The people most likely to make employees feel engaged at work are not their managers, rather their colleagues.
In fact, the HR team is likely is the least likely to have a positive impact on engagement levels, finds a new Oracle study titled Simply Talent.
Polling 1,511 employees at large European businesses, 42% of the respondents said their peers have the biggest role to play in how engaged they feel at work, well ahead of line managers (21%) and business unit managers (7%).
Worryingly, only 3% of respondents said HR has the biggest positive impact on their levels of engagement.
Conversely, close in one in five employees (19%) pointed to the senior leadership team for negatively affecting employee engagement, while 11% said line manager are the most responsible for this.
Loïc Le Guisquet, Oracle’s president for EMEA and APAC regions comments: “These findings should be of concern to HR teams as they indicate that HR does not ‘own’ engagement in the eyes of employees.”
He added: “Employees feel engaged by their peers and HR can help encourage this by providing access to sharing and collaboration platforms and social tools.
With only around a third of employees (35%) feeling engaged most of the time, the study pointed to the benefits of an engaged workforce – increased productivity (56%), a reduced likelihood of switching jobs (37%), and an increased ability to provide creative ideas (35%).
As a result, employees provided ideas on how HR and line managers can get them to feel more engaged.
The top suggestion by more than half of respondents (53%) was to recognisE their achievements, by making this the biggest priority for management.
This was followed by helping employees understand their contribution to the company (35%) and giving them the opportunity to work on exciting projects (34%).
Employees tagged under the Millennials’ age group were most keen on more regular discussions with their line managers about their career path (79%), although this age group had the highest percentage of employees (44%) who already receive this.
Currently, only 29% of employees believe their company is proactive at engaging with them, compared to 42% who state that their employer typically waits for them to bring up issues.
Only 11% say their employer communicates with them via regular engagement surveys (once a month or more).