Development of a benchmark engagement indicator for the HE sector

Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and Universities HR (UHR) jointly commissioned IES to devise and test a standard measure of employee engagement for the HE sector with two parts: work engagement and organisation engagement.

This involved the creation of a 12-statement, two-part indicator; testing the indicator via a pilot of two different HEIs; and analysing the results to demonstrate firstly reliability, and secondly the relationship of work and organisation engagement to positive organisational outcomes.

The results showed that work engagement and organisation engagement emerged as two clear and separate factors, and confirmed the anecdotal belief that academic/research staff have higher levels of work engagement than corporate/professional/support services staff, and conversely that corporate/professional/support services staff have higher levels of organisation engagement than academic/research staff. They also demonstrated that work engagement is on the whole more important, as a predictor of positive organisational outcomes than organisation engagement.

The report is available (to UCEA/UHR members only) on UCEA and UHR websites.