The Engagement Market: Room to Grow and Lots to Know

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The new phone book is here! The new phone book is here!" Today I feel like Steve Martin aka Navin R. Johnson in the 1970s classic "The Jerk". He was tasked by his family, amidst some sage advice, to go out and “be somebody”. He moved out. He was independent. And when the phone book arrived, he let his “fingers do the walking”, saw his name in print on those feathery yellow pages, and that was validation enough for him that he had, indeed, achieved “somebody” status. 

Ok, maybe I'm not like Steve Martin, but rather more like the publisher of the phone book. Yesterday we launched a first-of-its-kind report, Employee Engagement: The Market Review, Buyer's Guide and Provider Profiles. In it, we had the opportunity to examine the market leaders and build the brand of some innovators in this space.

The report is comprehensive, to say the least. In its 160-some pages, it compares engagement providers on their strategic consulting services, their definitions of engagement, the science of their practice, their speed of delivery and reporting, their ability to benchmark, their post-survey services and products, and their ability to conduct HR analytics using engagement data. Not to mention the extensive provider profiles, detailing each provider’s offerings.

All of this information helps our members evaluate their own provider, write an engagement RFP, and compile a short list of candidates. We’re proud to support our members in being very savvy consumers of this market.

  • The engagement market is about half the size that it could be. It has the potential to reach $1.5 billion, and we believe its current size will grow given the talent scarcity in certain sectors and the upward trends of voluntary turnover.
  • There is no one definition of engagement – they vary all over the place. Just think of it: if you change providers, and the way they measure engagement changes, the action plans for improving engagement could totally change – even though employees feel exactly the same.
  • Typical surveys cover anywhere between nine and 25 topics. As consumers, this means we need to know the most common drivers of engagement and the length of survey employees will tolerate in order to make educated decisions about survey creation.
  • “Mobile” is only partially available. Sixty-four percent of the providers in our research offer it, so if you need that capability, you’ll want to make that a point of inquiry.
  • Organizations are getting bigger and increasingly global. There are only a few engagement providers who specialize in the truly massive, global engagement initiatives.

There’s plenty more, so check it out. Members, you can also hear the replay of the Engagement: The Market Review webinar I did today when it’s posted, and I’m happy to chat with you in the meantime. Today we understand the “somebodies” in the engagement market, and we’re excited to share that information with you!

Jeff Mike

Jeff Mike leads Bersin by Deloitte’s HR Operations and Service Delivery research He integrates rigorous research approaches with his extensive experience leading HR functions to engage diverse practitioners and to generate actionable knowledge Jeff also teaches HR to business people and business to HR people, formally at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and informally in organizations through his boundary spanning, consultative approach to problem solving and capacity building.

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