UCQ University Centre Quayside

Head Office

0333 0048 470

Degree Apprenticeships

0113 397 9379

UCQ University Centre Quayside

A note on “employee engagement”


Stuart Cameron


17th May 2019


For a few organisations, “Employee Engagement” is a timetabled event that happens once a year, see diagram below for details! For the more enlightened however, it is a source of competitive advantage, harnessed and nurtured on a daily basis in order to drive business performance.

Employees who are positively engaged at work perform better and are more productive. Similarly, organisations with high engagement outperform those with low engagement. A study carried out by the Gallup Organisation back in 2012 confirms this.

The MacLeod report, ‘Engaging for Success’, as well as several other studies, indicates that the release of the ‘discretionary performance’ of managers and staff i.e the performance capability and commitment that is not utilised, or even being withheld, due to lack of engagement and motivation, can add as much as 40% to productivity – making employee engagement one of the most significant sources of performance improvement available to an organisation.

Due to close relationship between line managers and their staff, the importance of the role line managers play, in optimising employee engagement (and hence business performance) cannot be overstated, and is the reason “Manager Effectiveness” was one of the key dimensions we measured through the employee engagement surveys we ran, when I worked in industry. Our ability to measure, and seek ways to improve, “Manager Effectiveness” centred on staff rating their line manager against the following four statements:

Manager Effectiveness

  1. My manager lives the organisation’s values
  2. My manager clearly communicates what is expected of me
  3. My manager provides me with timely and appropriate feedback
  4. My manager helps me develop and use my potential

Remembering that more often than not, even the most senior of managers themselves have a manager, how would your managers perform if you asked their staff to rate them against these points?

Plainly, in order for top managers to consistently hit the high numbers against these 4 points, and in doing so bolster employee engagement and optimise organisational performance they need to have, and continually develop (to maintain or improve their rating), a broad range of management knowledge and skill, a few examples of which include:

  • Have a strong understanding of the organisation’s shared values
  • Be seen as a visible driving force of the organisation’s core values
  • Ability to clearly and consistently communicate and contextualise the values for staff in their everyday actions
  • Be able to identify, recruit, lead and develop people with values likely to be aligned with those of the organisation
  • Have excellent communication skills
  • Be competent in analysing a range of data in order to monitor and feedback on performance
  • Understand the skills and knowledge required of their staff, and develop them to deliver on their commitments

If you are interested, you can click here to download our guide on Understanding Employee Engagement.

Alternatively, if you would like to learn more about how our Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship can help boost engagement and performance in your  organisation you can do so by clicking here – https://da.ucq.ac.uk/chartered-manager-degree-apprenticeship/.