However this hides a worrying trend of increasing dissatisfaction among public sector staff with regards to their pay and benefits, which are essential prerequisites to engagement. The 2013 survey found that less than one in three public sector employees (29%) were satisfied with their pay and benefits. This figure has fallen from 37% in 2009.
The survey asked 62 questions across 98 Civil Service departments to achieve 10 headline indicators; one to measure the level of employee engagement and nine to measure the factors which influence engagement. In total 270,793 employees participated in the survey.
The CSPS also found that:
- 36% of public sector staff agreed that their pay adequately reflected their performance (falling from 49% in 2009)
- 38% of public sector staff agreed that they were satisfied with the total benefits package (down from 55% in 2009)
- 29% of public sector staff agreed that their pay was reasonable compared to people doing a similar job in other organisations (down from 39% in 2009)
The findings by the CSPS are further supported by our own research. The Voucher Shop 2013 NHS Employee Survey was completed by 2,185 NHS employees across the United Kingdom and revealed that 70 percent of staff were feeling “unappreciated” or given “not enough praise” for their work. Whilst 83 percent of staff said that they were not being given assistance with the rising cost of living.
Growing employee engagement
An ever growing volume of surveys are demonstrating that there are a significant business benefits in improving employee engagement, whether it be in public or private sector organisations.
Engage for Success, a cross-economy movement of business, charity and public sector leaders, has compiled a recent assessment of evidence, and the Gallup organisation, which has been conducting employee research for the past 40 years, consistently show that high levels of employee engagement positively correlated with:
- Customer satisfaction
- Reducing absenteeism
- Product and service quality
These findings tie in with the traditional objectives of implementing a good employee benefits programme, which have been to promote higher levels of morale, motivation and productivity amongst employees.
However there is a growing trend to use employee benefit programmes with the objective of increasing employee engagement. Employee benefit packages which include perks and extras such as staff discounts, gym memberships, bikes for work, employee assistance programmes, health dental cover, childcare vouchers, on site crèches and limited income protection can help employees:
- Increase their standard of living
- Improve their health and fitness
- Reduce stress and worry
As a result, employee benefit programmes can also be used to improve metrics associated with employee engagement such as staff loyalty, retention of talented employees or those employees in critical roles, and reduction of HR costs associated with staff turnover.
The facts speak for themselves!
- Marks & Spencer found over a four year period that stores with increasing employee engagement delivered, on average, £62 million more sales than stores with declining levels of engagement.
- Research in the NHS shows clear links between the level of engagement and levels of patient satisfaction, as well as the link with outcome measures such as mortality rates.
- Rentokil have found that teams with the most improved levels of engagement saw employee retention increase, saving almost £7 million in costs associated with recruitment.
Organisations both in the public sector and private sector need to raise the bar with regards to employee engagement. So what’s stopping you?
John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.