpreting, keep in mind the limitations mentioned above. This benchmark gives you  additional context on how your response compares to other organizations. It shouldn’t be seen as a target to hit. 

Each company’s experience is unique, especially during this time. While some organizations have been working remote for years, others are unable to complete their roles from home. Some businesses are growing 10x while others have seen their business slow to a trickle. In these times, it’s even more important to use your own organization as a benchmark. See where you are scoring relatively low compared to your other questions, and how your results change over time. 

What trends are we seeing? 

Overall Engagement has increased 

When comparing our 2019 Engagement benchmark to Engagement during COVID-19, we found that overall Engagement is 4 points higher, moving from 71% to 75%. This is partially driven due to changes in our two commitment items with “I rarely think about looking for a job at another company” and “I see myself still working at [Company] in two years' time” both increasing by 5 points. This is likely due to the economic recession and impacts on the job market. However, that wouldn’t be the full story because even Motivation has increased 4 points, suggesting employees are banding together to get through this time. 

Drivers are consistent while relative rank has changed

In general, the top 10 drivers have remained consistent while their relative rank has changed during this time. In particular questions related to company longevity have become increasingly more important, including:

  • The leaders at [Company] have communicated a vision that motivates me
  • [Company] effectively directs resources (funding, people and effort) towards company goals
  • [Company] is in a position to really succeed over the next three years

These items have jumped to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th place from 7th, 6th, and 9th respectively.

Driver questions have also increased in favorability

Similar to Engagement, we’re seeing increases almost across the board in the other questions we ask. The largest increases are in the Leadership and Action factors, suggesting leaders are rising to the occasion and those that have sought feedback during this time are following up with action. 

 

Question

Score
2019

Score
2020

Score difference

The leaders at [Company] keep people informed about what is happening

68

80

12

I am satisfied with how decisions are made at  [Company]

50

59

10

My manager, or someone else, has communicated some clear actions based on recent employee survey results

50

59

9

The leaders at  [Company] demonstrate that people are important to the company's success

70

79

9

I have been provided an opportunity to see and discuss recent employee survey results

61

68

7

[Company] effectively directs resources (funding, people and effort) towards company goals

59

66

7

 

Only a few questions decreased favorability

While the vast majority of questions have increased, there are a few that have marginally decreased. These questions are related to career development and autonomy, possibly due to contractions in the world economy.

 

Question

Score
2019

Score
2020

Score difference

When there are career opportunities at [Company], I am aware of them

58

53

-5

I have access to the learning and development I need to do my job well

78

74

-4

I am appropriately involved in decisions that affect my work

69

65

-4



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