India ranks first among 22 countries in terms of employee engagement with an overall favorable rating of 25%, while Mexico scored second with 19%, according to a study conducted by consulting firm Mercer LLC. The study polled 12,500 employees worldwide. The United States ranked in the middle with a 1% rating, while Japan ranked last at -23%.
Cultural disparities are major contributors to the different responses, according to a study analysis. "Even when workplace characteristics are shared, such as English as a first language, differences in national culture, the state of economic development and market conditions can have a significant influence on employee expectations and perceptions of the workplace and, subsequently, on employee engagement," says Patrick Gilbert, a principal and employee research expert at Mercer.
For instance, in the United States workers demand more respect and expect more opportunities for career advancement while French workers place a premium on work/life balance. In India, where workers appear to be the most engaged, the type of work performed and promotion opportunities seem to be the biggest motivating factors. Four-fifths of Indian workers say they would recommend their organizations as "a good place to work."
Chinese employees, which posted the third-highest level of engagement, place a premium on benefits, but workers indicate this is an area where they're increasingly dissatisfied.
Mexican employees value structured and ongoing developmental activities that will prepare them for upward mobility. Workers tend to leave their jobs more frequently for greener pastures, with one in four employees seriously considering leaving their organization.
In an earlier study conducted by professional services firm Towers Perrin and reported on here in the December 2007 IndustryWeek ("The Mexican Connection"), Mexican workers were found to be the most engaged among 18 other global workforces.
Key Employee Engagement Drivers
Globally, respect ranks as the No. 1 factor contributing to employee engagement.
|Type of Work||112||75||138||113||116||107||122||112|
|Provide Good Service to Customers||108||108||110||108||103||79||122||107|
|People You Work With||107||96||105||131||98||107||120||104|
|Long-Term Career Potential||92||91||89||77||108||94||88||92|
|Learning and Development||91||83||67||80||98||86||85||82|
Note: Scores near 100 are of middle importance, scores below 100 are less important, scores above 100 are more important.