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Employee engagement

With 110,000 employees, our people are our greatest asset. We want to inspire them because we know that organisations with engaged employees deliver higher quality customer service and are safer, more profitable, productive and innovative. They are also great places to work with lower levels of employee turnover and absence.

With 110,000 employees, our people are our greatest asset.

We want to inspire them because we know that organisations with engaged employees deliver higher quality customer service and are safer, more profitable, productive and innovative. They are also great places to work with lower levels of employee turnover and absence. 

Having an engaged workforce, motivated to give great service to our customers, is critical to our success. Our Your Voice employee survey, carried out annually in the UK and every 18 months in North America, measures employees’ satisfaction with the way they are managed, the pride they feel in working for the business and how likely they are to recommend us to others as a great place to work.

The engagement scores across our UK divisions show an improving trend since our first employee survey in 2010, with a 9% increase in comparable results. However in 2015/16 our overall UK engagement levels dropped by four percentage points on the previous year. Such a result is not unusual in organisations going through major change, but our divisions are responding to this feedback from our people.

First Bus, Great Western Railway (GWR) and TransPennine Express (TPE) all have action plans to improve recognition of, and communications to, front line employees and better visibility of career development opportunities. In First Bus and TPE we piloted smartphone apps to improve communication with our employees, and we are further exploring the creation of an ideas sharing facility in the First Bus version.

Our 66% UK engagement score for 2015/16 is consistent with the national average for UK businesses across many sectors, and one percentage point above the average for the UK transport sector. Our North American divisions delivered their engagement action plans during 2015/16, and will run further Your Voice surveys in 2016. As part of our drive to improve employee engagement, leaders from across our divisions meet regularly to share best practice and new ideas, and generate practical tools to help front line managers.