The Challenges around Employee Engagement in Switzerland: What is the current situation in Switzerland?
Today’s working world is facing some major challenges. Over 40% of employees in Switzerland suffer from “long-term exhaustion and weakness” (Schweizerisches Bundesamt für Statistik). Furthermore, a recent study about the “State of the Global Workplace” found that over 70% of Swiss employees are disengaged at work (Gallup). In addition, the number of invalidity pension requests (IV) has risen substantially in the last few years, mainly due to the large surge of work-related mental disorders.
What price are we paying?
The associated costs of burn-out and stress-related health issues in Switzerland are enormous. According to the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the annual damage to the Swiss economy is CHF 7.8 billion, which excludes social follow-up costs. These costs have risen substantially in the last decade; in 2003 the costs were still well below CHF 5 billion. In comparison, Switzerland spent CHF 26.4 billion on education, research and innovation in 2012. This means that Switzerland is currently investing CHF 26.4 billion per year towards increasing the level of know-how and performance of its “human resources” while at the same time over a third of that amount gets lost due to how the working world interacts with “human resources.” These developments are often linked to suboptimal leadership, lack of communication, high performance pressure, and other counterproductive behavior patterns.
At Inspire 925 we refer to it as the 9-billion-dollar-question: How do you create and sustain an optimal and positive working environment, so that these developments are prevented altogether?
Innovative employers like Google or Zappos work actively towards creating a positive work environment for their employees. The alternative? Waste time and energy on damage control. Because once the illness is apparent, high levels of productivity, performance and innovation can no longer be expected from affected employees. In severe cases in which a replacement or restructuring is required, fluctuation costs set in, which – depending on the job position – lie between 30% and 200% of the salary of the person who is to be replaced.
What is the return on investment for employee engagement?
The original impulse for the active approach stems from US companies. Since 2009 when the British governmental report „Engage for Success“ was published, however, top management in European companies has seriously started to rethink their approach as well. On over 150 pages, the report clearly outlines the business case for employee engagement. The main take-away: there is a strong correlation between a company’s success and the level of engagement demonstrated by their employees. According to a meta-analysis by Gallup, engaged employees are 21% more productive, 25% more likely to stay with the company, cause 48% fewer safety incidents and are 37% less likely to take sick leave. Overall, this leads to 22% higher profitability for high engagement organizations.
For all these reasons, Inspire 925 supports an increasing number of companies in adopting a preventive approach and proactively creating a positive working environment that nurtures employee engagement. Learn more about our services.