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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Employee Engagement: recruiting and retaining talent by creating a positive and engaging workplace culture

Practical guides

"Our people are our most valuable asset" may be a cliché, but in the current labour market, it has never been more true.

Employee engagement is a core practice, crucial for the success of every business. That's why we, in partnership with the IPA, are producing a series of practical guides exclusive to REC members, to help recruit and retain talent and develop resilience in the face of future high impact events, such as the COVID19 pandemic.

This series of guides will: identify the barriers to effectively engaging employees and how to avoid them; provide practical tools all organisations can use; signpost users to further help and support where appropriate; and provide data and evidence to use.

In part one we explore how effective leadership is essential for a strong strategic narrative about the organisation, where it’s come from and where it’s going.

team work diverse office man at computer desk consulting

Employee Engagement guides

Part 2: Engaging management - and why it is important

*coming soon*

Engaging managers treat their team members as individuals, coaching and mentoring them to deliver their best. Increasingly, employees look for an ‘individualised’ employment package that recognises their personal circumstance and attributes, and is flexible and changes along with life-style changes.

Part 3: Employee voice – and why you should listen to it

*coming soon*

An informed employee voice is a fundamental ingredient for developing an engaged workforce and an organisational culture where employees are seen as central to problem-solving and future strategy development.

Part 4: Organisational integrity – we do what it says on the tin

*coming soon*

Organisational integrity, where the values on the wall are reflected in day-to-day behaviours, is another essential ingredient to employee engagement.

Employee Engagement: why now?

  • Members are telling the REC that staffing for their own business is at the top of the agenda – the market for new staff is tight.
  • Recruitment is a fast-paced, competitive business – staff engagement can make all the difference to performance, as well as retention. Especially when other forms are hiring!
  • As in the Labour Market Tracker: in the last week of April 2022, there were 1.81 million job adverts in the UK, up by 7% from a week earlier and 15% from a month earlier. This suggests vacancies have increased even higher since the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published figures for the period November 2021 to January 2022 showing job vacancies were then at a new record high of 1.2 million.
  • Analysis of the ONS figures by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) shows that people are leaving the labour force at a worryingly high rate, with one hundred thousand fewer in the labour market than just three months previously.  Older people are leading this exodus, with half a million fewer people aged over 50 in the labour market than two years ago. 

  • Research published by Ipsos in February 2022 found that 47% of British workers say that in the last 3 months they have either thought about quitting their job (26%), looked for another job (29%), applied for another job (13%) or spoken to their employer about resigning (6%). 

  • According to Ipsos, younger workers are taking more steps to change their job.  46% of those aged 16-34 say they have considered quitting or looked/applied for a job outside their company, compared with 37% of 35-54 year old workers and 23% of those aged 55-75.
  • This increasing competition to attract, recruit and retain staff is taking place against a backdrop of increases to the cost of living, placing huge inflationary pressure on wages, increasing costs for energy and materials.

    In this challenging economic environment, organisations unable to increase wages in line with inflation will need to consider other ways to make themselves the employer of choice.

Attract talent

Employees want to work for organisations they can be proud of. Pay is important, but there is also evidence that employees are, increasingly, expecting more than ‘just a job’. Whilst employees expect to be paid fairly, they are also looking for employers that encourage them to grow and develop their skills and careers, provide them with a sense of purpose and autonomy in their work, and live up to a clear and ethical purpose.

This gives employers the opportunity to attract the talent they need by strengthening their employee engagement strategy.

Organisations that engage their staff, through strong leadership and a compelling organisational story, have effective line managers at every level, listen to their employees and create a culture of trust, are more productive and profitable, more innovative, have high levels of safety, lower turnover and higher retention, lower absences, and higher levels of staff wellbeing.

 Find out more: why you need a compelling story - and how to tell it.

team work couple working man woman

The Involvement and Participation Association (IPA)

The IPA is Britain’s leading organisation delivering employee engagement, partnership, and employee voice in the workplace. IPA works with clients of all sizes in the public, private and third sectors to help managers and employees develop new ways of working, based on trust and collaboration, that deliver better workplaces and better outcomes - increased productivity and improved services. You can learn more about the IPA at

Become an REC member, be amongst the best

REC members have many benefits including:

  • Legal helpline support
  • Recruitment research reports
  • Discounted industry training, and much more…