Keeping employees engaged post-Brexit – only 3-in-10 UK workers feel challenged in their jobs

As more employees feel uninspired at work, CEB recommends companies rethink engagement strategies to keep employees engaged post-Brexit 

People in Britain are disengaging from their jobs because they are not involved in interesting or innovative work, according to best practice insight and technology company, CEB. With only three-in-10 workers (29.7 per cent) feeling challenged at work, firms should brace for further drops in productivity following the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

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“The Brexit outcome will clearly have an impact on recruitment, the world of work and future hiring within organisations,” said Brian Kropp, HR practice leader at CEB. “Despite workers not feeling motivated or energised in their role, the prolonged period of uncertainty post-Brexit will make people less likely to take a risk in moving jobs. We can expect more employees to sit tight in their roles at least for the next few months.”

Findings from CEB’s quarterly survey of over 1,500 UK employees show that just 16.4 per cent of workers are going ‘above and beyond’ in their day-to-day role. Whether it’s volunteering for extra tasks or helping out their colleagues, the proportion of those choosing to go the extra mile at work has dropped by five points over the course of a year.

The UK’s downward trend in discretionary effort is echoed in labour markets worldwide; global discretionary effort hit a four-year low this quarter, led by Asian countries such as China (9.6 per cent), Taiwan (8.8 per cent) and Singapore (8.2 per cent).

As more of the workforce disengage, the risks of a ‘brain-drain’ increase. People are most likely to leave their jobs because future career prospects (46.2 per cent), development opportunities (37.3 percent) and people management (33.2 per cent) are lacking with their current employer.

As uncertainty continues around the nature of the UK’s exit from the EU, employers need to be transparent with people about how their work impacts the business, where they can contribute to different projects and initiatives and what development opportunities are available within the company.

Kropp concluded: “As recruitment budgets contract and open headcounts freeze, employers need to focus their effort on reenergising the existing workforce. By offering development opportunities, organisations can fill skill gaps and employees can tackle challenging new tasks and projects.” 


Debbie Carter

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