Transparent Consulting Limited. The Transparent Consulting Employee Engagement Index: FTSE-100 companies

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1 The Transparent Consulting Employee Index: FTSE-100 companies

2 1 Executive Summary: Since the law on company reporting changed in 2006, companies have gradually increased the amount of information they give about their relations with their employees. We analysed Annual reports and Corporate Social Responsibility reports to generate a top-to-bottom ranking of employee engagement reporting in FTSE-100 companies. The top performing company scored 90 out of 100 in our review; the lowest scored zero. The highest scoring companies spoke of employees as being central to the development of their business; the lowest scoring company s only mention of its employees was that they were a risk factor for strikes and needed to be trained to avoid health and safety issues. Service sectors report much more effort to listen to their employees than heavy industry does. But differences show up even between companies in the same sectors, meaning that job-seekers and investors can use this information to learn about the different commercial and ethical approaches that companies take. Three findings stood out: 1. Companies and sectors which prioritise customer satisfaction are also the ones that give the most attention to employee engagement. 2. Large companies are listening to staff more frequently and at a more specific local level than ever before. 3. Reporting hasn t yet caught up. Although more effort is going into engaging with staff, only 25% companies give data which allows the outside world to compare engagement scores from one year to the next. The full report, including detailed case studies and benchmarks of companies results sector by sector are available from Transparent Consulting. For more information, write to us at:

3 2 Contents Executive Summary:...1 What is Employee and why is it important?...3 Our approach...3 Employee Index rankings: top 30 companies s prioritising customer satisfaction also give more attention to employee engagement Companies are listening to staff more frequently and at a more specific local level than ever before Although more effort is going into measuring employee engagement, few companies report their progress from one year to the next Leading companies are moving to integrate data collected from customer feedback with data collected from employee feedback Summary statistics Recommendations: About Transparent Consulting Acknowledgements: Appendix: Data tables... 14

4 3 What is Employee and why is it important? Employee engagement has been described as the willingness to offer discretionary effort, to go above and beyond, to give creative input into one s work. Employee engagement is a popular concept, reflecting a long-held view: that employees who are strongly engaged in their work are happier, more creative and more productive. Recent research has given the strongest indication yet of a causal relationship running from employee engagement to company performance, 1 while also highlighting the difficulties that financial markets have in putting a value on engaged employees. 2 When people talk about employee engagement, however, two things aren t always clearly separated out. There is what you do to engage with employees, and what you end up with, in terms of the level of engagement in a company. In this study, we focus on companies actions what they do to engage with employees. Our approach We have reviewed how FTSE-100 companies report on their relations with employees, analysing all 100 FTSE companies annual reports and CSR reports up to June 2010, surveying 30 companies in more detail and carrying out interviews on specific issues. We rated all the companies in the FTSE-100. We looked at which sectors and which companies came top in reporting their ways of engaging with staff. Our rating out of 100 was based on how companies described key engagement factors including: internal communications methods, employee surveying methods including their frequency, applications of their ethical code, use of corporate social responsibility reporting for discussion of employee issues, feedback from customers, inclusion in sustainability indices and awards; and the overall coverage, consistency and clarity of their reporting on employee engagement. 1 Alex Edmans, August 2009: Does the Stock Market Fully Value Intangibles? Employee Satisfaction and Equity Prices, Working paper, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. 2 See Edmans, Nita Clarke, co-author of the MacLeod report on Employee, agrees: It s amazing that the investment community pays so little attention to employee engagement given its real impact on medium and long-term company performance.

5 4 Employee Index rankings: top 30 companies Rank Company name Score 1 BT Group 90 2 Centrica 89 3 HSBC 77 4 Marks & Spencer 76 5 National Grid 76 6 Barclays Bank 73 7 Severn Trent 71 8 BAE Systems 71 9 Johnson Matthey Reed Elsevier Standard Life RSA Insurance Group Royal Dutch Shell J Sainsbury Land Securities Group United Utilities British Sky Broadcasting Group Admiral Group Legal and General Standard Chartered Bank i Lloyds Banking Group BP Diageo Royal Bank of Scotland Group Vodafone GlaxoSmithKline Man Group Tesco InterContinental Hotels 60 Companies scoring equally are ranked according to scores on overall effectiveness of engagement reporting, use of internal communications and ethical codes, and external transparency. The full ranking of 100 companies can be made available for benchmarking purposes.

6 5 1. s prioritising customer satisfaction also give more attention to employee engagement The sectors with the highest rankings were service industries: banks, insurance and utility services. It appears that where employee discretion is more important (especially in customer service sectors) those companies pay more attention to employee engagement. Rank Employee reporting by : Top 5 and bottom 5 sectors with at least 2 companies Number of companies Average Score 1 Banks Insurance Utilities Telecommunications Media Food & Beverages Technology Industrial General Household, Leisure & Personal Goods Mining Average for whole FTSE

7 6 Case study: J Sainsbury plc J Sainsbury Retail sector 147,000 employees In its annual reporting, J Sainsbury s employee communication approach is a leader in terms of its frequency, its detail and its tone of equality. It shows a clear desire to connect the employee to the top of the business, with as few layers as possible between a colleague s proposal and its conversion to action. Its glass-atriumed London HQ makes the point with a plate on the front door stating that it is the Store Support Centre. CEO Justin King writes a letter to employees always referred to as colleagues each month to update on progress and communicate plans. The 2006 Tell Justin campaign (featured on television) requests suggestions, and every letter gets a response. In 2010 Sainsbury s reported receiving the 30,000 th suggestion. The annual report discusses a range of communication processes including weekly visits by executives to the shopfloor, listening to colleagues and finding ways to put their ideas into practice. The approach to engagement with colleagues is aligned with the methods for engagement with customers. Sainsbury s gets customer information through monthly surveys, regular feedback from its loyalty card customer base and weekly checks for what s on the customer s mind. The information arrives in the business fast, and to respond quickly the business has to listen more closely to colleagues, not just to ensure that they comply but also to generate the ideas and initiatives to act. To track ongoing colleague engagement, the business uses its rolling annual survey 'Talk back' combined with a monthly online survey, the 'Colleague Panel'. These are good practices in the retail sector, similar to other leading retailers. Sainsbury s gives a detailed and convincing explanation of why it has increased internal communication. It is certainly not perfect: there is only one year of data on employee engagement for example and the description of programmes leaves the feeling that in many cases, ideas have to go all the way to the top to be actioned back at the store level What stands out in Sainsbury s approach however is a new initiative: Quarterly reporting on social issues. In January 2010, Sainsbury s began to report each quarter on stakeholder-related measures alongside its quarterly financial updates to the City. This near real-time approach was pioneered by Timberland in 2008, which now reports three years of targets, actions and numerical results for Corporate Responsibility issues. After two editions, Sainsbury s quarterly update is short, and only with limited data, but if it adopts a full quarterly reporting approach it will be a radical indication of seriously it takes CR issues. It may also allow the company to understand wider stakeholder groups reactions better, and potentially winning their advocacy for what it is trying to do. A detailed comparison of UK retailers and more information on Sainsbury s engagement approach can be found in Transparent Consulting s full 2010 report

8 7 2. Companies are listening to staff more frequently and at a more specific local level than ever before. In 2010, 77% of companies reported a customer feedback cycle that was six monthly or faster whereas only 26% of companies asked for employee views every six months or faster. The change from 2009 to 2010 is that some very large companies are taking conscious decisions to listen to their employees more often. The interesting changes are taking place at the front end of the graph. Some major UK companies are treating employee engagement as something that needs to be tracked quarterly and very specifically at a team level so that management can get better at responding. Four companies described obtaining employee feedback at least quarterly in The last three of these have confirmed increasing their frequency and speed to feed back in 2009/2010: - Lloyds Bank - British Airways - British Telecom - J Sainsbury

9 8 Case study: British Telecom plc British Telecom Telecommunications sector 98,000 employees. BT was the top scoring FTSE-100 company in our 2010 ratings. It has reported employee engagement numbers since 2005, most recently reporting 3 years consistent historical data, as it does for 12 other key Corporate Responsibility indicators. Lots of information in itself does not make a company a high performer, but BT s reporting was also clear and consistent, giving a window on its efforts over 7 years to engage better with employees: 2004 Frequency Level of detail Content for metric Annual survey of 100% of staff Not specified 2005 Results available at team level (min 8 people) People Satisfaction Index Employee Index: Team working, senior management, communication, rewards, work-life balance Quarterly survey of 25% of staff Quarterly survey of 50% of staff Scoring reduced to 6 key questions covering: motivation, customers, manager behaviour Results available at team level Employee score based on 6 key questions The evolution of BT s employee engagement approach shows: Increasing frequency of employee feedback Stronger focus of attention especially on the key role of the line manager More simple engagement measure six key questions Senior management alignment, with bonuses part-determined by engagement results. Sharon Darwent, Head of Employee at BT, describes a quarterly approach of measuring engagement team by team, understanding best practices quickly and empowering the team managers to make sure action happens: "Our current survey closes this Wednesday. A week on Monday, we'll deliver the engagement results to the board and to every manager whose team has responded. All the CEOs from each line of business review the feedback, what s going right, what can we replicate elsewhere. Every team leader can analyse the results for themselves, they get links to an engagement toolkit and we also hold calls to coach them in having constructive conversations with their teams." BT has brought Olympic athletes and a theme of engagement and performance ( The Difference is You ) into its most recent line manager training. While buzzwords may come and go, the depth of coverage for engagement issues is clear and the direction of change has been consistent for a decade: listen more frequently, measure more simply, give results at a lower level, and engage the entire business team by team in improving performance.

10 9 3. Although more effort is going into measuring employee engagement, few companies report their progress from one year to the next metrics are being given more often the number of companies reporting them increased from 29% in 2009 reports to 40% in 2010 reports. Even in the reports up to June 2010, however, only 25 companies provided the 2, 3 or more years of data that allows comparability over time.

11 10 4. Leading companies are moving to integrate data collected from customer feedback with data collected from employee feedback Some leading companies are accelerating the collection of answers and linking the data from each source so that the connections between business actions, employee engagement and customer impact become clear. Case study: Centrica Centrica, whose 34,000 person operations include British Gas, is an interesting example of a company accelerating the cycle of feedback with each of its stakeholder groups and bringing the data together to make better decisions. Customer net promoter scores come in weekly or monthly, letting each team see customers opinions about their service. Employees have a formal half-yearly appraisal affecting performance bonuses. For management feedback, Centrica runs an annual company-wide employee survey. Lindsey Oliver, Employee Manager at Centrica explains: We were planning to run it every 2 years, but the pace of change and appetite from the business is to run the full survey every year, so they can track the impact of the actions they re taking. The engagement team makes a point of following up on particular employee issues. Our September 2009 survey told us we were falling down in the areas of recognition and feeling valued. People weren t saying thank you enough. So by December 2009, we had designed and put in place a formal recognition programme. We put stands in and around the offices with thank you cards that people can fill in quickly and give to the person who has helped. It s a small thing, but it helps to remind people and it makes a big difference. In June 2010, we asked the questions again. The scores in those areas jumped: I feel I am a valued part of this company went up from 60% in Sept 2009 to 75% in June 2010 I receive adequate recognition for my achievements went up from 60% to 73% in June 2010 The questions also have to be specific enough for the results to be relevant even in small teams: If you re asking the questions, you have to be able to take actions. Since 2007, we ve taken the results down to teams of at least 5 people, so it s very specific. That means managers and teams can own it - when the results come out, the team sits down together to see what actions they can take about the things that they can directly control. Finally, and most interestingly, Lindsey Oliver explains the longer-term strategy for integrating employee engagement in the customer focus of the organisation: This year, for the first time we re going to tie our teams employee engagement scores back to their customer feedback the Net Promoter Scores (NPS)...We ll also cross check against attrition, absence and performance. We ll get the results in November. It s a big step, and it s very exciting. I think we re going to be able to put a true business value on employee engagement.

12 11 5. Summary statistics How many FTSE-100 companies carried out an employee engagement survey? In the 2010 study, 69 of the FTSE-100 companies reported that they carried out an employee engagement survey, up from 67 of the same group in the 2009 study. Do companies publish separate CR reports? 96 companies had some form of corporate responsibility or sustainability report. Half had separate documents; half offered a mix of sections within annual reports, and references to reports on websites. Do companies report on customer satisfaction? 24% provided clear metrics showing the change in their customer satisfaction scores over time. 22% described how they tracked customer satisfaction. 54% of companies gave no details about how they tracked customer satisfaction. What methods did companies use to engage with employees? The most popular communications methods cited were intranet and newsletter (80%), town hall or CEO briefings (74%) and team briefings (61%). Amongst the least popular methods, retailers were the most likely to send executives back-to-the-floor (there were 4 retailers amongst the 13% who did this). Exit interviews only had four citations. Equal opportunities policies were cited by 87% of companies; however, only 52% described specific actions to promote equality such as tracking diversity in management positions. Public virtues: companies highlighting their Socially Responsible credentials Most companies referenced at least one Sustainability or Corporate Responsibility Index; interestingly, some companies did not highlight indices on which they appeared, despite the potential attractiveness for investors. Centrica was the only company to appear on 3 major sustainability indices, appearing in 2 (selfnominated) best to work for lists and using Global Reporting Initiative guidelines for its reporting. Effectiveness of Employee reporting Four companies stood out in terms of the coverage, consistency and clarity of their employee engagement reporting: Top scoring on employee engagement reporting: Scored: Johnson Matthey 9/10 Admiral Group, Centrica, Severn Trent 8/10 11 companies scored 7, 11 companies scored 6, 24 companies scored 5, while 50 were rated at 4 or lower for the quality of their employee engagement reporting.

13 12 Recommendations: Alignment of Employee cycles with Customer cycles Some retailers and contact centres give teams daily feedback on customer opinions. Some professional services firms give managers weekly feedback on key employee morale indicators. There is no unique best frequency of feedback cycles, but a clear recommendation is to listen at least as often as the competition does, and to combine customer and employee information in business decision-making. Quarterly updates with metrics J Sainsbury has begun reporting quarterly on its Corporate Responsibility progress. We recommend that companies consider what it would require to move to quarterly reporting, issue by issue, both as a sign of seriousness and in order to re-direct effort if progress is slowing or could be improved. Single downloadable CR documents, dated and signed Corporate Responsibility reports are not always dated, not always kept up to date, and information may be changed if it only exists on company websites. Recent flexible pdf formats also have disadvantages in that they cannot easily be downloaded as a single file, page numbered or in some cases searched. Continuous updates on the website are welcome, but cannot substitute for a document of record. We recommend that companies use a single document for each reporting cycle as the document of record. This should be page numbered, dated and signed by a named individual. Audited people statements in CR reports The Smart Sustainability report, March 2010, found that 54 of the FTSE-100 had some form of assurance. Most of these assurance processes, however, focused on environmental issues. People statements are even less likely to be audited. In our review to June 2010, almost no companies had independent auditing of statements about people issues. The current best practice in this area is to use an independent stakeholder feedback group, which can review and sense-check the methods and the results on people metrics along with other sustainability matters. 3. Standardised Health & Safety metrics in mining Most mining companies focus on Health and Safety metrics as their highest priority for employees. Our data suggests that the mining sector has seen reduced injury rates over the last 5 years. However, the value of reporting is reduced because companies do not use consistent definitions. Reported fatalities sometimes do and sometimes do not include contractors. There are 8 different definitions of Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate across the 12 FTSE-100 mining companies. This makes it harder to compare and improve performance. We therefore strongly recommend that FTSE-100 mining companies agree common GRI-aligned definitions for at least the fatality rate and the all injury frequency rate to allow benchmarking and improvement across the sector. The issue of Health and Safety reporting is covered in greater depth in Transparent Consulting s separate review of Employee Reporting in the Mining 3 See Johnson Matthey, Sustainability Report, July 2010

14 13 About Transparent Consulting Transparent Consulting is an independent consulting firm working on employee engagement and operations management; a team of three people led by Giles Slinger has been responsible for preparing the data and assembling the report. For more information and benchmarking from this report, contact: Giles Slinger: Acknowledgements: Transparent Consulting would like to thank the many people and organisations who have kindly supported this report: Researchers: Will Sheldon and Christelle Dossa and the respondents from each company who have brought the case studies to life. Advisors: Tomorrow s Company: Philip Sadler, Tony Manwaring, Pat Cleverley Professor Adrian Henriques, Professor Julian Birkinshaw, LBS With assistance from: Bryony Holt at Call Britannia, Ed Hockey at Snap Surveys, Claire Thompson at St. Mary Magdalene Academy and Ruth Sunderland, Business Editor of the Observer Any errors remain the responsibility of Transparent Consulting.

15 14 Appendix: Data tables Tables 1-21 show the rank order within each sector. Three components are represented in the right hand column by a star rating. These are: Employee Relations, Relations and Reporting. Definitions Employee is an aggregate from scores for methods for internal communications, reporting of, and frequency of employee engagement surveys, an employee section in CSR report. is an aggregate from scores for customer satisfaction metrics, application of an ethical code, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) reporting, external indices. reporting score is an aggregate from scores for coverage, consistency and clarity of employee engagement reporting. Each component is represented by a star showing: Fully gold = % Half gold = 34-66% White = 0-33%

16 15 Table 1: Employee Index rankings: Banks Banks 5 Total number of employees: 840,026 Employee Index average score: 69 1 HSBC 2 Barclays Bank 3 Standard Chartered Bank 4 Lloyds Banking Group 5 Royal Bank of Scotland Group Table 2: Employee Index rankings: Insurance Insurance 7 Total number of employees: 175,894 Employee Index average score: 61 1 Standard Life 2 RSA Insurance Group 3 Admiral Group 4 Legal and General 5 Aviva 6 Old Mutual 7 Prudential

17 16 Table 3: Employee Index rankings: Utilities Utilities 6 Total number of employees: 104,259 Employee Index average score: 61 1 Centrica 2 National Grid 3 Severn Trent 4 United Utilities 5 International Power 6 Scottish and Southern Energy Table 4: Employee Index rankings: Telecommunications Telecommunications 4 Total number of employees: 197,711 Employee Index average score: 59 1 BT Group 2 Vodafone 3 Cable & Wireless 4 Inmarsat Table 5: Employee Index rankings: Media Media 4 Total number of employees: 223,464 Employee Index average score: 56 1 Reed Elsevier 2 British Sky Broadcasting Group 3 WPP Group 4 Pearson

18 17 Table 6: Employee Index rankings: Retailers Retailers 7 Total number of employees: 1,016,597 Employee Index average score: 56 1 Marks & Spencer 2 J Sainsbury 3 Tesco 4 Home Retail Group 5 Kingfisher 6 Next 7 Wm Morrison Supermarkets Table 7: Employee Index rankings: Aerospace & Defence Aerospace & Defence 3 Total number of employees: 157,683 Employee Index average score: 56 1 BAE Systems 2 Rolls-Royce Group 3 Cobham

19 18 Table 8: Employee Index rankings: Other s 4 Other 3 Total number of employees: 8,502 Employee Index average score: 70 1 Johnson Matthey 2 Smith & Nephew 3 Alliance Trust Table 9: Employee Index rankings: Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology 3 Total number of employees: 166,765 Employee Index average score: 50 1 GlaxoSmithKline 2 Shire Pharmaceuticals Group 3 AstraZeneca Table 10: Employee Index rankings: Tobacco Tobacco 2 Total number of employees: 98,381 Employee Index average score: 48 1 British American Tobacco 2 Imperial Tobacco 4 The companies in the Other category are each in their own single company sectors. The sectors are: Chemicals, Healthcare Equipment & Services and Investment Companies.

20 19 Table 11: Employee Index rankings: Oil and Gas Oil & Gas 8 Total number of employees: 223,631 Employee Index average score: 48 1 Royal Dutch Shell 2 BP 3 Tullow Oil 4 BG Group 5 AMEC 6 Petrofac 7 Cairn Energy 8 Essar Table 12: Employee Index rankings: Financial General Financial General 5 Total number of employees: 15,220 Employee Index average score: i 2 Man Group 3 Schroders 4 Investec 5 ICAP

21 20 Table 13: Employee Index rankings: Support Services Support Services 8 Total number of employees: 795,332 Employee Index average score: 46 1 Aggreko 2 Experian 3 Serco Group 4 G4S 5 Capita Group 6 Bunzl 7 Intertek Group 8 Wolseley Table 14: Employee Index rankings: Travel & Leisure Travel & Leisure 6 Total number of employees: 603,220 Employee Index average score: 44 1 InterContinental Hotels 2 British Airways 3 Whitbread 4 Compass Group 5 TUI Travel 6 Carnival

22 21 Table 15: Employee Index rankings: Real Estate Investment Trusts Real Estate Investment Trusts 5 Total number of employees: 1,908 Employee Index average score: 42 1 Land Securities Group 2 Hammerson 3 British Land Company 4 SEGRO 5 Liberty International Table 16: Employee Index rankings: Food & Beverages Food & Beverages 4 Total number of employees: 353,652 Employee Index average score: 42 1 Diageo 2 Unilever 3 SABMiller 4 Associated British Foods Table 17: Employee Index rankings: Technology Technology 4 Total number of employees: 36,838 Employee Index average score: 40 1 Invensys 2 ARM Holdings 3 Sage Group 4 Autonomy Corporation

23 22 Table 18: Employee Index rankings: Industrial General Industrial General 2 Total number of employees: 44,700 Employee Index average score: 35 1 Smiths Group 2 Rexam Table 19: Employee Index rankings: Household, Leisure & Personal Goods : Household, Leisure & Personal Goods 2 Total number of employees: 30,508 Employee Index average score: 33 1 Reckitt Benckiser 2 Burberry Group

24 23 Table 20: Employee Index rankings: Mining Mining 12 Total number of employees: 491,993 Employee Index average score: 30 1 Rio Tinto Group 2 Fresnillo 3 BHP Billiton 4 Anglo American 5 Lonmin 6 African Barrick Gold 7 Antofagasta 8 Xstrata 9 Vedanta Resources 10 Kazakhmys 11 Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation 12 Randgold Resources The mining sector is unusual in having a very large number of contractors. Not all companies report their contractor numbers, but we have verified at least 219,000 contractors across the 12 companies.

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