Engagement and the Growing Reward Perception Gap

engagementSince engagement became the new buzz word, it’s all over the press. It relates to an employee’s commitment to, and interest in, an organisation, their job role and their willingness to go that extra mile. Engaged employees are essential to any company and there are countless benefits to having an engaged workforce. Take a look at http://staffmotivationmatters.co.uk/motivation/over-50-of-uk-employees-are-disengaged/ for a few.

However, research shows that employee engagement levels have fallen by 17% since 2006 (http://www.employeebenefits.co.uk/item/11854). Many factors have undoubtedly contributed to this  – the recession, increased redundancies, pay cuts and freezes, tax increases and changes in company structures are a few of the more obvious culprits.

However, recent reports suggest that one contributing factor to the dip in engagement is a growing reward perception gap – that is, a difference between an employer’s and an employee’s perception of a reward value. Employees have been found to believe that their reward levels are below the market average. Employers are underestimating the perceived value of base pay and job security – believing that career progression has greater importance to employees. 66% of employers believe the majority of employees are satisfied with their benefits – where the actual figure currently stands at 49%. So why are employers getting it so wrong?

Perhaps fundamental miscommunication lies at the route of the disparity. Employers should compare their offering to that of competitors and the findings need to be communicated to employees. Are your staff aware of all the rewards and benefits available to them? It may be as simple as employees just not realising, or not been made aware of, the range of benefits available. Or perhaps employers really do need to step up and offer a more competitive package. Either way, communication is the key.

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