But in the midst of a global crisis, concerns around environmental and ethical practices, plus reignited discussion around racial injustice, new drivers have emerged – and soared straight to the top of what influences employee engagement.
These are drivers that we’ve not seen before in our top rankings: Belonging and Corporate Social Responsibility.
And it gets more interesting from there...
Not only do we have new drivers of employee engagement, there’s also a good news story to tell from the challenges of 2020: employee engagement globally has actually increased.
In the UK engagement has leaped 11 points to 61% compared with 2019. And intent to stay is now at 56% – up 12 points from the previous year.
The significant jump in engagement and intent-to-stay mirrors what we've seen with customers since the start of the pandemic. It's the result of a number of factors: a greater focus on employee well-being, more opportunities to give feedback and greater interaction between leaders and frontline employees.
In the UK, it's also a by-product of COVID-19 and Brexit uncertainty, with individuals feeling less confident about changing roles. We saw similar trends after the 2008 financial crisis.
The importance of listening and acting on feedback
The UK traditionally lags behind global scores on employee engagement. But scores for ‘listening to feedback regularly’ suggest we’re on a par with other countries. And the fact that the score has only increased slightly by 1 point from 2019 suggests that practices in the UK were already well advanced.
However, in our global study, we've seen how ‘acting on feedback’ is another, critical way organisations drive up engagement. And that's where the UK may have dropped the ball in the tumult of the past 12 months.
It's not been easy. Organisations have scrambled to keep their operations running smoothly, and oftentimes employee feedback has fallen through the gaps, evidenced by a drop from 2019 in the number of employees who believe their feedback is acted upon.
Remote working has also eroded the perceived connection between feedback and action. Plus, more frequent pulses – collecting group-level data – may have been conducted at the expense of engagement surveys and engagement pulses, where more local reporting and action is the norm.
So here's where people leaders in the UK build upon a strong 2020. Make it faster and easier to give feedback in a variety of ways, and enable managers to take action more effectively.
Download the report to learn:
The new drivers of employee engagement
The state of employee experience in the UK
The link between taking action on feedback and engagement
Key actions people leaders can take going into 2021
Get the report now to explore the trends shaping the UK’s employee experience in 2021
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