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Employee Q&A: Engineering Staff Engagement Benchmark Bulletin
Engineering workers don’t care about your company goals, but they crave the power to make their own decisions. Our Employee Satisfaction Benchmark Survey reveals the engagement factors Engineering employees value the most.
Workers in the Engineering sector scores their employers a job satisfaction score of 7.4/10, and an overall staff engagement score of 7.7/10, ranking it at ninth place out of the 11 UK industries surveyed, just ahead of Manufacturing and Legal. Based on data and in-depth verbatim analysis of real employee comments, we’ve got some answers.
Q: What’s most important to you in your job role?
Are employers really providing the things their workers value the most in their jobs? Do they even know what they are? We asked Engineering employees to score the engagement factors that matter to them the most in order to find out, and here are the top four:
- Being empowered to make decisions – 41% of surveyed employees ranked this as their top priority for engagement
- Understanding what is required of them – 39%
- Close team working – 28%
- Support from their line manager – 23%
Other factors included ‘being encouraged to take on new challenges’, ‘training to do their jobs well’, and ‘flexibility in their role’, which all scored equally at 22%. The factors labelled as lowest importance, according to Engineering employees, were ‘clear direction with your tasks’ (18%) and ‘understanding your company goals’ (11%).
The Engineering sector is experiencing a significant skills shortage in recent months. Over the past six months, organisations are putting increased effort into promoting company aims and values in order to attract the most talented workers. Involving workers in collective goals helps them feel more involved and engaged with the company, and it is important for staff to feel part of that process.
However, although the value employees placed on understanding their company goals has risen over that period, this factor still ranked lowest according to this latest research snapshot and a shortage of skilled workers in the Engineering sector remains a huge challenge, particularly in emerging fields.
Interestingly, while organisations seek to stand out from the competition in order to attract a talented workforce, our results show that offering training opportunities is not a key motivator for employees. Engineering staff actually gave training to do your job well a relatively low score, with less than a quarter of those surveyed (22%) citing it as an essential factor they expected from employers.
Q. How well does your employer provide those things you value the most?
The highest engagement attribute score was given to ‘being empowered to make decisions’ (8.6). This reflects the self-supporting nature of engineering job roles, with individuals often being the decision-makers, retaining responsibility for problem solving and delivery of effective solutions.
In comparison, ‘being encouraged to take on new challenges’ was the lowest performing attribute, with a score of 7.3. This factor has two key influences; the first related to the uptake of automated control systems, such as CNC, which reduces the need for manual inputs. The second suggests that engineering workers are keen for employers to provide more opportunities to develop their skills and support career growth.
Employee Job Satisfaction by Sector
Q. How satisfied are you working in your current job?
According to our latest benchmark report, Airline employees have the highest levels of overall job satisfaction (8.2), with Engineering staff receiving the third lowest score of 7.4, just ahead of Manufacturing. The lowest job satisfaction score of the sectors surveyed was given to the legal sector (7.2).
The most notable degree of change identified by our benchmarking survey can be seen in the Automotive sector, with employee satisfaction increasing from 7.5 to 8.0 over the six month research period.
TTi Global’s experience in Automotive research helps us to understand that an increasing number of Automotive manufacturers are rolling out dealership employee satisfaction and engagement surveys in order to improve and enhance dealer relationships. This promotes higher levels of staff and customer satisfaction in the sector.
Q. How engaged are you with your job role?
The most engaged of the employees surveyed came from the Construction/Plumbing/Electrical sector, with an overall engagement score of 8.2, while those working in engineering are the least engaged (7.7). Engagement in the Automotive sector mirrors its satisfaction score, with evidence of a strong increase in engagement over the last six months, reflecting the positive steps car manufacturers are taking to improve dealer satisfaction and relationships.
Why is employee engagement so important?
Employee engagement goes deeper than job satisfaction, it describes the emotional commitment an individual has to their employer and company goals.
Unlike a satisfied employee who is content in their role, an engaged employee will often go beyond what is expected of them, putting in ‘discretionary effort’ and doing tasks because they want to, not for the recognition. An engaged employee is also switched on to customers’ needs and attune their efforts to delight, helping raise customer satisfaction and referral rates.
For employers committed to nurturing employee engagement and investing in developing the emotional relationship with its people, the benefits are far reaching. A Gallup study shows that organisations who scored highly for employee engagement showed 21% higher profitability and 21% higher productivity than organisations in the bottom quartile, as well as better client ratings and attendance levels.
Voice of the Engineering Employee
As part of our research, we capture and analyse a huge number of employees’ verbatim comments to give us a greater understanding of workers’ pain points, the impact of external forces on overall engagement levels, and insight into motivational factors in the workplace.
Here are just a few examples of the real comments we received from the Engineering sector:
“My responsibilities keep changing and no one can tell me what I should be doing.”
“I feel frustrated that I can’t be as effective as my job as possible, because my workload is too high.”
“I have an interesting and absorbing job designing electronic circuits. It’s always a bit of a challenge.”