Employers over-estimate levels of staff happiness and engagement

 Employers over-estimate levels of staff happiness and engagementNearly half (46%) of employers believe their company is a great place to work compared with less than a third (31%) of staff, and UK staff have alarmingly low energy levels, a new survey has revealed. The data from MetLife’s UK Employee Benefits Trends Survey shows how highly employers rate recruitment and retention. Forty percent of UK companies say they will be affected by talent shortages over the next year and their key benefits challenges are retaining (41%) and hiring talent (37%). However, the greatest recruitment and retention challenge is the gap between employer and employee views. Although 32 percent of employees say they are loyal to their employer – just 22 percent believe their employer is loyal to them. In contrast 39 percent of employers’ believe their employees are loyal and 40 percent believe they are loyal to employees.

The report – one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind, having been conducted in the US for 12 years and at various times in nine other countries, also found a major challenge with regard to employees’ energy levels, with just 14 per cent of UK employees surveyed saying they are bursting with energy at work – a much lower score than other countries in the survey.

The study also examined employee loyalty, and found that in the UK just 10 per cent of employees said they were thinking of changing jobs in the next 12 months.  Whilst on the surface this is encouraging for employers, this is less positive if employees are staying put but soldiering on.

Tom Gaynor, Employee Benefits Director of MetLife UK, said: “There are significant differences between what employees and employers think which implies that employers are over-optimistic about the success of their employee benefits and engagement strategies.

“The risk is that employers are wasting significant time and money acting on the wrong things. The challenge is as much how to engage existing employees as it is to recruit new ones.”

“Our study highlights a range of insights and steps employers can take which do not need heavy investment. Listening to employees is key as, when we look at what employers believe works and what employees say they want, there are clear differences.”