More than 50 per cent of workers are displaying signs of having adopted a ‘not bothered’ attitude to their work.

That’s according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s latest quarterly Employee Outlook survey of more than 2,000 employees across the UK, which asks a number of questions to gauge their level of engagement in the workplace and attitudes to working life.

The research found that employees who display ‘neutral’ engagement are about as half as likely to go the extra mile with regard to workload and hours than those who are engaged and nearly three times more likely to be looking for a new job.

Further findings showed a strong correlation between employee engagement and knowledge of the organisation’s core purpose.

Peter Cheese, chief executive at the CIPD, said he is not surprised by the findings but warned that organisations need to pay closer attention to the impact the behaviours of senior leaders is having on the rest of the workforce.

“Given the number of examples reported in the media in recent months of unethical behaviours and corrosive cultures overseen by senior leaders, it is perhaps unsurprising to see trust in the workplace eroding,” he said.

“What’s worrying is the impact this will have on engagement. We know that strong employee engagement drives higher productivity and better business outcomes, so such a prominent display of ‘neutral engagement’ in the workplace should act as a real wake up call for employers.

“Now more than ever, organisations need to pay close attention to the impact the behaviours of senior leaders is having on the rest of the workforce and consider how they can improve corporate culture from the top down.”

Only 40 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the opportunities that exist to feed their views and ideas upwards to senior managers.

“Building trust in senior leaders and employee engagement requires a shift away from traditional command and control styles of leadership to a distributed leadership model where managers at all levels have the ability to win hearts and minds, and get the best out of their people in the service of the organisation,” Cheese concluded.