Four out of ten British employees do not have enough influence in the workplace

24 April 2018

London, 24 April 2018 - Four out of ten (41%) British employees feel that they do not have sufficient influence in the company where they work, indicating that nearly 60% do feel they have influence in their workplace. At a European level the UK is doing well: only employees in the Netherlands and Luxembourg feel they have more say. Six out of ten British employees also feel strongly involved in their organisation. 

These are just some of the results of the research conducted by HR service provider SD Worx across seven European countries.

4 out of 10 employees have an insufficient influence

41% of British employees indicate that they do not have sufficient say in the organisation they work for. This means the United Kingdom scores average at European level. Only the Netherlands (31%) and Luxembourg (38%) score better. Belgium comes bottom of the class with 56% of employees saying they are dissatisfied with the influence they have in their organisation's policy. Full European results are as follows:

Graph 1: % employees indicating to have insufficient impact in their organisation

Another positive aspect is that most British employees have indicated that they have a connection with the organisation they work for as 61% feel strongly involved in their company.

The size of the organisation determines the influence and the connection the employee has

The size of the organisation plays an important role in the level of satisfaction British employees feel. The larger the organisation, the lower the employee influence and the less control and confidence they have in the direction the organisation is taking. In companies with up to one hundred employees just over a third (34%) of employees are dissatisfied, whereas almost half (49%) of the employees in organisations with more than five hundred employees are dissatisfied.

The size of the organisation also determines the strength of the relationship between the employer and its employees. The larger the organisation, the greater the disparity between both parties. While 65% of employees in companies with up to one hundred employees still feel involved, this percentage goes down to 52% in organisations with more than five hundred employees.

Having an influence and having confidence in management are closely linked

The level of satisfaction employees feel with regard to the impact they have in the organisation is strongly linked to the confidence they have in the management of the company. The more open the communication is the more employees support the organisation's strategy, and the more they have influence.

Graph 2. Consistency between employees' opportunities to have a say and their confidence in management

Doug Sawers, Managing Director SD Worx UK & Ireland, explains the results of the study: "While personalisation in the relationship between employer and employee is increasing, and employees are more and more in control of their own career, better able to manage their own job, it transpires that their real influence in the companies they work for remains very limited. This is clearly a missed opportunity for employers, with international studies showing that employees who have more influence are more engaged, motivated and committed. Such actively engaged employees clearly constitute greater real economic value for the company. The study suggests therefore that it is in the interests of companies to give employees a sufficient say and increase their influence in decision-making processes. This can be done, for example, by creating smaller focus groups, making communication more direct, and cooperation more transparent, so enabling good ideas to turn into positive action more immediately."

Giving a say via Pulse

SD Worx developed the digital tool Pulse to involve employees more closely in the decision-making process. It provides employees with the opportunity to continually evaluate the teamwork. Their input and suggestions provide the basis on which action can be taken to implement improvements.

About the survey

The Europe LTD survey is a questionnaire that covers one hundred work-related aspects relating to employee satisfaction, motivation, commitment and engagement. Since 2009, the survey has been carried out annually among 2,500 Belgian employees under the name NV Belgium. Because of its international growth, SD Worx expanded this survey in 2017 to include Germany, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and the United Kingdom. It involves 500 employees each time.

The sample is representative of the specific local labour markets, with the same composition as to statute ((blue-collar) workers, office workers and civil servants), gender, region, work regime, language, educational degree and organisation size as that of the active labour population in the countries concerned.

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