The report, entitled The Science of Ingagement, also found that only 35% per cent felt valued by their employers.
Additionally, fewer than half (46%) of the 1,152 adults surveyed were very satisfied in their jobs and just 50 per cent would recommend their employer as a place to work.
The report stated that the results were "a startling wake-up call for UK employers who are looking to grow a profitable business and retain top talent at a time of economic uncertainty.
"The impact of a disengaged workforce can have worrying consequences for organisations."
There was little variance in engagement levels across different sectors, with technology and healthcare employees the most engaged, but only just ahead of those working in financial services, who were the least engaged.
Adam Mack, chief strategy officer, Weber Shandwick EMEA, said: "By delving into the minds of employees to understand what really drives them to be more engaged, we’ve found that people need to feel valued if they are to even start engaging with the brand they work for."
The report concluded that there are six critical factors to employee engagement:
- Associations Employers need to create positive memories among employees and to generate pride.
- Desire Employers that offer highly desirable places to work, or desirable products and services, can tap into this set of emotions.
- Enhancement Employers that educate their employees, inspire them and prompt them to think differently are employers with high engagement.
- Integrity Integrity is about honesty and commitment. Employees who believe their employers keep their promises are among the most engaged.
- Meaning Employers that make a meaningful contribution to society or give their employees a personal sense of purpose are employers that trigger the ‘meaning’ driver.
- Respect Employers that employees feel are widely respected are more likely to have an engaged workforce.
Micho Spring, Weber Shandwick’s global corporate practice chair, said: "The Science of Ingagement research provides sound insights into how employers can better engage employees, a top priority for leaders today.
"Because of the increasing demand for counsel in this area from companies worldwide, our global Employee Engagement & Change Management specialty is designed to help clients manage two of their most precious assets — their people and their reputations."
The Science of Ingagement is the employee engagement version of the agency’s previous study The Science of Engagement, which sought to explore the science behind effective engagement.
The research sampled 1,152 of the adult population (18- to 65-year-olds) who work at least 30 hours a week for companies with at least 500 employees.