Employee engagement and productivity trends in the UK

Is Your Company An ‘Ostrich’ or ‘Magpie’?

Four research studies carried out recently provide insight into the productivity levels in the UK and disclose insights of employee participation, employee engagement across the UK.  Each Person, an employee recognition and rewards scheme, summarises the findings of these surveys which give insights about the UK workplace.

OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) Report on UK productivity

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The report highlights that:

  • Britain is 15% less productive per employee than the average of its EU competitors.
  • Productivity over the last decade has grown a paltry 1.4% over the whole period.
  • The OBR is of the opinion that the prospects of any significant productivity growth over the next five years is minimal in spite of the wide availability of new technology.

CBI (Confederation of British Industry) ‘Ostriches & Magpies’ Report

In the report, ‘magpies’ pick up tested technology innovations from outside their business that are proven to lift productivity and pay, whilst ‘ostriches’ stick to what they know. These ‘ostriches’ have productivity levels typically below the abysmal average of UK productivity.

Key highlights include:

  • A key factor in the UK’s sluggish productivity growth is the inertia of 70% of employers to adopt available new technology.
  • Employers adopting technology solutions (‘magpies’) have shown major improvement in productivity and profitability.
  • While the UK’s best performing firms are highly innovative, best practice must reach a greater range of businesses to enable national UK productivity to materially improve.

‘Each Person’ Survey – 48% of employees say a simple ‘thank you’ will suffice

Six months after rolling out the Each Person programme with a major UK employer, a survey of 700 employees revealed:

Key highlights:

    • Of those employers using the Each Person recognition and rewards scheme, 91% of their employees felt valued – this is in stark contrast to a UK average of 62% of employees feeling unappreciated by their boss. Of the 9% of employees who do not feel valued in a company using the Each Person scheme, 60% had not received, or did not know if they had received, recognition through the Each Person scheme.
    • When asked what would make them feel more valued in the workplace, almost half of respondents (48%) said a simple thank you.
    • 71% of employees said that they valued recognition and rewards from all colleagues. That said, employee to employee recognition varied greatly geographically, with employees from London and the South receiving 15 times more recognition from their colleagues than their peers in Scotland and the North.

National Employee Research Survey – Over 90% of employees feel employee recognition is important at work

A recent National Employee Research Survey of thousands of employees across various private and public sectors and multiple job roles showed:

Key highlights include:

  • Over 90% of respondents said employee recognition is important to them. Despite this, 62% stated that they hardly ever or were never appreciated by their boss. 68% of employees were also not happy with their benefits package.
  • 72% of employees stated that they would work harder if they were appreciated with a comprehensive staff appreciation program.
  • 52% of employees said they would be looking for a new job in 2018.

In Conclusion: ‘The UK is lagging behind its UK competitors in terms of productivity’.

The CBI suggests organisations are not adopting new technologies with failure of the unknown being a paralysis. Some organisations seem to think that a bad “known” is better than a complete “unknown”. Tackling this could help reduce inequality between firms’ productivity and between people’s pay, adding £billions to UK GVA.

With 72% of UK-wide employees stating that they would work harder if they were appreciated, employers need to embrace available recognition and reward technologies which are proven to ensure employees feel valued.

Employees at companies that have adopted the Each Person recognition and rewards scheme feel significantly more valued than the average UK employee.

The National Employee Survey reveals that the majority of employees do not feel recognised, valued or appreciated, despite 90% citing it as important to them. Further to that, over 50% were likely to search for a job in the new year.

By contrast, 91% of employees from a major UK employer that has adopted the Each Person recognition and reward scheme feel valued.

Remuneration is not the ‘be all and end all’.
While remuneration is, of course, important to employees, the results of the employee survey of a major UK employer reveals that it is just as important that they feel valued in the workplace. When you consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, salary is a basic need. To help employees fulfil their esteem needs, employers must do more to show their staff that they are appreciated. Esteem needs include: self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others and respect by others. The Each Person scheme can help organisations ensure their employees meet these needs in the workplace, stimulating empowerment and increased productivity.

Company-wide recognition is critical.
With employee to employee recognition being just as important as top-down recognition, businesses need to create a culture of recognition and rewards across all levels of the business. They can do this providing employees with simple tools to show appreciation to their colleagues. The Each Person recognition and rewards scheme facilitates peer to peer recognition with ecards.

In a widespread recognition culture, personal thank yous can only be achieved by large employers with the benefit of modern technology, of which Each Person is at the forefront. For more information about the Each Person employee recognition and rewards scheme, visit www.eachperson.com