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Latest ADP Midsized Business Owners Study Reveals Concerns about Employee Engagement on the Rise

midsized-business-ownersADP recently released its fourth annual Midsized Business Owners Study for 2015, which revealed some interesting shifts in business owners’ concerns since previous years.1 The study surveyed more than 700 business owners and senior executives at U.S. companies with 50 to 999 employees. While employers continue to rank the volume of government regulations, health care costs and the Affordable Care Act as their top concerns, other issues are starting to percolate including talent management and employee engagement.

About half of those surveyed are concerned about the available talent pool and two of five midsized business owners expressed high levels of concern over engaging their employees, a 25 percent increase over 2014.

Why is employee engagement so important? Industry research shows that it can help build a more productive and efficient workforce and ultimately lead to business success.2 Companies with an engaged staff also can better navigate changing conditions in the marketplace.3

According to the results of ADP’s study, a majority of the employers surveyed echo the belief that employee engagement is a key factor in driving business success. However, only slightly more than half feel confident that they have a solid, repeatable process in place to facilitate that engagement.

As noted in the study, in order to evaluate and improve employee engagement strategies, progressive companies are utilizing benchmarking and analytics to cross reference data, such as retention rates, turnover and compensation levels to assess the overall health of their organization. Collecting and combining as much information as possible from departments outside of HR, such as sales and finance can provide a holistic view of key workforce issues that need to be addressed by management and provide actionable insights.

Once companies have a clear picture of the health of their organization and rising workforce trends, here are three things they can to do to improve employee engagement:

Show Employees that their Contributions Matter. Business leaders should make it a priority to understand their employees, including what motivates them and the challenges they face day-to- day .4 It’s also important for managers to help employees see how their daily contributions support and advance the company’s overall business strategy. Crediting employees for their ideas and results, while showing them how these outcomes impact the success of the company is a good way to engage and motivate employees.

Clearly Define the Corporate Culture. Ensure the company’s culture is not only clearly defined but articulated, understood and lived by employees every day. If a corporation’s culture is vibrant, employees will likely be more engaged and HR leaders will be better equipped to spot important qualities in job candidates that would make them good cultural fits within the organization.

 Start Wellness Initiatives and Employee Recognition Programs. Offer company-wide fitness challenges or wellness activities, such as healthy cooking demos, yoga sessions or 15-minute massages to encourage employees to leave their desks, connect with co-workers and re-energize. Another idea is to offer employee recognition programs that celebrate exemplary or milestone achievements. According to ADP’s research, three out of five business owners believe that focusing on employee recognition for achievements is important to their organization’s success.

Learn more about the ADP Midsized Business Owners Study and other top issues facing employers today.

Learn More About ADP SmartCompliance®

The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing accounting, legal, or tax advice.  The information and services ADP provides should not be deemed a substitute for the advice of any such professional.  Such information is by nature subject to revision and may not be the most current information available.

1ADP 2015 Midsized Business Owners Study –

2,3The keys to corporate responsibility employee engagement –

4How Companies Can Apply Big Data to Engage Employees –



5 comments on “Latest ADP Midsized Business Owners Study Reveals Concerns about Employee Engagement on the Rise”

  1. Patricia Eisley says:

    Too bad the company doing the research does not follow the research.

  2. Condor says:

    Ensure that all employees are included in the initiatives. Lip service is not engaging.
    I may have been engaged if I felt that my employer had a clue about me. They paid me tuition reimbursement but had no idea that I completed my degree with a double major and 3.65 GPA. My manager suggested I consider going back to school to advance. Wonder what the ROI is on a degree granted when the student is over 60 years old.

  3. Esther Sue says:

    I work for a small company that employs more than 50 people. We are a social service, non-profit organization. The company tries very hard to exhibit employee appreciation but the fall short where it counts. They have hundreds of policies and procedures they expect to be followed, apply suttle pressures, often, to get the policies maintained and they infrequently compensate for additional work given in any circumstance. They have a history of dropping additional work on an employee and expecting acceptance but asking cooperation to “get the job done.” Their offer of overtime/additional compensation is very rare, for those of in the trenches doing the real work.

    Their rate of turnover should tell them they need to look for and train better supervisors, but their pay scale is so low that they can’t find/keep good help. Nearly everyone in our office is (7) except the supervisor, is looking for other employment. They have good benefits and health/holiday/vacation packages but the mental and emotional toll that working in this environment takes on us is driving nearly all of us out the door. Simply put, our supervisor doesn’t know how to divide issues- serious infractions vs minor ones. She makes an issue out of everything and is a SERIOUS micromanager!!! Those of us still there are there because we have to be, not because we like it!

    The best thing corporate companies can do is make their HR departments separate and independent of company monitoring. When employees won’t report issues to HR because flyback will visceral and long-term, at best, then HR is merely there to process paperwork for employment and issue memorandums.

  4. Michele Thornhill says:

    Companies need to offer more flexibility in working hours and possible telecommuting. With today’s technology, many employees don’t need to be in the office 40 hrs/week and they can still get their work done.

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