Emergency: Employee Engagement at All Time Low

Emergency: Employee Engagement at All Time Low

When I returned from holiday our smoke alarm was beeping, so I changed the batteries. After which our google nest product declared an emergency detecting smoke. It was malfunctioning but it was urgent in its declaration. Another emergency is emerging the latest global workforce survey by Gallup reveals a sobering statistic: only 10% of the UK workforce is engaged in their work. This alarmingly low figure should serve as a wake-up call for leaders and managers across all sectors. Employee engagement, defined as the emotional commitment an employee has to their organisation and its goals, is crucial for productivity, retention, and overall business success. Yet, the vast majority of UK employees are quietly disengaging.

Employee engagement impacts every aspect of your business. Engaged employees are more productive, motivated, and committed to your work and your organisation. They are less likely to leave, reducing turnover costs and maintaining continuity and stability within teams. Disengaged employees, on the other hand, often contribute to a toxic work environment, increased absenteeism, and lower productivity. Given the current statistics, it’s clear that businesses are facing significant challenges that need to be addressed with urgency and strategic action.

Five Steps to Greater Employee Engagement

1. Cultivate a Positive Work Culture

A positive work culture is the foundation of employee engagement. You must create an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and know their part in a team. This involves fostering open communication, promoting inclusivity, celebrating and recognising achievements. Regular team-building activities and social events can also strengthen relationships and improve morale. By nurturing a positive work culture, your teams are more likely to feel connected and committed to their workplace.

2. Provide Opportunities for Growth and Development

Employees are more engaged when they see a clear path for advancement and have opportunities to develop their skills. Organisations need to invest in continuous learning and development programs, offering workshops, training sessions, and access to online courses. Mentorship programs can also be highly effective, pairing less experienced employees with seasoned professionals who can provide guidance and support. By prioritising employee growth, companies not only enhance their workforce’s capabilities but also demonstrate their commitment to their employees’ futures.

3. Empower Employees with Autonomy and Responsibility

Micromanagement is a significant barrier to engagement. Employees who feel trusted and empowered to make decisions are more likely to take ownership of their work and feel a sense of pride in their accomplishments. You should delegate responsibilities appropriately and provide the necessary resources and support for employees to succeed. Create a culture of accountability, where you are all responsible for your outcomes, this can lead to higher levels of engagement and job satisfaction.

4. Ensure Fair Compensation and Benefits

While engagement is influenced by more than just monetary factors, fair compensation and benefits are fundamental. Employees need to feel that their efforts are recognised and rewarded appropriately. This includes competitive salaries, bonuses, health benefits, where possible and other perks that demonstrate the organisation’s commitment to their well-being. Flexible work arrangements should be considered new generations entering the workplace don’t see work as something that should consume them.

5. Regularly Measure and Act on Employee Feedback

Effective engagement strategies are grounded in understanding your employees’ needs and concerns. Regular surveys and feedback mechanisms, such as pulse surveys and one-on-one meetings, provide valuable insights into the employee experience. However, gathering feedback is only part of the solution; acting on it is crucial. Leaders should analyse the data, identify areas for improvement, and implement changes based on employee suggestions. Transparent communication about how feedback is being used to drive improvements can further enhance trust and engagement.


The Gallup survey’s findings are a stark reminder of the challenges facing your workplaces. With only 10% of employees actively engaged, there is an urgent need for you to take decisive action. By cultivating a positive work culture, providing growth opportunities, empowering employees, ensuring fair compensation, and actively seeking and acting on feedback, organisations can turn the tide on employee engagement. The benefits of an engaged workforce are manifold, from increased productivity to enhanced employee well-being. It’s not an overnight solve, but step by step this will reduce your employee turnover.

Photo by Rineshkumar Ghirao on Unsplash

Picture of Mark Billage

Mark Billage

Mark’s passion is to help realise individuals’ potential, be they leaders or team members, through empowering organisational culture. He has spent 7 years leading an organisation based in the non profit sector. In that time, he focused on creating a culture that enabled and empowered individuals, with the aim of seeing a high performing team better able to achieve the organisation’s mission.

Our Vision

To train and equip leaders to transform culture, build successful teams and organisations where everyone is seen, heard and valued for their unique contribution.

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