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The building blocks of employee engagement 22/02/2016 03:39

Annabel Jonesby Annabel Jones
HR Director, ADP 

Employee engagementPeople are a fundamental aspect of every business model. Without a motivated, efficient and engaged employee base, companies would struggle to achieve great business success. HR professionals are recognising this, more often than not setting their sights on boosting staff engagement in all working environments.

Yet despite HR’s efforts to enhance employee engagement, recent ADP research found that engagement is still flagging, with a rather staggering 44% of UK employees currently feeling disengaged at work.

While employee engagement is often in the hands of franchisee leaders and the support they provide for workers, it is equally important that franchisors create a company culture that embraces engagement. The importance of recognising employee needs, desires and motivators should be reflected in the way franchisee leaders interact with employees and integrated into the franchise mission and values.

This two-pronged approach to boosting engagement levels among all staff members will ultimately lead to a happy and productive workforce.

So, what exactly motivates employees?

Apart from pay, achieving a good work-life balance is a top motivating factor for workers, something that 31% of employees in the UK wish to achieve. Some 29% of employees would like the freedom to work when and where they want, while nearly a quarter (24%) seek benefits that look after long-term financial welfare.

Franchisors should look to incorporate these key motivators into their overall business strategy and operating model, which would then be funnelled down to franchisees. This way, senior franchise and franchisee management will continue to make sure employee needs are catered to, enhancing their engagement at work.

Mitigating high stress levels

Engaging employees goes beyond discovering and fulfilling key employee motivators; workplace engagement can be seriously hindered by high stress levels felt among staff.

Currently, more than two-fifths (43%) of employees regularly experience workplace stress. While a small dose of stress can be a great way of boosting adrenaline and stimulating staff to complete tasks productively, too much stress at work can have the opposite effect: employees can start to feel demoralised, impacting their happiness and even causing them to leave the organisation in search of more meaningful work.

Franchisee managers should provide staff with regular check-ins to review how their employees are feeling and offer them support, should workloads become too heavy. Incorporating this support into the workplace culture will ensure employees feel supported in their role, thereby strengthening relationships between management and employees throughout the organisation.

The HR agenda in 2016

Franchises should kick-start 2016 by striving to boost employee engagement. While franchisors can look to promote engagement strategies within the company culture, mission and values, franchisee leaders can also do their part in bringing engagement to the forefront within employee interactions and mitigating detrimentally high stress levels felt by staff.

By both franchisor and franchisee working together to sustain the happiness and productivity of the workforce, they can maximise their chances of success.

The findings are based on pan-European research by ADP, a global provider of human capital management (HCM) solutions. The full report, ‘The Workforce View in Europe 2015/16’, can be found at

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