23 Jan 2017 11:42 AM

A 2014 Gallup poll discovered that only 13% of workers are 'actively engaged' in their work and that 26% are 'actively disengaged'. Another study carried out by Glass Door found that only 54% of employees would recommend their company as a place to work, which should be a cause for concern for managers and business owners.

The problem with a disengaged workforce is that job dissatisfaction can not only lead to decreased output but also chip away at team morale. It seems that disengagement is contagious. Dissatisfied workers also tend to be stagnant workers who show little interest in career development and are unable to grow, which then has an effect on the growth of the company as a whole.

What is the solution?

It could be to offer a higher or more competitive salary, but this will not necessarily help with engagement even though it may attract the employees to the firm in the first place. One option could be to provide the workforce with the same kind of rewards and incentives that customers and shareholders receive.

It’s important to see the bigger picture: workers tend to be more motivated when they feel their work is meaningful and they are a valued member of a team who fits into the overall objectives of the company. Offering flexible working has also been shown to improve morale, as has rewarding efforts and results. A business with a system of rewards and incentives will generally be more able to foster an engaged and satisfied workforce.

You don’t even need to have an enormous budget to make some changes to your workplace culture – if you aren’t able to provide a free canteen, for example, perhaps you could offer restaurant vouchers as an incentive? Or offering a sports day if you can’t stretch to free gym membership? If you demonstrate a genuine interest in your employees’ wellbeing, you could find yourself very pleasantly surprised with the results.

Given the changes announced in the Autumn Statement to salary sacrifice arrangements, you may need to get creative in terms of employee incentives.

If you would like advice on ways you can start to improve engagement in the workplace and need help in understanding the impact of the measures announced by the Chancellor please contact me.