Have employees in the UK become demotivated?

Axel Schiphof

Over the last 5 years the UK, as a country, has experienced some of its most turbulent times in recent memory. The 2008 economic recession hit the UK hard, and the words “budget cuts” and “deficits” have been ever present in daily life since.

Have employees in the UK become demotivated?

George Osborne recently announced that further budget cuts are planned1, and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced in November 2013 that production output was still 0%2. In contrast to this, there has been more positive news as the UK economy has exceeded growth expectations in 20133 and, slower increases in food prices have led to inflation decreasing to 2%4. On the surface then, the UK appears to be experiencing very mixed fortunes as it attempts to continue to move away from the economic recession.

With this in mind, Effectory International has used our Global Employee Engagement Index™ to explore how the last few years of the economic recession have affected employee motivation in the UK. Has the economic recession taken its toll on the motivation of employees in the UK?

Global Employee Engagement Index™

The Global Employee Engagement Index™ is a global employee survey conducted by Effectory International that surveys the work-related opinions of employees in 52 different countries. Respondents are asked more than 100 questions each in order for Effectory International to gain a detailed insight into global work-opinions. From the data collected, Effectory International also creates a benchmarking tool that compares 52 different countries on 17 key HR variables (including employee engagement).

Global Employee Engagement Index™

A comprehensive overview of employee engagement with benchmarks from 57 countries with essential lessons for your HR strategy .


Employee Motivation

Using the data from our forthcoming and previous global employee surveys, we have compared the motivation levels of employees in the UK and found the following conclusions:


  • Employee motivation in the UK has, on average, increased over the last 3 years, and the increase in the UK is equivalent to the average European increase in employee motivation.
  • Despite an increase in employee motivation from 2011/12 to 2013/14, employee motivation in the UK is still lower than the European average.
  • The UK’s comparatively low employee motivation is also reflected in their rank for employee motivation in Europe, as they continue to be ranked below average for employee motivation.
  • Results from our surveys conducted in 2011/12 and 2013/14 illustrate that there exists a high variance in responses relating to how motivated employees in the UK are.

1 Guardian (2013): http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/mar/20/budget-2013-osborne-spending-cuts
2 ONS (2013): http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/iop/index-of-production/november-2013/stb-iop-nov-2013.html
3 BBC (2014): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25461227
4 ONS (2013): http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/cpi/consumer-price-indices/december-2013/index.html

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