Talking to Gleeson: Employee Engagement and Why It’s Important

Member News

Birmingham-based recruitment agency and Made in the Midlands Patron, Gleeson Recruitment Group join us to discuss why employee satisfaction is key to staff retention in the manufacturing industry. 

According to a recent report from the Market Inspector ‘happy workers are 12% more productive than their unhappy colleagues’. It comes as no surprise that wellbeing in the workplace directly impacts productivity and employee retention. According to this report, manufacturing sits in the bottom 25% of the happiest sectors to work in: scoring only 1.95 out of a possible 5 points. Broken down by region, employees in the Midlands score 3.61 out of 5 for happiness; despite being considerably higher than the UK average, this figure still places them in the bottom 50% of the happiest places to work in the UK. Whilst this seems like a double blow for manufacturers in the Midlands, it’s not all doom and gloom, this number has the potential to improve drastically with just a few achievable employee engagement goals. In this piece, we sit down with Jason Blakey (Director) and Paul Strachan (Divisional Managing Director) of Gleeson Recruitment Group to discuss what employers can do to combat these stats. 

Founded in 2011, Gleeson Recruitment Group are a multi-sector recruitment company with a specialist team covering Engineering and Manufacturing in the Midlands. Named Downtown in Business’ Employer of the Year 2019, Gleeson takes employee satisfaction seriously and now look to offer support and guidance to their clients and connections. According to Gleeson, Employee Engagement Surveys open up a platform of communication between you and your employees: where you can celebrate your successes, address any minor issues before they become problems and highlight where there is room for improvement. Their primary message to manufacturers today is that ‘there’s no one size fits all solution, but employees feel more valued when their voices are being heard. If you are uncertain as to what it is that your employees want, ask them.’ 

Employee Engagement Surveys are about self-reflection/diagnosis: to find out what is important to your employees across all areas of work and how well you are meeting their needs. It may also highlight areas of your business that may require more attention. ‘One of our surveys highlighted the fact that our employee branding didn’t reflect our internal culture. We had asked our employees what they liked best about working here then, from the responses we had, we put together a list of key employee values and rebranded to reflect a more relaxed, personable and happy brand. From this, ‘Work With Glee’ was born.’ By talking directly to their employees Gleeson were able to acknowledge all suggestions made and act on them accordingly, which in turn positively benefited the whole business. 

Listening to your employees is only half the battle, your willingness to implement the necessary changes is the single most important factor. Actively working to improve your employee engagement boosts morale and builds trust between you and your employees; it encourages higher employee satisfaction (meaning higher retention and lower turnover) and increased employee loyalty (meaning lower absenteeism and higher profitability). ‘An Employee Engagement Survey will tell you whether who you are as a business matches who it is that you are trying to be. You can’t just run the survey and ignore the results that you don’t like, use it as a starting point then build an action plan on how to get to where you want to be.’

Are you ready to take a step in the right direction? Unsure where to start? Well, Gleeson are currently offering bespoke Employee Engagement Surveys and one-to-one consultations to all Made in the Midlands members. For more information on the services they provide, email [email protected].