International NGOs looking to improve engagement levels amongst employees working in middle- and low-income countries should pay particular attention to wellbeing and communications, according to recent research we have undertaken.

We analysed employee survey data from 19 International NGOs involving over 23,000 respondents based in middle- and low-income countries to determine the best way for organisations to measure employee engagement and what key factors influence it.

The results were that prioritisation of employee welfare and health & safety and openness and honesty of communication are the factors that have the strongest influence on engagement of employee in International NGOs in middle- and low-income countries.

Perceptions of management and values appear to have a moderate impact on engagement and taken together account for a quarter of the impact.

Other factors such as leadership, reward, role and colleagues were found to have the weakest influence – indicating that it is possible for someone to be happy with the leadership of the organisation, their reward, level of authority given and colleagues without being engaged.

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