One-third of employees feel less engaged due to personal finance issues

less engaged stressOne-third of employees are less engaged at work and more likely to report unmanageable stress due to their personal finances, according to research by Engage for Success.

Its UK employee engagement survey 2023, run in partnership with Nottingham Business School, received responses from more than 3,000 employees. The results were translated into an engagement index score that was calculated using three questions that assessed employee satisfaction, advocacy and loyalty.

The research found there had been a stagnation in engagement, with a score of 62%. However, respondents who agreed that senior leaders and managers adequately prioritised people issues showed significantly higher engagement scores and were more likely to hold positive views about culture, ethics, honesty and management capabilities. Additionally, they felt their wellbeing, professional development, and psychological safety were valued.

Conversely, two-fifths did not feel this way, had negative views and higher levels of unmanageable stress. This was more notable among those experiencing cost-of-living issues, people with long-term health conditions and employees from the LGBTQ+ community.

Those with no access to wellbeing resources had an engagement index score of 55%, whereas those with five or more wellbeing resources available achieved a score of 73%.

The survey also found that the engagement index score was higher if an organisation had more wellbeing, voice, learning and development, and social engagement practices. Respondents with none of these had a 47% engagement index score, while those with five or more scored 75%.

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Dr Sarah Pass, senior lecturer in human resources management at Nottingham Business School and Engage for Success advisory board member, said: “Along with emphasising the importance of employers offering their workers a full package of support, our findings revealed the critical role of line managers and workplace relationships in fostering and nurturing engagement levels.

“Line managers are the primary link between the employee and the employer, significantly influencing how employees perceive their work environment and their overall engagement. However, there are ongoing issues of training, accountability, and responsibility that are hindering the positive impact of line managers. Addressing these issues can help line managers better support their teams, leading to higher engagement levels and a more positive workplace culture.”