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In 2008, the then Secretary of State, Lord Mandelson commissioned David Macleod to take an in-depth look at employee engagement and the potential benefits it had for transforming organisations profitability and performance.

Drawing on a substantial body of research and business case studies, the Macleod report unequivocally stresses throughout that, Yes, employee engagement can transform the organisation.

The report highlights the business case for employee engagement evidencing that disengaged employees take more sick days than their engaged counterparts. In addition the report shows that engaged employees are less likely to leave their organisation than disengaged employees. These lower levels of attrition and sick absence reduce costs substantially for the organisation highlighting the benefit of investing in employee engagement programmes and activities from the outset.

The report goes on to emphasize the barriers to achieving this desirable state of employee engagement. Many of these barriers appear to stem from lack of buy in or understanding from Senior leaders and managers. The report suggests that in some cases managers are unaware of the advantages of engaging employees or in some cases underestimate its power, reducing employee engagement to merely a staff survey with no follow through or implementation.

The Macleod report also highlights that there are four clear drivers including

1. Leadership

Leaders need to be visible and in touch with their front line staff – a desk is a  dangerous place to run an organisation from!

2. Engaging Line Managers

Studies show that 80% of the variation in engagement levels is down to the line manager.  Employees join organisations, but leave managers!

3.  Employee Voice

An empowered employee will have a voice.  Where employee views are sought out they should be listened to and visibly acted upon.

4.  Integrity

Behaviour throughout the organisation is consistent with the stated values, leading to employee trust and a sense of integrity.  The larger the gap between the two, the more distrust exists

For further insight into  the drivers of employee engagement why not review the full Macleod Report