JLL’s latest research on Human Experience, explores how people engage with an organisation though the workplace – the office. It also highlights the factors that enhance productivity and organisational commitment which though three key pillars: engagement, empowerment and fulfilment.
According to statistics South Africa’s latest Quarterly Employment Statistics, approximately R196 billion is spent on formal sector salaries and wages per month in the country. It is a significant investment and expenditure on labour and in human capital which businesses hope to make profits from. However, there are unintended barriers to office productivity which means a lot of this money is lost. Add to that the millions spent on office accommodation and equipment which may or may not serve their intended purpose, we are left with untapped potential.
Productivity is one of the most important benefits of employing labour or human capital in an organisation. Whilst every organisation measures productivity in their own way, employees seldom get the opportunity to express their own level of engagement to managers and the organisation. Despite what the balance sheet is saying: what do employees say about their level of productivity in the workplace and how can this be improved?
The Human Experience Survey focuses a lot on employee’s perceptions of engagement, a pillar which speaks directly to employee productivity. In the South African survey results 48.0% of respondents felt completely engaged in their work. Although notably higher than the global average of just 40%, the results suggest that there is room for improvement. It implies that more than half of employees feel that THEY could do better within the workplace and for their organisations. Asked what could improve their level of engagement in the workplace, employee’s revealed some unexpected responses: co-working spaces, childcare facilities and health/wellness facilities were ranked highest as the three most impactful on workplace engagement. Note that two out of the top three are completely unrelated to work itself, but point to non-work factors that can have an impact employee engagement in the workplace and reduce the factors that may create distractions during working hours.
A lot of resources are utilised in recruiting great talent in the corporate world, and once staff is employed within an organisation, it is always in the best interest to get the most out of them. The office space, location and neighbouring facilities can enhance productivity. Engagement fosters a sense of commitment, which drives employees’ performance and effectiveness – all benefits to the corporate.
In some cases, improving engagement may imply added expenditure on office and workplace design. In such cases organisation may need to consider if there may be a trade-off between saving on workplace design and optimal human capital productivity?