Lack of recognition is biggest barrier to engagement for UK workers

A lack of employee recognition for their contributions is the single biggest factor for British people feeling disengaged at work, according to Achievers.

More than a quarter (27%) of those feeling disengaged at work felt unrecognised for their efforts.

Less than a third (30%) of British workers said they felt they were recognised at least weekly, and less than half (49%) said they felt valued by their superiors.

Seventeen per cent of the 1,005 British workers surveyed described themselves as disengaged, with nearly one in ten (9%) saying they felt completely disengaged and are looking for new employment.

For Jon Maddison, managing director EMEA at Achievers, the results are endemic of the current climate. He said: “The global pandemic has caused a massive disruption throughout the jobs market and employers are increasingly looking for ways to retain their best talent and keep them engaged.”

The engagement and retention reports reinforce how important it is for employees to feel engaged and appreciated at work.

Jonathan Lord, HR lecturer at the University of Salford Business School, told HR magazine it is more important than ever to keep employees engaged.

He said: “The average cost of recruiting an employee is £2,000, rising to £6,000 for senior executives. Therefore, with almost one in five employees planning to look for a new job, it is vital that organisations focus on employees and engagement even more.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively enabled organisations to ‘trial’ working from home and this arrangement could be a good way of providing a ‘benefit’ for working for the organisation.

“Different ways of working post-lockdown could also provide opportunities for organisations to develop staff into new ways of working as well offering chances to undertake further study.”

Just over a third (35%) of employees said they felt very engaged at work and committed to their company for the long term, while a further 24% described their sense of engagement at work as “average”.

In order to retain staff, Maddison argued HR should consider an employee recognition program to help align staff with organisational objectives and improve both retention and productivity.

When asked what might persuade them to move jobs, respondents pointed first to improved work/life balance (28%) or a career advancement (26%).

Monetary consideration and improved workplace culture were less of a priority, both chosen by 13% of respondents.

The Achievers survey also found that around one in five (19%) respondents said they planned to look for a new job this year.

Further reading:

HR professionals find employee morale has risen during pandemic

Employees will bring new expectations when they return to workplace

HR professionals find employee morale has risen during pandemic