Derek Coatney is Lattice’s Director of Product Management. Jonathan Liebman is a People Strategy Consultant with Lattice Advisory Services.
Picture this: You’ve just wrapped your company’s latest employee engagement survey, and there’s no sugarcoating it. The results are the lowest you can remember.
Naturally, you start combing the data looking for answers. Nothing stands out. And then it hits you: It’s the recession’s fault.
You might want to reconsider. Engagement data from the thousands of companies that use Lattice suggests that economic uncertainty isn’t influencing engagement as dramatically as you might suspect. Put another way, it turns out that HR and leadership teams have more influence over survey scores than they appreciate.
Comparing 2022 and 2021
It’s been a challenging year. Inflation, layoffs, and global conflict (all issues bigger than work) weigh heavily on our minds. Those circumstances led us to take an early look at engagement benchmarks, something we don’t usually do until the end of the year.
The result? We analyzed year-to-date (YTD) engagement survey scores from companies using Lattice and found that the average degree of change was negligible: just +0.95. If anything, a very modest improvement. Note that for a question to be eligible for benchmarking, it must be used by at least 20 companies.
Naturally, we were skeptical. Because recession fears started in earnest halfway into the year, we decided to compare 2021’s scores to more recent numbers. So we then pulled engagement benchmarks starting from June 16, 2022 (when the Federal Reserve first raised interest rates this year). Going further, we then reported on only the last sixty days in search of a downward trend.
In both scenarios, the story was largely the same: a modest improvement from 2021, in most cases. Only within the last sixty days did some benchmarks (shown below) drop below their 2021 scores. Even in those cases, the drop was less than a tenth of a point.