The CIPD’s latest employee outlook suggests the overwhelming majority of employees fall into the neutral category, with 58% of employees neither engaged nor disengaged. Engaging even a small proportion of these neutrals could transform business performance.

This group of people amounts to almost two thirds of the workforce – a very large, untapped resource. If we accept that these people are the key differentiators for companies, this is quite a worrying statistic. It is something that must be addressed if the country is to recover from its economic slump.

Top tips to engage neutral employees

First and foremost, we need to better understand employees. What motivates them and gets them out of bed every day? What do they like and dislike about their job and employer? Here are a few more things to explore:

  • Find out what makes your employees tick – what motivates them to put in discretionary effort or engenders loyalty?
  • Create a blueprint of what an engaged employee looks like in your company
  • Listen to what employees tell you in an engagement survey, take action where required and communicate this back to employees
  • Support line managers to improve their relationship with their teams – regular dialogue will help them discover issues more quickly and better understand how to motivate people.

These are things that require immediate action. Harnessing the power of people is more important than ever if we are to drive business growth and leave the double-dip recession behind us.

Written by Hannah Stratford, C.Psychol

Hannah Stratford is Head of Business Psychology at ETS. As a chartered occupational psychologist, she has broad experience of working on a range of talent and assessment programmes with companies including RBS, KPMG and ITV.

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