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Voice of the Employee

A new report reveals that the vast majority of UK workers (90%) identify themselves as engaged at their current job, yet one in four (23%) believe they are only productive at work less than half of the time. Fewer than one in two (45%) believe they are productive over 75% of the time, despite such a high proportion of workers claiming to be engaged in their roles.

These are headline results from Wrike’s report, Employee Engagement Survey: The Productivity Gap, which studies the current state of engagement amongst employers in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Australia.

For those that do feel engaged, enjoying their role and the work they do (45%) was cited as the most common reason, with being able to collaborate well with colleagues (42%) following closely behind. Understanding how their work fits into the wider business (27%) also ranked highly, yet only 9% called out having an inspiring and motivating CEO as a driver for engagement.

Feeling like their work is undervalued or unrecognised was the primary cause of disengagement, according to the study – with 50% of those currently disengaged in their roles reporting this issue. Feeling ‘burnt out’ from being overworked effects a third (35%), with not making enough money also featuring prominently among those not feeling engaged at work.

Disengaged staff are clearly less productive and employers must be careful they don’t lose out on such productivity in the long-term, with 54% reporting feeling disengaged at work for over a year.

Driving greater engagement

When asked what would make them more engaged at work, over two fifths (42%) cited higher pay or an improved job title. Interestingly, more than a third (37%) called for a better work/life balance, with 32% wanting greater recognition for their accomplishments.

In order to drive greater engagement through technology, employees referenced having a way for their manager to see everything on their plate and better balance their workload (32%) as being key. The ability to access their work at any time, including working effectively from anywhere ranked second (27%). A quarter of respondents (25%) called for a better way to structure and view their or their team’s work, so that they are able to see how it supports larger company goals and initiatives.

“A lot of organisations talk about the customer experience, but the employee experience is equally important,” said Andrew Filev, founder and CEO at Wrike. “Most employees are engaged at work but still feel that their productivity is suffering because technology is creating barriers within their team rather than tearing them down. This trend is certainly concerning but also presents a huge opportunity for businesses to increase both engagement and productivity by unifying systems and empowering execution.”

Other key findings include:

Managers cited a good work/life balance as being the most important to their direct reports’ engagement (37%). Other influential factors were:

Effective team collaboration (36%)

Positive work culture, promoting trust and respect (31%)

Recognition of accomplishments (28%)

Having the right tools to do the job (23%)

Two in five (39%) respondents said their organisation has started to undergo digital transformation but they have not seen any benefits, because while they have adopted several new software platforms, they are disconnected from one another.

A third (36%) claimed their organisation had ‘completed’ digital transformation and now use an integrated system of software technology that streamlines workflows, communication and efficiencies

One in four (25%) believe their company has not yet undergone digital transformation and uses primarily slower, older tools like to-do lists, spreadsheets, meetings, and emails to get work done

Flexible / remote working is still yet to take off in many organisations, with nearly half (44%) of respondents claiming they never work remotely

17% do so around one day a week

12% are fully remote

The remaining 27% work between 2-4 days a week remotely

Just two-thirds of companies conduct a regular engagement survey

Only 39% of those do appear to ‘definitely’ act on the findings

Around half (54%) do so ‘a little bit’

Nearly one in ten (80%) don’t at all

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