Employee engagement defies age of austerity, as workplace pride increases, finds Badenoch & Clark
David Woods, April 30, 2012
UK workers are combating austerity blues and economic woes with a renewed sense of purpose, according to a new study revealed exclusively to HR demonstrating levels of enthusiasm and engagement remain high in UK workplaces.
The report from recruitment consultants Badenoch & Clark, shows that nearly half (48%) of UK workers are proud to work in their organisation. The news comes just days after figures for the UK's GDP, showed growth had retracted by 0.2% in the first three months of 2012, placing the UK on the brink of a double-dip recession.
The study shows levels of employee engagement - used to describe commitment, attachment and pride in employment- are strong amongst UK workers, in spite of the difficulties many UK businesses have faced as a result of the economic downturn, resulting in job cuts and salary freezes.
The poll of over 1,000 workers shows that nearly nine in 10 (89%) believe their role contributes towards the success of their organisation, and that three quarters (76%) believe their co-workers seek their opinion and listen to and respect their views.
Nearly three quarters (71.5%) think their managers empower them to do their job to the best of their ability. Younger workers (16-24 year olds) are particularly enthused, with 8 in ten (81.2%) drawing a direct link between strong management and workplace engagement.
Nicola Linkleter, MD at Badenoch & Clark said: "Employee engagement can and should be seen as a measure of strong management and good internal communication.
"There is a strong argument to be made in favour of seeing investment in engagement as a business imperative. In an immediate sense, there is a direct link between employee engagement and productivity - proud, enthused workers will strive to produce stronger and higher results, directly impacting on the bottom line. But with salary freezes and job losses widely reported throughout the UK, managers must work hard to foster a strong culture of inclusivity and engagement within their place of work.
"On a macroeconomic level, strong employee engagement has the power to buck the forces of economic austerity. The UK will emerge from the economic downturn at a faster rate if workers are more engaged in their work. As such, leaders must now place engagement at the heart of their broader strategy."
Morale amongst Scottish workers is amongst the highest in the UK, with over half (52.4%) proud of their organisation.
The 'Engagement Factor' barometer from Badenoch & Clark will rate employee engagement on a quarterly basis, and will act as an alternative measure of organisational productivity.