2020 Vision – Employee Engagement in the Public Sector

“The public sector exists to enable a safe, healthy, and productive civil society. Simply put, the better the public sector performs, the better the UK will be as a place to live, work and prosper.” – David MacLeod OBE, co-founder of EfS.

And David is absolutely spot-on, which is why throughout 2020 Engage for Success will be highlighting research and events of special interest to public sector organisations. Whether you are part of Local Government, the Civil Service, Emergency Services, Armed Forces, NHS, Education or any other of the UK’s essential public sector you will find useful information and tools on this page that will help build employee engagement in your own workplace.

We will be adding more material throughout the year and would love you to share examples from your own organisation. Let’s pool our ideas to make the whole of the public sector a really great place to work – and we know that happier and more fulfilled public sector employees produce far better outcomes for citizens.

Thanks to HM Revenue & Customs, EfS now has a dedicated Director of Public Sector Innovation to oversee this work. To find out more, please email gary@engageforsuccess.org

Why not bookmark this page too and stay up to date?

Outcomes Through Engagement

In 2018 Engage for Success together with the Cabinet Office and CIPD organised a conference ‘Improving Outcomes for Citizens Through Employee Engagement’. This conference and report showcased 14 compelling case studies of organisations that harnessed these enablers and were able to demonstrate significant benefit for citizens in the UK.

It’s full of ideas so click here to read and download the report: Outcomes Through Engagement

“2020 Vision” – Employee Engagement in the Public Sector event

In partnership with Nottingham Business School, around 160 delegates from across the public sector gathered at this event to hear from a fantastic line-up of speakers about innovations currently going live in public sector organisations to engage their people. Material from the day is now available free by clicking below:

Delegate Pack

Download here

Presentation Slides

Royal Air Force Civilians in Air


NHS Scotland

Met Police

Local Government Association

The Institite of Leadership & Management



Behavioural Science pilot

EfS has a Thought & Action Group led by Professor Thorsten Chmura at Nottingham Business School (NTU). It is currently running a pilot within a large public sector department to examine and build levels of trust. We are working with other organisations who are interested in taking part too. The pilot has been approved by NTU Ethics Committee. Findings can be anonymised if desired.

Find out more about Behavioural Economics

Would your own organisation benefit from taking part too? Contact EfS for an informal discussion and to find out more.

Line Manager Thought and Action Group

Research conducted by the Line Manager TAG has highlighted the fundamental role line managers play in the engagement of employees. Developing and implementing employee engagement initiatives in practice is ‘everyone’s responsibility’, but there are a number of key roles that need to be fulfilled for initiatives to be successful. Research was conducted in the NHS (Scotland and England), the Police Service, and HMRC.

Reports from the research and copies of presentations on the findings can be found at the Line Manager TAG page.

Employee Engagement During Transformation

This guide provides a list of hints and tips to guide Senior Responsible Officers (SRO’s), Programme and Transformation Directors and Gateway Review panels when exploring areas of employee engagement that are most critical during transformation programmes.

Download the report here

Barriers to Engagement – Online Diagnostic Tool

Following the widely reported and extremely well-received research paper Shades of Grey: An exploratory study of engagement in work teams (Ashridge Business School & EfS) the Barriers Online Diagnostic has now been developed. This will help line managers and leaders to identify which of the ‘Zones of Engagement’ their teams sit and if necessary, outline steps that can be taken to help move their people into a more engaged ‘Zone’.

Details of the research which underpins the Online Diagnostic (including a downloadable copy of the “Shades of Grey” report) can be found on our Barriers TAG page.

For free access to the Online Diagnostic itself, click below (opens in new window):

Barriers Online Diagnostic Tool

Engaging Managers’ Hub

The Engaging Managers’ Zone is a coaching resource for managers – new and experienced – who are looking to boost engagement levels in their teams.

Starting from first principles, the Engaging Managers Zone seeks to de-mystify some of the concepts and language often associated with employee engagement. In succinct, bite-size chunks it shows how a manager can make a real difference and make their own role feel more rewarding too.

Engaging Managers’ Zone


EfS has had a Wellbeing TAG almost since day 1. In 2019 it was rebooted with a new team of 10 public, private and third sector representatives and is designing a new series of tools that can be utilised in the workplace to help employers play an active role in supporting the wellbeing of its people.

The first will be an assessment tool – an interactive and self-reflective workbook that uses coaching questions and techniques to help empower individuals to take small steps to improve their wellbeing.

This is due to be released shortly with more tools to follow to add to those already available on the webpage.


Engagement Champions Thought and Action Group

The Engagement Champions TAG is a newly formed group that is exploring how engagement champions develop, promote and implement employee engagement initiatives. The group will look at how ideas develop and what drives them. Looking specifically at engagement ‘champions’ (also known as change agents), the group is interested in talking to any organisations wanting to take part.

A link to Engagement Champions TAG page will be added shortly. In the meantime, if you’d like to know more please email gary@engageforsuccess.org

Organisational Integrity and Values

There is an EfS research group looking at Organisational Integrity and Values. This group aims to help organisations across the United Kingdom achieve their goals in the most effective and powerful way. At the heart of our work is ‘closing the say-do gap’, between what is laid out in strategy and plans, and what happens in day-to-day practice.

We have been researching organisational integrity – how far people do what they say they will do, as well as the extent to which this is enabled through systems and processes, budgets and rewards, and other elements of the operation. Visit our Organisational Integrity TAG page on the EfS website to see what our initial findings reveal about how management and practice influence employee engagement.

Visit our Thought and Action Group page on the EfS website to see what our initial findings reveal about how management and practice influence employee engagement


There is more to come, so watch this space!

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