Employee engagement has become a top priority for businesses. According to research conducted by Harvard Business Review, many senior executives believe engaged employees are essential to achieving overall organisational success. Interestingly, UK employees rank low in terms of engagement levels, in comparison to other countries.

Our Research

With the help of Expedite Consulting we set out to find out how British companies are listening to their employees. We surveyed over 100 industry leading HRDs and HR managers, from across the UK and combine this with other research to bring you this report. Included here are the key highlights of this research, along with our suggestions on how leaders can use technology to enhance their current methodologies. If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you build an digital-led engagement strategy, please get in touch.


A Deloitte report stated that a majority of organisations measure employee engagement annually. This was also reflected in our survey results with…

  • 41.4% measuring it only once a year
  • 24.1% evaluated employee engagement twice in a year
  • 10.3% measure in real time
  • 10.3% never ask employees

However, despite the availability and emergence of so many tools to frequently measure engagement, 10.3% of the respondents stated that they never measure it.

How technology can help

With the right technology, asking the right questions should be simple. More importantly, responding to that question should be effortless and instantaneous (increasing the average response rate by 30%). Technology allows us to tailor our questions to the user, making sure they are always relevant. ThanksBox allows you to send out questions whenever you need, to relevant groups of your people, and enables them to reply on the go from their mobile or email. So if you want to know what the London Management Team thought of the away day, or what the new hires thought of the induction process, or just a simple weekly sentiment measure, we’ve got you covered. Needless to say, we take pride in displaying the results of the surveys in a beautiful and easy to digest way.


Our results confirm that surveys are still the preferred tools for measuring engagement but sometimes make up part of a mix of activities.

  • 80.6% of respondents prefer surveys
  • 35.5% performance appraisals
  • 32.3% personal meetings
  • 41.9% employee turnover and absenteeism
  • 25.8% interviews
  • 48.4% other methods include observation

How technology can help

If there’s one thing technology is undisputedly good at, it’s collating and storing vast amounts of information. ThanksBox pulls together your data from engagement surveys, recognition, rewards and employee ideas into one place. This can be match with your workforce, demographic, diversity and even talent or performance data. We believe that a successful engagement strategy should combine all these things, giving you a clear measure and understanding of engagement at individual, team and organisational levels in real-time.

Taking Action

According to an article on Officevibe, 27% of managers don’t review survey results at all. With this statistic in mind, our aim was to find out whether this holds true for our respondents as well. Furthermore, the article also stated that 52% of managers reviewed the results but took no action at all. What this makes clear is that managers don’t feel empowered to take action. We speculate that the nature of a years worth of feedback at once is just too over-whelming for a lot of people.

How technology can help

At ThanksBox we love the story of How 1% Performance Improvements Led to Olympic Gold, and are strong believers in the power of small but constant improvement.

We believe employee surveys shouldn’t just be reserved for HR, but a tool used on a regular basis by all Managers and Leaders. Can you imagine the top line benefit if you could drive a 1% performance boost through all aspects of your business?

Measuring Results

It’s well researched that employee engagement improves business and financial performance, so it is essential to identify what is and isn’t working to increase engagement levels. So, how do companies know which initiatives are successful and which aren’t?

  • 37.5% of the respondents stated that they could see a high-level impact from the results of an annual engagement survey
  • 34.4% were completely unaware as to what works and couldn’t isolate the performance of specific activities
  • 18.8% relied on the impact reflected in a real-time KPI following the initiative
  • 9.4% tested every activity to ensure that they were generating a return on their investment in employee engagement

We all know employee engagement is important, but the majority of people we asked didn’t have the means to quantitatively measure the impact of what they were doing.

How technology can help

We provide a real-time engagement score across multiple facets of engagement. We believe, and have proven with our customers that a digital-led engagement strategy across multiple channels can help drive the KPIs that matter to you, whether that be a reduction in churn, increased productivity or anything (we’ve even had improved fuel efficiency)!


Ultimately, employee engagement is a relationship, and like any relationship it needs care and attention to flourish. Technology will never replace personal human interaction, but it is a good substitute when we need to have relationships with hundreds or even thousands of people.

About ThanksBox

ThanksBox helps organisation like yours improve employee engagement.

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Mark Davies

This post was written by Mark Davies on

Hi, I'm Mark, an insight analyst at ThanksBox. I've bought my love of data with me from my previous life as a physicist and I'm interested in the future of how technology can improve professional relationships.

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