Lack of Recognition is Biggest Barrier to Engagement for British Workers, Finds New Achievers Study

With the coronavirus pandemic currently causing massive upheaval for companies everywhere, employers are naturally looking out for ways to keep their employees engaged. According to a new report from Achievers, the biggest barrier to engagement for British workers is a lack of recognition. More UK employees (27 per cent) pinpointed feeling underappreciated at work as a barrier to engagement than any other reason, followed closely by lack of career growth.

The findings are based on a survey of more than 1,000 employees in the UK, with a further 1,500 surveyed across Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

While the evidence suggests that lack of appreciation can have a significant detrimental effect on

employees’ connection with the business, nearly a quarter of British employees (24 per cent) believe that their work is never recognised. A further quarter of employees are recognised at most on a quarterly basis and just 12 per cent feel their work is recognised on a daily basis.

The knock-on effects of this paucity of recognition was also clear from the research. Of those who said their work is never recognised, just 1 in 5 (21 per cent) described themselves as valued by their superiors.

Encouragingly, in terms of retention, fewer than 1 in 5 British employees (19 per cent) reported planning to look for a new job this year, a proportion that has likely decreased further given the economic uncertainty caused by the extended lockdown of the last two months.

There were positive findings in relation to overall engagement, with 35 per cent of respondents in the UK describing themselves as very engaged and committed to their company for the long term. However, 17 per cent of workers described themselves as disengaged, with nearly 1 in 10 (9 per cent) saying they are completely disengaged and already looking elsewhere. Business leaders will also be concerned by the tepid response of nearly a quarter of people (24 per cent) – who described their engagement as “average”.

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The results suggest that efforts to make employees feel more appreciated, to improve work/life balance and to offer career opportunities are key areas where UK businesses can boost employee engagement, increase productivity and combat attrition.

Download the newly released Engagement and Retention Report for the UK here.