The majority (79%) of respondents rate employee engagement as a high priority, but only 41% have an employee engagement strategy in place, according to research by YouForce.
The research, which was conducted in March 2013, found that, of the 41% which do have an employee engagement strategy, 30% said it improves employee performance and 13% felt it improves employee retention.
The two top drivers of employee engagement are corporate culture and recognition, followed closely by career progression and opportunities for learning and training.
When asked about specific concerns around employee engagement, respondents said there are still several stumbling blocks, including buy-in from senior management. The need for HR directors to build a business case about how employee engagement will improve productivity remains one of the key challenges.
Lee Grant, vice president, international at Youforce, said: “Our research shows that employee engagement is the current big challenge for HR professionals, because it is linked in to so many areas of the HR function.
“While this is seen as the responsibility of HR, it is something that should be taken on by all employees.
“Creating the enabler for employee engagement is the hardest part of the process. Having the right HR systems and technology will provide the detailed insight into the workforce that will allow HR departments to develop an employee engagement strategy that will look after employees and help them become more efficient.”