5 practical ways to boost employee engagement

By Natalie Saunders, Consultant at Culture Consultancy

 

The UK has a problem… According to the latest ‘State of the Global Workplace’ study by Gallup, only 10% of UK workers are feeling engaged with their jobs, 40% of employees feel stressed and 20% feel angry every day. These are some sobering statistics, but look on the bright side, there’s clearly lots of opportunity for improvement.

Given that Gallup estimates that low employee engagement costs the global economy US$8.9 trillion, or 9% of global GDP, investing in and enhancing engagement should make a real positive difference.

According to the study, in the UK…

  • Employee wellbeing has declined.
  • Mental health problems are on the rise.
  • Psychological safety issues are becoming more prevalent.

 

If you do nothing, you can expect a massive impact on productivity and performance, but how can you best support your people, so they feel engaged and happy in the workplace?

Our top 5 tips to improve employee engagement

Whilst there can be a wide variety of reasons for reduced employee engagement we would suggest starting by looking at the following…

1. Upskill your line managers

The role of manager has become significantly more difficult over the past few years. with 5 generations in the workplace, employees have different attitudes and expectations, and of course, remote working is here to stay. Managers need the right training and tools so they are capable and confident in having supportive, empathetic and solution-focussed conversations with their team members.

2. Reduce sources of cognitive dissonance

If your people are unable to reconcile what you say your organisational values are, and what they experience on a day-to-day basis, this can be a huge contributor to disillusionment and reduced engagement. Review and potentially refresh your values – or embed your existing ones more effectively. At Culture Consultancy we offer a unique solution to embedding values & behaviours – learn more HERE

3. Be curious about the underlying causes

Surveys can be useful but will only take you so far. More listening is what’s needed – using a range of approaches. Focus groups are an important way to get under the skin of what’s going on, but will only really tell you what you need to know if you’ve successfully actioned tip 4. A Culture Assessment will give you a detailed picture of cultural enablers and inhibitors to performance in your business.

4. Embed psychological safety throughout your organisation

People will only honestly share their views if they are confident that doing so will not have negative personal repercussions. If your line managers and leaders spend time trying to work out “who said what” in the engagement survey verbatims, that is likely to have a chilling effect on people’s willingness to be open.

5. Respond and communicate

Many organisations fail to respond meaningfully to feedback from their employees. Many more do respond, but fail to close the feedback loop through an effective “you said, we did…” approach. Create clear, safe channels for an open dialogue between leaders, managers and employees.

 

You can download the full Gallup State of the Global Workplace 2024 report HERE.

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