Cool Britannia: The impact of engagement on the country

Cool Britannia: The impact of engagement on the country

Britain leads the world in dozens of industries, from music to high-end manufacturing. British designers, scientists and business leaders pu

Britain leads the world in dozens of industries, from music to high-end manufacturing. British designers, scientists and business leaders push boundaries in all sorts of ways. However, since 2008, our national productivity has stopped improving as fast as it used to. According to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics we’ve even started going backwards. Now, Japan is the only country in the G7 that produces less value per hour than us.

So, how do we get our mojo back?

The UK’s productivity problem has a number of complex causes, but one area where businesses leaders can make an immediate impact is employee engagement and motivation.

At Personal Group, we understand how important it is for businesses to unlock the
full potential of their staff. The key phrase here is ‘discretionary effort’. That’s the extra hard work and thoughtfulness employees put in when they really care about and enjoy their work. It turns out, we aren’t the only business in the UK that feels this way. We interviewed 10 top UK business leaders and they all agreed – happiness is good for business.

Alex Edmans, Professor of Finance at London Business School, tracked hundreds of companies over a period of 28 years and found that businesses with highly satisfied employees had 2-3% higher stock returns each year than their peers in comparable industries – that’s 89%-184% cumulative better long-run stock returns over the period (Harvard Business Review). His conclusion: the results suggest that satisfied employees aren’t just the result of business success, they are the cause.

That means that having happy employees effects your bottom line. A lot of forward thinking British business leaders are making strides in the right direction, but there are still plenty more who need to catch up before we can unlock Britain’s untapped productivity potential.

So how can we change the way we work?


The conventional office-based 9-5 work life is changing. This is because of two things: technology and culture. Cloud computing, mobile and 4G allow office sta to work efficiently from almost anywhere. Business leaders
need to embrace the changes to engage with their staff better.

One key area where we can improve is internal communications. Most already have an effective, low cost communications infrastructure in place. Regardless of their location, sta can nd out any information they want to know at a time that suits them, wherever they are.

Another area where flexibility is important is workplace benefits. Companies employ a diverse range of people. So why o er them all the same perks? At Personal Group, we are helping businesses tailor their bene ts programmes to ensure sta get what they want. A centralised engagement app, like Hapi, staff can access all of the benefits via an app.


Looking after your employees’ mental and physical health is not only a duty of care but also has enormous business benefits. One key part is promoting a healthy lifestyle. This can be anything from arranging a cycle to work scheme to sociable smoothie-making Fridays.

It also involves creating a positive workplace attitude towards mental health. Companies can really benefit from providing their staff with access to quality services.

A comprehensive employee services package can go a long way to supporting employees’ wellbeing.

Embracing new wellbeing technology and implementing a benefits programmes can go a long way to motivating and engaging with staff. We know that happy employees are 12% more productive, so if we can, as an industry, get more UK employees engaged and improve their wellbeing we can help get Britain’s productivity back on track!