The Human Resource profession over the past several decades has become much more sophisticated by utilizing metrics to examine employee trends. Our profession has become better at anticipating future challenges and opportunities through the use of metrics that evaluate historical patterns and trends. As a result, we are better able to respond to on-the-job challenges. Metrics are also a common measurement across all professions and are used as a way to hold people accountable. One key metric that is being used by thousands of HR professionals is the employee engagement survey.
Using normative data is important for our clients as this information serves as a benchmark which allows a company to compare their own mean scores with the client base. Normative scores are updated continuously and, due to the size of our database, we can utilize a 99.9% confidence interval, resulting in a margin of error of +.01. This means that our clients have a high level of confidence in the data they receive. In the past, clients have often requested that we provide benchmark data against their industry or region in the country. Today, however, we have begun to see a shift from benchmarking within one's own industry toward benchmarking against other “best places to work”. This is particularly true with regard to benchmarking in the areas of organizational climate, culture, engagement, management and leadership.
One key goal of conducting an engagement survey is to assess the relationship between the employee and one’s manager. Management effectiveness is very important data point as our survey data indicates that an employee’s manager is critical to an employee’s job satisfaction, engagement and retention. Today many organizations are experiencing moderate to high levels of satisfaction with respect to employee management relations. Maintaining and improving employee relations and management practices has a lasting effect with respect to overall employee satisfaction. The survey statement “People are treated the same at the company regardless of race, gender, age, ethnicity or other differences” received a rating of 3.84 in 2020; however, in 2001, the same statement achieved a rating of 3.33. This development indicates that significant improvement with respect to being treated fairly has occurred over the past twenty years. Equal treatment of all employees will continue to be a challenge for the future to ensure that employee treatment does not decline. One way to ensure the strengthening of this value is to continuously enhance managers communication and performance management skills. This will help ensure that fair and consistent leadership practices are driving their management actions.
HR is the most appropriate department for explaining and addressing employee concerns with respect to fairness and the data suggests that significant improvement has occurred over the past two decades.