An overview of employee engagement

Employee engagement is now a familiar part of the employment relations landscape. Engagement increasingly informs discussions between employers, HR practitioners and people managers looking to find ways to get more out of their workforce. More recently, engagement has become part of the national policy debate on improving productivity, particularly through the MacLeod Review. 

This guide aims to provide a brief overview of engagement and answer some frequently asked questions. The IPA has long been involved in helping organisations improve their performance by increasing the involvement and participation of their workforce, and this guide shows how partnership, information and consultation, representation and voice relate to engagement. 

The IPA has developed a model of workforce engagement that builds on our experience of working with public, private and third sector organisations to enhance individual and organisational performance. Along with leadership, business awareness and organisational culture, collective voice is a valuable enabler of engagement, and developing effective employee voice must be a central part of any engagement strategy.

This guide, therefore, includes a case study of School Trends, a company that has put engagement at the heart of the business. School Trends uses a variety of methods to support workforce engagement, including structures and processes to involve employees in the decision-making process and the day to day improvement of the company.

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