United Kingdom

Employee engagement ‘priority’ for UK companies

June 2018

Employee engagement is one of the ‘top objectives’ for employers, although just a quarter of companies have defining strategic objectives in place for their benefit programmes.

Aon’s latest 2018 Benefits and Trends survey, which identified that employee engagement is one of the biggest priorities among 82 per cent of companies, revealed that just 25 per cent of UK companies have specific objectives in relation to their benefit strategies. Over half (53 per cent) of employers agreed it was important to increase employees’ understanding and engagement around employee benefit packages while 57 per cent said communicating with employees was one of the top challenges.

In the report, Aon said employers are having to react to ‘unprecedented pressure’ to adapt to changing circumstances by looking at new ways of engaging with staff. Many companies, the report said, are ‘mirroring’ how they reach out and engage with customers and are now using a similar approach to engage with their own workforce.

“The employee experience of benefits should be the same as their experience of buying goods online, downloading music, or other digital consumer transactions,” the report added.

Speaking to the media, Jerry Edmondson, strategic communications and engagement proposition leader at Aon said employers seeking to ensure employees are ‘more engaged’ with work not only need to create the ‘right people strategy’ but also need to ensure the benefit programmes which support the people strategy are effectively communicated.

Last year, research from management consultancy Gallup found that nearly 70 per cent of employees across the world are disengaged at work. Their 2017 global study, State of the Global Workplace which looked at employees in 155 countries worldwide, found that 67 per cent are unengaged while just 15 per cent said they were actively engaged in their jobs. Meanwhile, 18 per cent described themselves as ‘decidedly discouraged’ by their individual roles. According to Gallup, the cost to the global economy in lost productivity levels due to disengagement could be as much as $7 trillion.

Edmondson added: “As part of addressing this high-level ‘macro’ engagement agenda, it’s important to make sure people are [also] engaged with the benefits programmes designed to support that agenda – otherwise those programmes are costing money and but not adding value. We believe effective communication is an important connection between benefits engagement and employee engagement.”


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