Employee engagement proven to help retain staff


The more engaged an employee the less likely they are to be looking for a new job, personnel experts have confirmed. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) quarterly Employee Outlook survey, of the 38 per cent of employees who say they feel engaged, just 7 per cent are looking for a new job, compared with a survey average of 20 per cent. But in a record low for the survey just 35 per cent of employees report feeling engaged, with just 29 per cent of public sector staff actively engaged, 37 per cent in the private sector and 41 per cent in the voluntary sector.

One reason for this drop could be an increase in negative employee attitudes to senior leaders. The net satisfaction score related to the ability to feed views upwards has been steadily declining for the last three quarters (+12 this quarter from +14 and +16 in the previous two quarters). The survey also found there is significant unhappiness among staff over the extent to which they are consulted by senior leaders about important decisions. Just 27 percent of staff agree they are consulted about important decisions while half (50 percent) disagree.

Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD said: “Employee voice is strongly linked to employee engagement and innovation.”

He added: “It’s important to create an open culture where senior managers consult staff about key decisions and employees trust their managers enough to be able to express their views whether asked for them or not.”

For organisations looking to give employees greater voice, the CIPD offers the following advice:

  • Employees will be much more likely to speak up if they receive recognition when their ideas or concerns are acted on and are given feedback when they are not.
  • Some employees are more likely to speak up than others, so employers should consider building in opportunities for employee voice as part of formal performance reviews as well as informal one-to-ones with managers, meetings and knowledge sharing forums.
  • A combination of both direct arrangements for informing and consulting with staff, such as through line managers, and indirect mechanisms, such as staff councils or forums, are the most effective way of providing employee voice in organisations.
  • Organisation values and leadership and management development activities should highlight the importance of employee voice.