A report from the Work Foundation has claimed that improving employee engagement provides companies with less impressive results than other methods of boosting productivity.

New research carried out by the organisation suggested that offering workers guidance on achieving company objectives can yield tangible returns and also implied that many staff are self-motivated to do the best job they can.

"The people management discourse focuses heavily on how organisations can 'manage' employees," the document stated. "Much of what motivates employees is beyond the reach of crude management tools."

Employees quizzed by the Work Foundation indicated that feeling valued and identifying with organisational ethics and objectives were particularly important to maintaining their happiness in the workplace.

The study singled out conflicts between individual opinions and employee goals as a potential source of serious unrest between businesses and their staff.

Last week, Jarrod Parker of advisory firm Alexander Forbes suggested that clear, assertive internal branding is crucial to improving employee engagement.

Posted by Ross George