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Research Reflects a Volatile UK Workforce as 39% of Employees Would Leave their Jobs Tomorrow Given the Choice 

LONDON, September 17th 2013 – New research entitled, The Science of Ingagement, from leading global public relations agency Weber Shandwick has found that more than one-third of full-time employees (39 per cent) in the UK would change jobs tomorrow if they could. Furthermore, just 35 per cent feel valued by their employers. The results are a startling wake-up call for UK employers who are looking to grow a profitable business and retain top talent at a time of economic uncertainty.

The impact of a disengaged workforce can have worrying consequences for organisations. Although business leaders understand this, The Science of Ingagement research has also found that less than half (46 per cent) of respondents are very satisfied in their jobs and just 50 per cent would recommend their employer as a place to work, revealing that genuinely engaged employees are not in the majority.

Sector and demographic variations

The research highlights the segments of the working population using a proprietary Employee Engagement Quotient (EEQ) which is based on the level of employee engagement associated with the key drivers as calculated by Weber Shandwick’s science methodology. 

There is little significant variation in engagement across age groups, with 18-25s marginally more engaged than older employees. Those working within the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) sector are most likely to be engaged with an EEQ of 45 per cent, compared to those who work in consumer products who scored just 34 per cent. Other sectors scored as follows:

  • Technology: 40%
  • Healthcare: 40%
  • Travel and hospitality: 36%
  • Business-to-business: 36%
  • Financial services: 35%

The research shows those working in STEM and in industries that have more positive social impact, tend to be more engaged. Employees want to know that the company that they work for is having a positive impact on the world, giving their work a sense of meaning, a critical engagement driver.

Adam Mack, Chief Strategy Officer, Weber Shandwick EMEA said: “By delving into the minds of employees to understand what really drives them to be more engaged, we’ve found that people need to feel valued if they are to even start engaging with the brand they work for. What The Science of Ingagement has given us is a set of ‘Employee Engagement Footprints’ that enables businesses to see how they compare in their sector and against the UK’s most engaging companies to help identify what they need to do to strengthen these footprints and build campaigns that capture and sustain employee interest.

The six critical employee engagement drivers

The Science of Ingagement applies the learnings from three scientific fields – neuroscience, psychology and anthropology – to the world of employee engagement, enabling Weber Shandwick to identify the six critical drivers that make the difference between those who are dissatisfied in their jobs and those who are very satisfied and feel genuinely valued by their employers.

These are:

  1. Associations: Employers need to create positive memories among employees and to generate pride.
  2. Desire: Employers that offer highly desirable places to work, or desirable products and services, can tap this set of emotions. 
  3. Enhancement: Employers that educate their employees, inspire them, and prompt them to think differently are employers with high engagement.
  4. Integrity: Integrity is about honesty and commitment. Employees who believe their employers keep their promises are among the most engaged. 
  5. Meaning: Employers that make a meaningful contribution to society or give their employees a personal sense of purpose are employers who trigger the ‘meaning’ driver.
  6. Respect: Employers who employees feel are widely respected are more likely to have an engaged workforce.

Micho Spring, Weber Shandwick’s Global Corporate Practice Chair, said, “The Science of Ingagement research provides sound insights into how employers can better engage employees, a top priority for leaders today. Because of the increasing demand for counsel in this area from companies worldwide, our global Employee Engagement & Change Management specialty is designed to help clients manage two of their most precious assets — their people and their reputations. Our employee engagement approach enables organisations to align people and purpose around the company’s vision, mission and brand voice; foster a culture consistent with the brand; drive organisational change; and impact behaviour to move businesses forward.

The Science of Ingagement is a follow-up study to the award-winning Science of Engagement, released in 2012, that explored how consumers engage with brands. The Science of Ingagement uses the same scientific insight and a similar quantitative methodology to investigate how employees engage with their employers.

About the research

The Science of Ingagement research was conducted by KRC Research. KRC sampled 1,152 of the adult population (18 to 65 year-olds) who work at least 30 hours a week for an entity other than themselves or their own family, with at least 500 employees.

The Science of Ingagement is the employee engagement version of our award-winning study, The Science of Engagement that explored the science behind effective engagement, applying the learnings of neuroscience, psychology and anthropology to help clients better engage their audiences. By collaborating with leading minds in these fields, we have identified the 10 Principles of Engagement and 19 fundamental ‘Elements’ and developed a diagnostic methodology with YouGov that allows us to measure the engagement strength of brands and businesses.

The Science of Ingagement uses this methodology to measure the extent to which employers engage their staff and identify those ‘employer brand’ Elements that most drive effective engagement and, ultimately, loyalty.

About Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick is a leading global public relations firm with offices in 81 countries around the world. The firm has won numerous awards for innovative approaches and creative campaigns including being named both The Holmes Report’s 2012 Global Agency of the Year and the “Most Creative PR Firm in the World,” based on the agency’s first-place finish in its “Creative Index,” as well as PR News’ 2012 Digital PR Firm of the Year. Major practice areas include consumer marketing, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate and crisis management. The firm has deep, award-winning expertise in social media and digital marketing that helps drive engagement. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit http://www.webershandwick.com.

Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick

Staff Editor

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