Employee Engagement News

Employee Engagement News: Why is the UK Lagging behind other countries?

How motivated do your UK team seem? If employee engagement is top on your agenda, you could be starting from a position of weakness if you’re based in the UK, as a new UK workers have been shown to be some of the least engaged in the world, according to the latest Qualtrics Employee Pulse, which surveyed more than 4,500 workers.

Employee Engagement Scores:

  • UK recorded average engagement scores of just 45%
  • France 54%
  • Australia 56%
  • USA 60%

Almost one in five (17%) of UK workers intend to leave their current employer in the next two years.

Why are UK employees disengaged? 

Office Genie surveyed office workers about their happiness in the workplace. Based upon the 200 surveyed employees, the average score was 3.63 out of 5. The most commonly cited reasons for unhappiness were the following:

Feeling overwhelmed/ a lack of control over current position/ unfulfilled

In a survey carried out by Randstad in the third quarter of 2013, when asked: “how satisfied are you with your current employer?” 33% said they were not satisfied with their current employer.  With the number of people in work within the UK now standing at 29.84 million, the research suggests that, across the country, 9.85 million employees are professionally unfulfilled. It appears that in the UK we are struggling to pitch work between ‘engaging’ ‘stressful’ and ‘boring’.

Having a bad or poor relationship with management

According to Monster, 27% of us have a poor relationship with our supervisors and over 15% of us believe we could do a better job. Could Britain be a nation of poor managers?

Maybe. Consider this statement on British vs German management.

“British managers are proud of being ‘good all-rounders’ (Barsoux and Lawrence, 1990). They have a generalist outlook which is akin to the belief that management is something separable from the technical aspects of a job. Related to this idea of generalism is the notion of managerial consciousness, as against technical-orientation which is very profound in Germany. No wonder, therefore, why British managers do not tend to be especially technically minded, since such expertise is not deemed to enhance their managerial reputation or performance. Whereas German top executives would describe themselves first and foremost as specialists, British ones see themselves as managers in more generalist terms, and somewhat detached from production.” (British Management Style On A Number Of Dimensions Management)

Having a poor working environment

Neglecting important facilities could seem to be an error. Employees also value improvements to the office environment to such an extent that they would be willing to sacrifice part of their salary for an office refurbishment and spend more time in the office if they had better facilities. It could also be employee relations too. One in 10 UK workers surveyed by Nationwide said they spent time with their colleagues outside working hours on a weekly basis, but 35% of office workers surveyed said they did not like to socialise with their colleagues after work.

How can you spot poor employee engagement?

The Qualtrics Pulse has identified the traits of those people who intend to leave compared to those who intend to stay at their current organisation.

The leavers are typically workers who:

  • Have been with the company less time
  • Have much, much higher levels of stress
  • Perceive their employers to be unsupportive of their work-life balance
  • Are in more junior positions

Commenting on the Qualtrics Pulse findings, Sarah Marrs says, “Work-life balance is the top driver of engagement at work, but it’s not traditionally an aspect that many organisations ask employees about. Businesses tend to focus on standard elements like pay or traditional career progression, but this study shows factors like showing support for your employee’s work-life balance and giving them a chance to try more lateral things in their role have a greater impact on engagement.”



Incentive and Motivation offers the latest news in employee benefits, rewards, incentive programmes and recognition. Discover the best employee engagement platforms, learn about communicating your incentives or the latest tech in the HR space.