This Valentine’s Day, businesses need to remind employees why they were attracted to their job in the first place says Nicole Bello, Group Vice President EMEA at UKG

2022 was a tumultuous year for relationships between businesses and employees across the UK. From the Great Resignation to Quiet Quitting, the prevailing HR trends all alluded to employee disengagement, and the statistical outlook was much the same – according to recent research by the Workforce Institute at UKG, 38 percent of workers would not wish their job on their worst enemy.

In response to this, Nicole Bello, Group Vice President EMA at UKG, has shared five tips outlining how employers can win back the hearts of disenfranchised workers:

1. It’s not you, it’s me

Nicole believes that reengagement begins with reflection. “CEOs and senior company figures should begin attempts to re-engage employees by looking introspectively and evaluating whether they are doing enough to ensure all staff feel valued.

“Executives should be accessible to the entire workforce, which means inviting company-wide feedback that is responded to personally and scheduling face-to-face time with employees where they can voice any concerns. Business leaders are responsible for inspiring their workforce, which cannot be achieved without visibility.”

2. Does absence make the heart grow fonder?

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, the way we work has shifted dramatically, and employers need to acknowledge and support an employees’ desire to work in a way that is best for them.

“Employee preferences have been in a constant state of flux since hybrid working was first introduced – the vast majority were happy with remote work, until cabin fever set in and some employees returned to the office. Flexibility is key here.

“Businesses should also look for ways to build a close-knit and unified workplace community, which can be tough with remote work limiting in-person interaction. Designated company office days and inclusive socials are effective methods of bringing employees together and instigating team bonding efforts.

3. There are plenty more fish in the sea

The grass might be looking greener for some employees, so it’s never been more important to engage people and ensure they’re happy and motivated in their current role.

“Vacancies are at an all-time high, and many employees would be spoilt for choice if they decided to look elsewhere. Business leaders should be aware of the current climate, and clearly outline progression plans for employees to encourage retention and remove the temptation of exploring alternative options.”

4. If you love something, set it free

Independence is an important part of any relationship, and it’s no different in the workplace. Micromanagement is no longer the way to go, and businesses need to trust their people to do what is best for them at work.

“Now more than ever, employees seek autonomy, and businesses should respond by looking for ways to empower their workforce. A good starting point is the implementation of an online HR portal, accessible via mobile and desktop devices, where employees can self-service actions such as booking holidays, swapping shifts or providing feedback.

77 percent of workers want to spend less time working and more time doing things that matter to them, so promoting opportunities for personal development is sure to boost employee satisfaction. Allowing staff to sign up for training or educational courses of their choosing will help them nurture the skills they value most, aiding progression and granting employees control over their future.”

5. Communication is the key to any good relationship

Bello concluded: “Employees should feel comfortable sharing feedback with managers, and scheduling regular meetings where they have a chance to express any doubts or share ideas can achieve this. Once an employee’s input has been received, managers should implement the necessary changes to show that they were listening, encouraging staff to speak up again in the future.”






Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.