7 Stand-Out Stats: employee engagement in hospitality

7 Stand-Out Stats: employee engagement in hospitality 560 420 Growth Partners

We partnered with research and insights experts KAM Media to understand the use and awareness of employee engagement services within the hospitality sector.  The research also revealed to what extent employees are more likely to remain in a role because of them.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of employees leaving the hospitality sector for other industries, such as warehouses, delivery, and supermarkets. The numbers don’t lie – by the end of 2022, there were 149,000 job vacancies in the accommodation and food service sector (ONS). These numbers reemphasise why employers in the sector need to consider how attractive they are to help retain employees.

We’ve rounded up seven eye-opening stats from our research to shed light on employee perceptions and preferences when it comes to employee engagement and employee benefits as well as the impact on retention and satisfaction.

Employee Engagement in Hospitality Infographic

The Power of Employee Benefits
3 out of 4 employees agree that employee benefits have the power to make them happier at work. This is a significant finding, as happier employees lead to improved service, customer satisfaction, and increased spending.

Given the impact that employee benefits have on overall workplace happiness, hospitality businesses should consider these offerings and the impact on their bottom line.

Employee Benefits and Retention
An impressive 79% of employees have chosen to stay in their hospitality roles for a longer duration due to the presence of employee benefits. This statistic emphasises the importance of offering attractive and valuable benefits to foster loyalty and reduce turnover within the sector. By investing in employee benefits, businesses can create a positive work environment that encourages long-term commitment. This in turn reduces recruitment and training costs.

Face-to-Face Training
Almost half (48%) of employees surveyed expressed a desire for face-to-face training opportunities. This indicates that traditional, hands-on training methods are still valued by hospitality employees. Organisations should consider providing regular in-person training sessions to empower employees, enhance their skills, and promote their professional growth.

Online Access to Pay Documents
45% of employees said they would like online access to their pay documents. In the digital age, it is essential to offer convenient and secure platforms for employees to access their financial information wherever and whenever they are.

Gym Discounts
40% of employees expressed a desire for gym discounts. Promoting employee wellbeing through fitness initiatives can positively impact overall job satisfaction which in turn helps reduce churn rate and absences. Collaborating with gyms to offer discounted memberships or wellness programs can incentivise employees to prioritise their health and create a healthier, more engaged workforce.

Employee Benefits all-in-one place
A staggering 77% of employees mentioned they would use employee benefits more frequently if they were all consolidated in one place. Making employee benefits easily accessible and user-friendly is crucial to their effective implementation. Employers should aim to streamline the process by providing a single platform, such as an app or portal, where employees can access and navigate various benefits seamlessly.

Health Benefits as Job Switching Incentives
An overwhelming 83% of respondents admitted that offering a specific health benefit influenced their decision to switch jobs. Health and wellbeing benefits have a significant influence over employees’ job choices. Hospitality businesses should prioritise relevant health benefits to attract and retain top talent, demonstrating a commitment to employee wellness.


Offering attractive benefits, all-in-one place not only creates a positive work environment that fosters employee loyalty and satisfaction, but also contributes to the overall success and profitability of the organisation. A motivated and engaged workforce will ultimately deliver exceptional service, create happy customers, and establish the hospitality sector as an attractive and competitive industry for both current and prospective employees.

Download your copy of the research

From the impact of employee benefits on overall workplace happiness to the influence of specific health benefits on employees switching jobs, our findings offer actionable insights for organisations looking to boost employee engagement. You can download the full research here.


Financial wellbeing support

How to support your employees’ financial wellbeing [Free downloadable guides]

How to support your employees’ financial wellbeing [Free downloadable guides] 1920 1280 Growth Partners

61% of UK adults currently saying they’re concerned about paying general household bills, and more than a third feeling anxious about their financial situation, it’s the perfect time to check on your employees’ financial wellbeing.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems in the UK – the Mental Health Foundation reports a quarter of adults have felt so anxious it stopped them from doing the things they want to do some or all of the time. In April, demand for our Employee Assistance Programme increased by 400% on the month previous, with our clients’ employees using the confidential counselling services for personal (72%) and work-related (28%) support.

It’s clear, as employers we must help increase awareness and understanding of these concerns and inform ourselves on how and why we can help support employees’ financial wellbeing and in turn their emotional wellbeing.

Financial wellbeing in the workplace 

There is a clear link between financial wellbeing (or financial wellness as its sometimes referred to) and emotional wellbeing and a very clear link to the impact they can have on productivity in the workplace.

In the year to March 2023, the price of food and drink rose at its fastest rate in over 45 years and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels rose by 26.1% (Money Statistics). All of which impact your employees’ take-home pay and ultimately their wellbeing – how happy and healthy they feel.

Looking out for your employees’ financial wellbeing is incredibly important, and the benefits for them and you, are more tangible than you may think. Financial worries negatively impact employee productivity and absence rates, causing the ‘presenteeism’ effect. If you haven’t already, seek support to enhance your financial wellbeing services and get advice from experts.

Ensuring the financial wellbeing of employees is an important aspect of creating a positive and productive work environment. Here are some things to consider…

4 things to consider when it comes to financial wellbeing:

  1. Open communication:

    Encouraging open communication about financial issues can help employees feel more comfortable discussing their financial concerns and seeking support when needed. Employee assistance programs (EAPs) can provide confidential support and counselling for a variety of issues, including financial stress. Do you have the systems in place to minimise absence days and ensure workers aren’t worrying about their finances while at work?

  2. Flexible working arrangements

    Offering flexible working arrangements, such as hybrid working, flexible hours, and job sharing, can help employees save on transportation and childcare costs and help reduce the pressure they may be under from increasing costs.

  3. Fair and competitive compensation

    Employees need to be paid fairly and competitively for their work. This includes not just their base salary, but also any benefits such as healthcare, retirement plans, bonuses, and other ‘perks’ Do you have an employee discounts schemein place to help your employees’ wages go a bit further? Discount schemes can provide financial support by increasing your employees’ disposable income. Can you do anything to bring salary reviews forward to help people that little bit more, sooner? Have you reached out to local businesses your employees use to see how you can support each other e.g., negotiate reduced parking fees with a local car park or a discount at a local food outlet – can you reciprocate?

  4. Financial education and resources

    Providing financial education and guidance in the workplace can help employees understand personal finance, budgeting, investing, retirement planning and other important financial topics. This can include workshops, seminars, and online resources. Where do your employees go for financial guidance?  You can also signpost them to reputable sources such as Money Helper’s budget planner

Useful resources to support your employees’ financial wellbeing

  1. Discuss Budget Builders with your employees

    This one is provided by The Money Charity and it’s free and easy-to-use. It can be used to create an initial budget and keep track of day-to-day spending.  It does all the calculations for you and it can be used as a way of organising money across different bank accounts.

  2. Download our free New Ways of Saving Guide to share with your staff.

    Our savings guide gives you a simple guide to share with your employees – link to it from your internal communication systems, print some copies for the break room or ask line managers to share it with their team. However you use it, it’s full of ideas and tips designed to help your employees save money.

  3. Read: How to Support your employees to navigate through the cost-of-living crisis

    Recent research from Speakers’ Corner suggests business leaders are misinformed about the causes of stress among their employees, believing they directly align with their own. Heavy workload is the number one pressure for business leaders, whereas managing financially throughout the cost-of-living crisis came out top among employees. Knowledge is power and keeping abreast of ways to support your employees to navigate these uncertain times will help inform your financial wellbeing strategy.

  4. Help employees secure their future, with our free Employees FAQ Guide to Pension

    When it comes to financial wellbeing, information is key. By providing your employees with reliable, helpful information you’re empowering them to make informed decisions to benefit their future. This free guide answers some of the most commonly asked pension questions such as What makes pensions more rewarding than other kinds of savings? Would I benefit from combining my pensions into one? What are my options for taking my money?

  5. Download your free guide to creating a wellbeing and engagement strategy to attract and retain staff

    If keeping great staff is on your radar, our retention strategy guide will help. The guide focuses on how you can add a range of employee benefits and wellbeing services in a cost-effective way, without necessarily adding additional costs to your business.

What next?

If you’re concerned about your employees’ financial wellbeing and the impact on your business growth, chat with our experts for advice. We know the combination of reduced costs, unburdening your management team, and prioritising the happiness and health of your employees is the key to business growth. And we can provide an all-in-one solution to help.


Book a free demo of our all-in-one solution for payroll, pension and employee engagement services or contact us

The importance of employee engagement in hospitality

The growing importance of employee engagement [Hospitality Talks interview] 

The growing importance of employee engagement [Hospitality Talks interview]  2500 1667 Growth Partners

Each month Katy Moses, MD of KAM, chats with hospitality industry leaders as part of the Hospitality Talks series. In this latest episode, we share our insight, predictions, and advice to help the industry thrive.

In the new video our CEO of employee services, Scott Read discusses the growing importance of employee engagement and reveals new insights from our recent research.

Hospitality Talks: The Importance of Employee Engagement

Watch this episode of Hospitality Talks with KAM where we discuss our latest research and white paper and Scott’s thoughts on how to measure profitablity from employee engagement services.

Prefer to read?

Read the transcript of the discussion between Scott and Katy for this episode of Hospitality Talks here…

Hello, and welcome to this episode of Hospitality Talks. I am absolutely thrilled to be joined by Scott Read, who is the CEO of employee services for Growth Partners. Scott, thank you so much for joining me. We’ve had some research recently conducted that we did together about employee engagement services, but for anyone out there who hasn’t seen that research or doesn’t know who you are, do you just want to give a brief introduction?

Yeah, definitely. Thank you, Katie. Growth Partners is a payroll and pension business. We set it up about five years ago with a view of doing payroll and pensions very differently and adding a huge amount of value to what is traditionally commonly outsourced service that businesses will look to use, and that value is all around. How many other employee benefits, employee engagement type services could we include at a really cost effective way? In essence, can you get all of these tools and services at the same price as what you would normally outsource your payroll for? So something that’s commonly done, but ultimately not, given the wide range and breadth of additional services and value-added services alongside it.

We did that because both myself and the person who founded Growth Partners back in 2017 have a background in employee engagement – he had probably 20 years of experience and knowledge of the employment employee engagement sector, and I’d worked alongside him for the previous ten years. So it really helped us, and we felt that it was a way of getting employee benefits and employee engagement services to smaller to medium-sized businesses that wouldn’t traditionally invest in it.

Before I started KAM, I ran a recruitment agency. And, of course, employee benefits was a sort of buzz phrase that we used a lot of the time, and it encompassed holiday, maybe a gym membership. This is quite some time ago, remember? What is the difference between benefits and employment engagement services? What exactly is an employment engagement service?

I think it’s a great question, because employee benefits and employee engagement is massively misunderstood, and I think it means something different to everybody. I mean, even the people that you interviewed during the whitepaper we did together, they’ve all got a slightly different take on what employee engagement is, which is really interesting to read for me.

Employee engagement comes down to trying to achieve something within your business, right? And that sounds really vague, so I will explain…what I always talk to people about is, how can you unlock the discretionary effort from your employees?

And that’s the question that I pose myself, which is, effectively, I’ve got employees working nine to five or, I don’t know, six till ten in a pub or a restaurant or whatever, and everybody has a set of tasks that they need to do during their shift or during their day’s work. I personally have a to-do list that I write at the beginning of every day of the things that I want to achieve that day. And subconsciously, you have almost a level of acceptance of what looks good for the day. If I get to the bottom of that list, is that a good day? If I get the top three done because they’re quite massive tasks, is that a good day? And in reality, everybody has this subconscious acceptance of what good looks like.

And what I mean when I talk about unlocking that discretionary effort is, how do you get the individual to do the next two things on their to-do list even though the end of their shift is there, or even though they’ve already had a really productive day. And you can’t do that by management alone in terms of just asking them to do it for a start. It’s not right. Everybody’s got to get the work-life balance.

We are well beyond the ‘you work an extra hour and now because that’s just what’s expected of you, right?’ That’s not the culture that society sees as acceptable anymore – for all the right reasons, but actually, it’s about an individual caring, passionately about what they do, the company that they work for, and wanting to go above and beyond.

And I guess a couple of examples for me, it would be:

Technically it’s clocking off time (whether we have a technical clock in off time or not is another question for another day) but ultimately I can look at my to-do list and say, no, do you know what? There are two or three things that I still need to get done today because I don’t want them to dictate or change what tomorrow looks like or the next working day.

Or for somebody else, it might be the element of my job is to serve the food. But actually, I’ve got two minutes whilst I’m waiting for the food to be ready from the chef, and I can see that the dust bins are overflowing and need to be emptied. So actually, I’m going to take it upon myself to do that extra bit, when actually I could be completely justified in standing there and waiting for the food to be ready for me to serve. But instead of being told by my manager to do something, I’m voluntarily doing it and going the extra mile.

So it’s very much about using employee engagement services to create a positive culture within businesses where you are working as a team by choice, and actually, you want as the employee to add as much value as the employer is adding to your life, essentially. 

I think so many businesses, for all the right reasons, look at employee engagement as almost a list of employee benefits. And what you can do is you can believe you’re doing a truly amazing job for your staff. And genuinely, you’re convinced that you’re doing everything right because in front of you, you have a checklist of “do I do anything about emotional wellbeing? Do I pay people the right? Are people getting holidays more than statutory? What are all the things that we do?” And you can go down this tick list and you could tick every single one of them and go, brilliant, look how great we are as an employer. 

But actually, do you regularly pay them late? Do people wake up on payday and not know whether their money is going to be in their account first thing or whether it’s going to be mid-afternoon? Now, that one act in itself undoes everything else that you’re trying to do. 

And even if you get that right, do you actually create a culture whereby people understand why you’re putting these benefits in place, what the benefits actually are to the employee? Because in reality, a really good employee benefit or employee engagement culture, there should be benefits to the employees, but also to the employer. And it’s that double-handed approach of. Why are we doing this? Are we communicating? Why are we doing it? And I guess, more importantly, what’s the strategy behind every element of it? 

There’s no point ticking and saying, we’ve got the most popular top ten employee benefits. So what if they’re not relevant to you or they’re not being used an example of that is ‘we do a cycle to work scheme. Yeah, but your staff might all live literally 200 yards from the building.’ What benefit is that really doing? You’re creating maybe a green culture and it fits with another strategy that you might have, but is it actually the right place for you to invest your money to support your staff? And conversely, people might have a cycle-to-work scheme in as much I know you like your bikes, but if I was to get on a bike, I’m talking about that’s a 50 miles journey to work every day. It’s not realistic that that cycle-to-work scheme is going to be something that actually motivates me. 

So find the right benefits for your staff and have a strategy about what is it that you want to implement? Why are you implementing it? Can you then communicate that to all so that they understand what you’re trying to do? And then ultimately, can you measure whether that’s having an impact on your business or not? And for me, it’s the strategy and the communication piece that takes it from a list of things that you can do to actually driving engagement and driving that of the discretionary effort. Because if the employee doesn’t understand what you’re trying to do and why, then you’ll never unlock it.

I suppose this isn’t just about attracting new staff, is it? I mean, these are some statistics, I think, that were in the white paper that we wrote together – there were 149,000 hospitality vacancies at the end of last year and you’ve got all of these fantastic initiatives like Hospitality Rising who are going to come in and change the perception of the industry and make it a more attractive place to work. But presumably we all know that it is cheaper and easier to retain the staff that you’ve got than it is to bring on new staff. So does employee engagement have a place to sit in that area of hospitality as well in the retention? 

Absolutely. I think one of the people who was interviewed used the phrase that “employee engagement services are an essential part of a business and then they went on to say they’re costly, but ultimately, if they’re applied right, it’s worthwhile rather than a cost.” And I think the problem that you’ve got with employee engagement services (and it’s a challenge that’s been there since employee engagement benefits became a thing in reality) is so many businesses look at them as a drain on the bottom line because there’s a £10,000 cost or £50,000 depending upon the size of the organisation, ultimately people see it as well that’s money off the bottom line and we’re not going to get a return on that. 

The hardest thing to do if you’re trying to sell it to somebody is to give them the tangible benefit from a monetary point of view. Businesses that adopt it and work it really well have stopped trying to monetise what it does for them. Ultimately, they just know that over a period of time, their staff loyalty increases, retention increases, recruitment costs go down, and productivity goes up.

The other thing the white paper does is clearly talk about the link between happiness and productivity 

That in itself has to mean happiness equals productivity, which ultimately is what every CEO and FD is after within their organisation anyway. 

But probably not the first strategy that they put together to demonstrate how they were going to be profitable in the first place. They’re much more likely to go and speak to a supplier about reducing costs or chain supplier to get more margin in a product than they are thinking about, I need to invest in my staff because that will ultimately get us greater profitability. The reason for that is because they are tenuous financial examples that you will give. You have to a certain extent take a leap of faith that by investing in this you’ll get a return. 

I think the key thing that I also need to stress there is that if ultimately the management within your organisation isn’t supporting what you’re trying to do by creating that culture, then please don’t invest in it because it will just be money off the bottom line. Because how it is communicated, how you then manage your staff, how you pay them properly on time, how you encourage them to save or make their money go further. All of those things are pointless if fundamentally you’ve got a bad manager running a site because it just that’s the thing that overrides everything. So the management have to be on board with what the strategy is. 

So it’s a top-down strategy that everybody needs to be engaged with. And one of the things that I’ve always found is how do you make sure that all those managers are invested in it. And we all as people managers give our staff objectives. How many give them people objectives? In my opinion, every manager should have a people objective as much as a financial or a commercial one. 

I agree. I wholly agree. And I think that we are as an industry changing for the better when it comes to looking after our people. But there is still a way to go. And obviously having access to employment engagement services is one of the tools that we should all be looking at to recruit and retain. 

Scott, thank you so much for your time. I’m afraid that is all that we have time for. Although I am going to come and personally pick your brains on employment engagement and see what we’re doing right and wrong at CAM and see where we should be making some changes. 

Employee engagement services in hospitality research paper

Our new study led by insights and research consultancy KAM reveals how employees in the hospitality sector feel about the employee engagement services available to them. Download a copy here.


About Growth Partners

We’re a payroll provider and so much more. We’re on a mission to make employers’ and employees’ lives easier, happier and healthier. We provide an end-to-end solution for payroll, pensions and employee engagement services. You can book a demo here or see how much you can save, or even earn by outsourcing services to us.


Hospitality businesses fail to maximise employee benefits [New Research Paper]

Hospitality businesses fail to maximise employee benefits [New Research Paper] 1280 720 Growth Partners

We’ve partnered with KAM, to reveal the use and awareness of employee engagement services within the hospitality sector and understand to what extent employees are more likely to remain in a role because of them.

The study led by research consultancy KAM involved 500 employees within the hospitality sector as well as eight hospitality bosses. The findings clearly highlight how employers in the hospitality sector are missing a trick in effectively communicating the employee benefits they offer as part of their retention strategies.


Unsurprisingly, there is a demand for certain employee engagement services and even an expectation from employees. And the availability of such services increases the extent to which they are likely to remain in a role – 75% say that offering employee engagement services makes the business a more attractive place to work and 3 in 4 hospitality employees said they were happier in their role because of employee engagement services.  In fact, offering certain benefits can have the power to encourage employees to switch jobs; 83% said their company offering a specific health and wellbeing benefit contributed to them deciding to switch jobs.

But despite high numbers of hospitality employers offering employee engagement services, the research found that many employees find them difficult to understand and access; 72% said they would use employee engagement services more if they were easier to access. The majority would find it easier if they were all accessible in one place, like an app (82%.)


Key findings from the research

  • Employee engagement services make a business a more attractive place to work and there is an expectation for businesses to offer services which look after employees’ physical and mental wellbeing as well as their financial wellbeing.
  • Employers need to do a better job of communicating employee engagement services not just when advertising, but to current employees too.
  • Employees would use employee engagement services more if they were easier to access, most employees have them but find them difficult to understand and access.
  • Health and wellbeing benefits have the power to encourage employees to switch jobs with 83% of people saying the offer of a specific health and wellbeing benefit contributed to them deciding to switch jobs.
  • Online access to pay slips, receiving pay earlier than payday and an online chat to sort out issues with pay are the most sought-after financial benefits employees look for.
→Download the new Research Paper here


When it comes to health and lifestyle the most popular benefits among hospitality employees are gym discounts, flexible shifts, healthy eating programmes and medical healthcare –  this is particularly popular among older employees. And when asked about financial benefits, 24/7 online access to pay documents, the ability to receive their pay earlier than payday and an online chat service to query/sort out issues with their pay slip came top.

This research has highlighted how employers may have employee benefits in place but if they’re not easy to access or communicated effectively, they’re not having an impact – potentially adding to the problem rather than helping to resolve it.


Do you need help bringing services together all in one place?

We provide employers across all sectors with a cost-effective end-to-end service for payrollpensions and employee engagement services. If your workforce could benefit from their pay, pension and employee benefits all in one place, book your no-obligation demo of My SMART-e here.

Did you know? We provide all our clients with an employee engagement support payment and a dedicated employee engagement manager. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you to reduce costs, attract and retain employees, increase productivity and ensure compliance.


How New Forest Hotels improved benefits to employees while also improving payroll efficiencies

How New Forest Hotels improved benefits to employees while also improving payroll efficiencies 1152 1152 Growth Partners

The New Forest collection is made up of hotels, restaurants, and a pub all in the heart of the New Forest providing visitors with access to the breathtaking location. Employing a large workforce from chefs to receptionists, they were looking for ways to attract the very best talent.

The hospitality industry has been impacted by the pandemic and has since faced a huge candidate shortage on top of rising supply costs and decreased demand due to the cost-of-living crisis.

“We were originally looking for a professional payroll company to help with the administration of processing payments to our staff, Growth Partners presented the My SMART-e app to us and we loved it. They provide an all-in-one solution so little did we know they were able to help us in other areas of the business too.”

We’re working with New Forest Hotels to:

1. Streamline payroll processing

Reducing the load on their finance team and relieving them from the burden of keeping on top of pension auto-enrolment for a large, changeable workforce.

2. Support employee financial, physical and emotional wellbeing

By giving their staff access to thousands of employee discounts plus confidential emotional and physical wellbeing benefits – all in the same place where they access their pay documents.


“Our payroll team had been processing payroll and pension auto-enrolments for many years with employees on varying contracts, we knew there was an easier, more efficient way to do it. Growth Partners took on the payroll responsibilities – and it was seamless. The transition was fantastic and the service, exceptional.

So, our employees can now access their pay and pension documents as well as a range of discounts (which has helped them financially in these uncertain times) plus an online GP, health checks and much more via their secure My SMART-e app. Our staff love it – it’s been really well received, and we see it as a huge benefit, not only to our current employees but when attracting additional staff too.”

Do you need help streamlining your payroll process or bringing services together all in one place?

We provide employers across all sectors with a cost-effective end-to-end service for payroll, pensions and employee engagement services. If your workforce could benefit from their pay, pension and employee benefits all in one place, book your no-obligation demo of My SMART-e here.

Did you know? We provide all our clients with an employee engagement support payment and a dedicated employee engagement manager. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you to reduce costs, attract and retain employees, increase productivity and ensure compliance.


How to attract and retain staff with a retention strategy [Your Free Guide]

How to attract and retain staff with a retention strategy [Your Free Guide] 1458 1152 Growth Partners

If finding and keeping great staff is important to you this year, an employee retention strategy is key.

Our retention strategy guide will help you create an effective wellbeing and engagement strategy for your business that will help you to attract and retain staff. The guide focuses on how you can add a range of employee benefits and wellbeing services in a cost-effective way, without necessarily adding additional costs to your business.

The guide includes:

  • The importance of having a retention strategy
  • The three pillars of wellbeing, future challenges
  • How to implement your plan

Download your free guide to develop a retention strategy suited to your business needs.


Employee engagement key to retaining staff

Employee engagement – the key to retaining staff

Employee engagement – the key to retaining staff 1920 1280 Scott Read

I was recently asked by one of our clients, where does the link between employee engagement and retention begin? And what role will employee engagement play in retaining staff in the future? My answer really was simple, the key to retaining good staff is having a solid employee engagement strategy and this is why…

Employee engagement factors

Where is the Link Between Retaining Staff and Employee Engagement? It is easy to understand that happy, engaged staff are inclined to be loyal to their employer and be less inclined to leave but Gallup takes this a step further defining actively engaged employees as “loyal and productive.” By investing in employee engagement, not only can a company experience low employee turnover rates but they can reap the benefits of increased productivity too.

It is a common myth that employee engagement is about retaining staff once they’ve proved their worth and so often we see business leaders choosing to invest in their employees once the company is established and only once they need to enter the growth stage. I disagree with this approach entirely.

The key to staff retention starts with the very first interaction. It is a crucial stage for both the employee to share their excitement for the role and the company to gain commitment and buy-in before they even join. This stage in the recruitment process is the bedrock of long-term working relationships.

How engaged are employees in the UK?

According to a study by Qualtrics, approximately half of the workers in the UK are engaged. That puts us in sixth place on the list of countries with the highest engagement rates. The European country with the highest engagement rate is France at 55%.  Companies that effectively turn feedback into action have an 80% employee engagement rate and highly engaged teams sell 20% more than teams with low engagement.

The UK’s average employee turnover rate is approximately 15% a year. Burned-out workers are 2.6 times more likely to look for another job and burned-out employees are 63% more likely to take a sick day.

High staff turnover, burn-out and sick days all significantly affect a companies’ bottom line and growth potential.

What role will employee engagement play in retaining staff in the future?

Employers need to take action now if they want to attract talent and retain staff going forward. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the working environment forever – it not only brought uncertainty for many businesses but also a huge burden of responsibility for their employees. From implementing remote working, to finding new ways to communicate on-top of the decision of when and how to utilise the Job Retention Scheme.

Now is the perfect time for business leaders to step back and look at their approach to employee engagement. It’s time to update their employee engagement strategy or start to create one. By investing in employee engagement, it is clear that companies can reduce turnover rates and reduce costs while also increasing productivity and therefore business growth and be in a better position to weather any future storms.

What next?

If you need help creating an employee engagement strategy, speak to our business growth experts. You can also read more about our SMART Employment model or book a demo of our all-in-one solution here

Scott Read Growth Partners discusses the link between employee engagement and retention

Scott Read Growth Partners discusses the link between employee engagement and retention

Scott Read is a results-driven business leader with a proven track record in helping employers strategise key business growth through employee engagement.

Outsourcing payroll

6 things to consider when researching outsourced payroll providers

6 things to consider when researching outsourced payroll providers 1280 729 Growth Partners

Whether you’re considering outsourcing your company’s payroll for the first time or looking to switch outsourced payroll providers, it’s important to do your research regarding how to outsource payroll.

A recent YouGov study reported a quarter of businesses believe managing payroll requires too much of their time and affects their overall business performance.

If you’re looking to grow your business, outsourcing your payroll is a great step towards unburdening yourself from the administrative headache of keeping up with legislative changes and the expectation that you have all the answers to your employees’ payroll and pension queries.

Should I outsource payroll?

Outsourced payroll providers can also save you money and minimise the risk to your business if you choose the right provider.

In this post, we’ll discuss six important things to consider when finding out how to outsource payroll:

1. Choose a specialist outsourced payroll provider

There are so many payroll providers to choose from – from specialist outsourced payroll providers and payroll companies to HR companies and accountants.

The accountancy firm that you use for your accounts may be great at accounts, but are they specialists in payroll? If you’re using your accountant for payroll administration or are considering doing so, ask them about their expertise in payroll. Chances are, they might not actually enjoy payroll processing and may prefer to focus on your accounts, which is where their specialism lies. Some accountancy firms will actually outsource your payroll to a payroll specialist, so this is also something to consider.

2. Check the outsourced payroll provider is fully compliant with HMRC and The Pensions Regulator

Payroll compliance can be a headache if you’re not a specialist in this area. To comply with Government regulations, you must make accurate payments and deductions, provide employees with detailed payslips, file and pay all taxes on time, pay deductions such as pension payments to the right places and keep hold of records for a minimum of three years.

Pension compliance can also be difficult to keep on top of. Under the Pensions Act 2008, you must put staff into a workplace pension scheme and contribute towards it. Pension auto-enrolment is an important thing to get right, as is pension re-enrolment. Check with the UK outsourced payroll provider whether they will handle all the administration of this for you.

How do you know how your chosen pension fund is performing; when was the last time you reviewed the performance of your pension auto-enrolment fund?

3. Ensure transparency

Outsourcing your payroll is not a decision to take lightly – after all, you’re talking about the hard-earned wages of your employees. A seamless transition is best for both you and your employees, so look for a specialist provider who can handle the transition expertly and efficiently.

Ask to see the full process from end-to-end, ask to see their security credentials and how they keep your data safe and check how they’re set up to handle any significant changes to payroll, such as the job retention scheme. These are all things which YOU will be liable for if THEY get wrong, so it’s best to check these from the outset.

4. How much input will be required from your finance team?

Unburdening your finance team is a great reason to outsource your payroll. Finance managers are a fantastic asset, and freeing up their time is a win for small businesses. Payroll and pension administration is process heavy and takes a lot of time and accuracy – take the headache away from them, and they will be available to help you grow your business.

Using specialist outsourced payroll providers may also reduce the number of staff you need to recruit to your finance team to administer payroll and pension payments, therefore helping to reduce your fixed costs. A fully outsourced specialist payroll provider will also take care of the administration of new starters and leavers.

The main thing to make sure of here is that you outsource to a specialist who requires minimal interventions from your finance team – otherwise, you could end up giving your finance team an even bigger headache.

5. What do you get for your money?

You will find most payroll providers charge a set amount per employee to administer payroll, but check what added value you get.

  • Do they provide any other services for your employees?
  • Do they provide online 24/7 access to pay documents via an app?
  • Do they provide UK-based customer service support to answer your employees’ payroll issues?
  • Are they GDPR compliant?

These are important questions to ask to help you choose the best value payroll provider for you.

6. Will outsourced payroll providers give you peace of mind?

Check if compliance with HMRC and The Pensions Regulator still sits with you. If it does, you may be reducing your fixed costs and saving some money, but you may not feel you have complete peace of mind.

If the compliance still sits with you, this means the payroll providers will administer a company’s payroll and pensions, but ultimately the company directors are still responsible for the payroll providers’ actions and any compliance issues.

Our payroll and pension services

We’re proud to offer a fully outsourced specialist payroll and pension service with the following benefits:

As payroll specialists, we deliver our payroll and pension solutions as part of the SMART Employment model, which costs as little as 30p per day. SMART Employers have more time to focus on business growth, experience increased profitability through reduced costs, increased performance, and have complete peace of mind for themselves and their employees.

If you’d like to know more about outsourced payroll through our SMART Employment model, contact us for a free, no-obligation demonstration of the process and our added value services with one of our payroll and pension consultants.

5 Point Plan to Drive Employee Engagement

5 Point Plan to Drive Employee Engagement

5 Point Plan to Drive Employee Engagement 2664 1772 Scott Read

Employee engagement is an ever-expanding marketplace and discussion topic within businesses across the world, but what does it really mean, and do we actually make it a priority?

I’ve worked in this industry now for the last eight years and the way in which so many businesses understand employee engagement is so inconsistent and means something different depending on your viewpoint. It’s not surprising, given that there are more than 50 definitions*

The evolution of engagement itself has been a fascinating journey. Early adopters started to add a number of employee benefits to their offerings, trying to differentiate their packages from the crowd, but is this really engagement, or simply business self-preservation?

We’ve all seen the introduction of staff discounts, employee assistance programmes and access to childcare vouchers being applied to thousands of businesses with a view that those employees who benefit from them will be thankful, and it will enhance their job satisfaction.

We now find ourselves in a situation where employee benefits are, or should be, the norm for every employee with 91% of employees believing employers should offer tailored benefits packages** They are accessible, affordable, easily integrated and they do offer value to those employees who have the desire and energy to use them.

I would argue that employee benefits are an essential component to a business operation, as they demonstrate that you care for your employees and that you want to make their lives better, even in just a small way. It may also be a factor that helps you retain an employee, rather than seeing them leave you to join an organisation for the sake of a few pence per hour, or a discounts scheme, or some wellbeing advice.

Employee benefits Vs employee engagement

As employee engagement becomes an even more popular topic, you may want to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Have you made some employee benefits available to your employees, in the belief that this will drive loyalty, appreciation and productivity?
  2. Do you spend thousands of pounds each month/year trying to implement a range of technology, products and services, only to see usage at a really low level?
  3. Are you frustrated that your efforts in encouraging usage are wasted?

If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’, then you are probably more focussed on employee benefits and not employee engagement.

It’s really important that you recognise this distinction, especially if you really want to engage with your colleagues.

So, what is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is a much more difficult and complex project entirely. Genuine employee engagement is a culture, a belief system, a management ethos and it needs to be adopted by every team leader, manager, director, owner and executive within an organisation for it to truly work.

Can you look across your organisation and say that you have nailed employee engagement? I know that I look around our business every day and find a list of things we could do better, should have done better, or differently, and I constantly strive for the perfection I’m looking for.

In reality, I’ll never reach perfection, nor do I want to, because that perfection may also bring complacency. Employees change, their circumstances change, the working environment changes (we should all have seen that since COVID-19 arrived), so we need to be constantly evolving to meet the needs that these changes bring.

Ask yourself when was the last time you really reviewed your engagement strategy; do you even have one?

The creation or review of your own bespoke engagement strategy is essential in helping you stay relevant to your employees, ensuring that they stay loyal and engaged with YOU.

Your 5-point plan to drive employee engagement 

If any of this is striking a chord with you, then hopefully my 5 Point Plan can help you genuinely drive an uplift in employee engagement within your business.

Five Point Plan to Drive Employee Engagement

DOWNLOAD: Your 5 Point Plan to drive employee engagement

Employee engagement is about honesty. Rose-tinted spectacles won’t help you, but an honest assessment and strategy will. With clear objectives and the right management approach, you can transform your business from a benefits culture to an engagement one.

I believe that every business should make employee engagement a priority, not a chore, and not a box-ticking exercise. With a little focus, direction and strategy, the gains on retention, loyalty, profits and productivity that are often banded about can become a reality, but one thing is for certain… they won’t without a plan!

So, don’t play at engagement, devise a strategy and implement it with the same purpose, drive and energy that you would every other project within your business; the rewards will be more lucrative and long-standing than most short-term new-business campaigns that you run.

Scott is a results-driven business leader with an impressive track record of helping employers strategise key business growth.

Scott Read Growth Partners


To speak to Scott about your employee engagement strategy, call 07368 474 319 or email


Engaging for success: enhancing performance through employee engagement – IOE

What’s Next for Digital Benefits Administration in 2019 – HR Technologist