REVEALED | These are the best & worst cities for employee engagement

These are the best & worst cities for employee engagement

New research has revealed the country's cities with the highest and lowest levels of employee engagement.

The latest data from employee benefits provider Sodexo Engage reveals that SME employees on the south coast are proving to be happier employees, with 79% of employees in Brighton reporting that they feel engaged at work. By comparison, just 50% of SME employees working in Southampton, and 59% of London-based employees say they feel engaged by their work.

Top 5 cities in England with the most engaged SME employees:

  • Brighton – 79%
  • Plymouth – 77%
  • Sheffield – 74%
  • Norwich – 69%
  • Newcastle – 68%

Top 5 cities in England with the least engaged SME employees:

  • Southampton – 50%
  • Birmingham – 51%
  • Manchester – 56%
  • Bristol – 58%
  • London – 59%

Sodexo Engage’s survey collected responses from over 1,000 SME employers and employees, identifying the HR trends dominating their workplace and, crucially, learning how employees feel about their organisation.

The research found that overall, 61% of SME employees in England say they’re completely engaged or somewhat engaged in their work or role. For employers to keep their people engaged, the research identified key areas of improvement. Specifically, 45% of employees working for SMEs cite they would be more engaged in their positions with better pay, and 36% of employees claim that a better work-life balance would improve their engagement.

Across Sodexo Engage’s research, SME employees were typically satisfied with their benefits packages, as just 11% of SME employees are unhappy with the current benefits their employer offers. However, when it comes to engagement, a third (33%) of SME employees believe that better employee benefits will boost their engagement. In particular, 24% of employees want flexible working options and 23% would like private healthcare as part of their benefits packages.

Against the backdrop of the Great Resignation, 75% of SME employers reported a sharp rise in resignations, making it imperative that employers leverage benefits and look after the work-life balance of their workforce to enhance employee loyalty.

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Jamie Mackenzie, Director at Sodexo Engage, commented on the findings: “Employee engagement has become one of the topmost priorities for SME businesses, but not nearly enough employers are aware of the small measures they can implement to tap into the motivations of employees. For employers looking to harness engagement, they can implement schemes such as holiday buy-back schemes or offer ‘flexitime’ benefits that allow employees to manage their time as they wish. No matter how the extensive or small these benefits are, they can go a long way in boosting the engagement of a workforce, and making employees feel valued.

“A great way to boost morale, and make teams feel like their work matters, is through CSR schemes that engages employees’ direct participation. Offering paid time to volunteer and give back to the community can help employees make a wider difference and many come back reporting greater motivation after volunteering. On top of that, these schemes a demonstrate a SME’s commitment to driving real change, and these benefits naturally extend beyond boosting engagement.”

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