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people working in the workhouse



We’ve come a long way since the days of the Victorian workhouse but 90% of UK employees are disengaged says Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2024 Report.

This report reveals a worrying trend. Lack of motivation translates to a mind-boggling staggering cost for businesses £257 billion annual cost businesses annually. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why and think about what businesses can do to reengage their employees, enhance productivity and build a happy motivated team

The Productivity Plunge

Disengaged employees are a significant liability to any organisation and this has been reported as a key issue in the PR & comms sector.  

The number of PR professionals diagnosed with a mental-health condition has risen from one in four (25 per cent) to one in three (33 per cent) in the past 12 months, according to a new CIPR and PRCA 2023/24 Mental Wellbeing Audit report. It revealed that, on average, 91 per cent of PRs reported poor mental health in the last 12 months.  Long hours and overwhelming workloads were sited as a key source of workplace stress.

One of the consequences of this is a notable decline in productivity. When employees are strained or disengaged, they lack the drive to complete tasks efficiently. This leads to missed deadlines and slower project progress. Moreover, the quality of work diminishes, making it challenging for businesses to maintain competitive standards in their industry. This “productivity plunge” can severely hamper a company’s ability to produce the quality of work companies expect.

This reduction in productivity can be likened to a domino effect. One missed deadline can delay projects, causing a backlog that disrupts the entire workflow. Additionally, the lowered quality of work can lead to dissatisfaction, further impacting the business’s reputation. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to address the root causes of disengagement to prevent these negative outcomes.

The Ripple Effect on Teams

Disengagement is not an isolated issue affecting only individual employees. It can spreads quickly, impacting entire teams. When one team member is detached, it can demoralise others, leading to a widespread lack of motivation and efficiency. This ripple effect results in a reduction of creative problem-solving, as disengaged employees are less likely to contribute innovative ideas or collaborate effectively with their colleagues.

The overall team dynamics suffer as a result. Team members may become frustrated with the demotivated individual, leading to interpersonal conflicts and a toxic work environment. This, in turn, exacerbates the problem, creating a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. To foster a healthy and productive team environment, businesses need to implement strategies which encourage commitment and collaboration among all employees.

The Human Cost

Low employee engagement takes a significant toll on the well-being of employees.

The CIPR/PRCA report highlights the number of PR professionals who find their jobs stressful has stayed consistent for the last 3 years at 26%. Three out of 10 continue to rate their stress levels within the range of 8-10 (with 10 being extremely stressful).

The human cost of this disengagement should not be underestimated. Chronic stress and negative emotions can lead to serious health issues, including anxiety, depression, and burnout. This not only affects the individual employees but has broader implications for the organisation. High levels of stress and poor mental health contribute to further absenteeism, turnover rates, and straining company resources.

The Financial Drain

The financial implications of low employee engagement and motivation are staggering. High turnover rates and absenteeism, both common consequences, are incredibly costly. The constant need to recruit and train new employees drains resources. Moreover, the loss of experienced staff means a loss of valuable institutional knowledge, further hindering productivity and innovation.

At BoldMove we see that the PR & comms recruitment process is particularly challenging for many companies at the moment. Additionally, new hires require time to become fully embedded and up to speed with the nuances of a new role.

Absenteeism adds another layer of financial strain, as it disrupts workflow, and increases the workload on remaining employees.

Building a Culture of Engagement

Companies need to engage in their Employer Branding and Employee Value Proposition policies, but this only helps if businesses actively put them into practice.

Building a culture of commitment within the organisation will lead to significant improvements in employee morale and performance. Here are some ideas to foster engagement:

  1.  Open Communication: Encouraging open and honest communication between management and employees can help identify and address issues before they escalate. Regular feedback sessions, town hall meetings, and anonymous surveys can create a culture of transparency and trust.
  2. Recognise Achievements: Implementing a system to acknowledge and reward employees’ hard work and achievements can boost morale and motivation. Whether through monetary incentives, public recognition, or career advancement opportunities, acknowledging employees’ contributions makes them feel valued and appreciated.
  3. Provide Growth Opportunities: Investing in employees’ professional development shows that the company values their growth. Offering training programs, mentorship, and opportunities for career progression can increase job satisfaction and engagement.
  4. Create a Positive Work Environment: A supportive and positive work environment is crucial. This includes ensuring a comfortable physical workspace, promoting work-life balance, and organising team-building activities to foster a sense of camaraderie and belonging.
    • As we navigate the shift to hybrid and remote working, it’s important to consider home work-life balance. A constant barrage of updates can hinder focus, and an ‘always-on’ mentality isn’t sustainable.

Investing in Your People Pays Off

The benefits of an engaged workforce extend far beyond improved morale. Engaged employees are more productive, stay longer with the company, and deliver better outcomes. This translates to higher profitability, lower turnover rates, and a more positive company reputation. In essence, investing in employee engagement is a win-win for everyone.

Employees who feel valued and motivated are more likely to go above and beyond in their jobs. This not only enhances their performance but also contributes to the overall success of the business. Engaged employees are more likely to advocate for the company, attracting top talent and fostering a positive public image.

Conclusion: Take Action Today

The cost of low employee engagement is substantial. It impacts productivity, team efficiency, financial resources, and employee wellbeing. However, by taking proactive steps to build a culture of engagement, businesses can mitigate these negative effects and create a thriving work environment.

Don’t let disengagement cost your business. Take action, by nurturing open communication, recognising achievements, providing growth opportunities, and creating a positive work environment. Investing in your employees’ engagement is not just a moral imperative; it’s a strategic move that can drive long-term success and profitability for your business.

There are many ways BoldMove Consulting can help you. We can help you craft your Employer Branding and Employee Value Proposition as well as Recruitment Consultancy and Executive Coaching.

Before beginning PR and comms recruitment process, we work closely with our clients to fully understand Employee Engagement, Employer Branding, and Employee Value Proposition. We share a company’s best and most rewarding opportunities with the candidates. We know it’s important for them to work for a business that offers the right opportunities and culture, with strong values that align with theirs, not just a good financial and benefits package.

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