Acas Urges Businesses To Improve Employee Engagement
on: February 15, 2010, 9:54 am
Industry: Human Resources
Acas, the employment relations service, is encouraging UK
businesses to prepare for the potential economic up-turn by focusing on
In its new discussion paper Acas highlights the simple procedures that can increase
employee engagement in the workplace, to improve staff retention, increase morale
and encourage greater productivity.
It also indicates that there is a good case for focusing on employee engagement as a
business priority. Employees who are committed to their work are much more likely to
behave in a positive, cooperative way. Engagement is therefore a benefit to both
employees and the business.
Ed Sweeney Acas Chair said: "The recession means that a lot of businesses have
experienced a challenging period. Inevitably, this has had a knock-on effect on
employees and morale. As we approach what might be the beginning of the end of the
downturn, business leaders and managers have a responsibility to encourage an open
"There is plenty of evidence which suggests strong employee engagement can help
boost the bottom line. Our advice to businesses is that by engaging properly with
staff, organisations will put themselves in a better position to emerge from the
recession in a healthy position."
The discussion paper also highlights the important role played by line managers but
argues that they should not work in isolation. It also suggests that to be
effective, they need good teams around them and senior managers who support the same
values and demonstrate the same kind of behaviours. These include open
communication, regular positive feedback and an emphasis on personal skills and
The paper identifies some specific factors, based on The MacLeod report, published
in July 2009, outlining four broad enablers, which are critical to gaining employee
engagement. These are:
- Leadership - employees need to understand not only the purpose of the business but
also how their individual role contributes to that vision
- Engaging managers - engaging managers offer clarity for what is expected from the
employees, treat their people as individuals with fairness and respect
- Employee voice - employees' views should be sought out, listened to and employees
made to feel that their opinions count
- Integrity - if an employee sees the values of the business ingrained in the
management team, a sense of trust is more likely to be developed.
The new discussion paper Building Employee Engagement and the advisory booklet, How to Manage Change, helping line managers and
employers manage major change are available through the ACAS website.
Notes for editors
Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment
relations. It provides information, advice, training courses and a range of services working with employers and
employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. It is an
independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas Chair and
employer, trade union and independent members.
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