Kenexa Research Institute offers guidance to leaders on creating a higher performing organisation

Kenexa, a global provider of business solutions for human resources, has released its 2009 Kenexa Research Institute WorkTrends Annual Report, “Driving Success Through Performance Excellence and Employee Engagement.” It presents an organisational model for high performance and engagement and includes practical insights and recommendations that will have a positive impact on individual and organisational productivity, customer satisfaction and bottom-line financial results.

“Having a high performing organisation and an engaged workforce are complementary goals but they involve different leadership practices,” said Jack Wiley, executive director of the Kenexa Research Institute. “Leaders and managers should pursue both goals in tandem as this has a positive, synergistic effect. Leaders are expected to meet increasing productivity demands, yet often with lower costs and fewer resources. That means employees need to be motivated and fully engaged in their work in order to support organisational objectives.”

The report introduces two employee-based indicators of business success, which can be used to measure and monitor an organisation’s state: the Performance Excellence Index (PEI) and the Employee Engagement Index (EEI).

The PEI tracks employees’ views of product and service quality and measures an organisation’s focus on customer service, quality, training and employee involvement. The report gives country-level PEI index scores for 14 countries. India (76%) and Russia (67%) rank highest on the PEI, while the UK (61%) ranks eighth, just above the global average (60%). Japan (45%) has the lowest score.

The EEI measures an employee’s pride in their organisation, their willingness to advocate their employer, whether they intend to stay and their overall organisational satisfaction. The report gives country-level EEI index scores for 14 countries. India (73%) and Brazil (65%) have the highest scores; the UK (54%) ranks ninth, just below the global average (56%). Japan (36%) has the lowest score.

“The higher the scores on these two indices, the better positioned employees are to deliver the organisation’s value proposition,” said Jack Wiley. “By improving their scores on these indices, organisations can improve their business results.”

The report concludes with an analysis of the financial impact that performance excellence and employee engagement can have on an organisation. It shows that performance excellence and employee engagement are major contributors to an organisation’s ‘total shareholder return’ (an assessment of an organisation’s performance that combines share price appreciation and dividends paid). The analysis also demonstrates a positive and significant correlation between performance excellence and employee engagement and ‘diluted earnings per share’ (a ratio used by financial analysts to gauge an organisation’s profit margin and its suitability for investment).

Wiley continued: “Given the recent economic conditions, many organisations and employees are feeling particularly battered. We wanted to give leaders clear guidance on the specific organisational levers to pull in order to get the most from their workforces. The analysis of our WorkTrends data tells us where employees are reporting strengths and opportunities for improving performance, enabling leaders to modify their practices and improve their systems.”


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