9/10 employees ‘engaged’ at work

Of this number, 30 percent of employees say that they are ‘highly engaged’. The research, which features UK-based workers and was carried out by HR consultancy ETS, confounds suggestions elsewhere that employee engagement is low.

This view is backed up by broader survey trends data featuring 680,000 employees. The scores for key measures of engagement – willingness to put in discretionary effort, advocacy of employer and intention to stay – remain at a high level, offering further encouragement:

· 90 per cent of employees willing to ‘go the extra mile’ for their employer
· 81 per cent would recommend their employer as a ‘great place to work’
· 85 per cent intend to still be working for their employer in a year’s time.

In the online study, participants were asked what the biggest factors were in causing them to be engaged at work. The majority, some 57 per cent, said that ‘feeling their work is valued’ is the most important factor. Over a quarter cited good working relationships as key and just 16 per cent said pay and benefits had the greatest impact on whether they were engaged.

Hannah Stratford, Head of Business Psychology at ETS, comments: “It continues to be a tough time for businesses and employees so it is really positive that nine out of 10 employees describe themselves as being engaged at work. Increasing the level of employee engagement is essential for the UK’s economic recovery. But while we should rightly be buoyed by these figures, we should bear in mind that external factors such as the economy and a lack of job security could play a part in influencing how employees respond to surveys at present.”

How can employers make things better?

Employees taking part in the online study were also asked what single thing their employer could do to increase employee engagement. Leadership and feeling work is valued were themes that reoccurred:

· 36 per cent said better leadership
· 31 per cent said greater appreciation for good work
· 16 per cent said better pay and benefits.

Hannah Stratford explains: “The factors that drive employees to be engaged at work differ between companies. Where some companies go wrong is in investing in engagement surveys but failing to ask employees the right questions and not acting on the results. Surveys must be aligned with business objectives to give accurate, meaningful data on which relevant action can be taken. This is the only way to better engage workers.”