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Disengagement is rife, why?

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UK companies struggling to engage employees despite projections of economic growth. Employee engagement has declined sharply in the UK which could significantly impact on the country’s ability to achieve its projected economic growth goals.

The findings, from market research firm ORC International, have been released from the company’s global perspectives survey, which received more than 7,000 responses from employees across 20 countries. Despite a projected growth of over two percent, UK companies are struggling to engage employees in a sustainable way. The results reveal only 48 percent of employees are engaged with their jobs – an eight point drop from last year – placing it near the bottom of the list, only above Japan and Hong Kong. The figures show that less than half feel valued at work and only 40 percent feel their manager motivates and inspires them – further driving employees to disengage from the company and their responsibilities. There is also a considerable decline in the way in which innovation is encouraged and recognised in the UK workplace. This is a concern as being able to creatively tap into ideas from employees is a key driver in engagement.

Unfortunately, only 37 percent of employees feel that innovative thinking is encouraged – falling ten points from last year’s results. Specifically, there is a view that organisations are not learning from mistakes or recognising that failure is part of the innovation process. Kate Pritchard, head of employee research at ORC International, said: “UK companies need to take a hard look at the impact low engagement scores have on their business performance. “Encouraging innovative ideas, creative thinking and providing an environment where employees feel that managers act in their best interest are just some aspects to improving engagement which ultimately have a positive effect on overall business outcomes and client satisfaction.”

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