Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics

Employee Engagement

Partner: Manufacturing SME around 70 employees


CeDEx research highlights the way in which employer-employee relationships are cooperative relationships, based on reciprocity or notions of ‘give-and-take’ (see the papers Gaechter & Falk, 2002, and Gaechter, Nosenzo & Sefton, 2012). This SME partner was interested in exploring novel, low-cost methods for enhancing employee job satisfaction, so this study explored how employer signalling of employee value affects job satisfaction, with a view to exploring the effects of this on productivity in the longer term.

Approach and Method

A bespoke survey was designed and piloted to obtain preliminary picture of employee firm perceptions and job satisfaction.  Afterwards, management were encouraged to identify and implement a strong ‘gesture of good-will’ towards employees.  The survey was then administered a second time, to explore the extent to which employee firm perceptions and job satisfaction changed during this period.

Results (ongoing)

Descriptively, survey results indicated that employees were highly motivated to see the firm succeed, but did not feel sufficiently rewarded for quality efforts at work.  The gesture of good-will by management may have contributed to employees feeling more supported at work, and less likely to search for work outside the company. (Statistical analyses were not performed for this pilot, due to small sample size.)


Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics

Sir Clive Granger Building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 4763
Enquiries: suzanne.robey@nottingham.ac.uk
Experiments: cedex@nottingham.ac.uk