While nearly 60 per cent of middle managers believe that an engaged workforce contributes significantly to corporate performance, less than a fifth use employee engagement techniques to any great extent, not least because they do not know any.
These are the findings of a survey among 300 middle managers in large national and international organisations based in the UK and Ireland undertaken by Illuma Research.
Even more worryingly, however, while almost three quarters of respondents acknowledged that health and well being had an impact on staff members’ levels of engagement, a huge 70 per cent denied that their own personnel were subject to workplace stress or found themselves unable and/or unwilling to comment on particular issues might affect them.
Instead the top three factors that positively affected engagement in their view were ‘good renumeration’, ‘challenging work’ and ‘opinions being valued’.
Contining in denial mode, meanwhile, only 44 per cent of those questioned acknowledged that their employees had become less engaged during the recession. This is despite a recent survey among 2,000 workers undertaken by YouGov for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which revealed that job satisfaction across the UK was at an all time low.
The study found that job satisfaction had dropped from an average net rating of +48 last summer to +35 now, while the situation was even worse among staff aged between 18 and 24. Their rating plummeted from +44 last year to a mere +5 today.
As a result, Jayne Carrington, managing director at career management consultancy, Right Management, which commissioned the survey and is owned by recruitment agency, Manpower, warned that a disengaged workforce should not simply be accepted as a by-product of the recession.
“As we all eagerly anticipate a period of recovery, employers will face a number of challenges. Staff turnover, low morale and talent shortages still remain a key issue for many organisations, many of which have had to undertake downsizing activities as well,” she said.
This meant that equipping managers with the necessary skills and confidence to engage personnel was crucial as it made a marked difference to their teams’ performance, energy levels and motivation, Carrington added.