A new review is being launched to make sure that employers get the most out of their staff.
The government will fund the new Review of Employee Engagement and Investment which will give advice on how employers can improve employee potential.
Announced by business secretary John Hutton, the review will be carried out by David MacLeod, a non-executive director at the Ministry of Justice, and Nita Clark, director of the Involvement and Participation Association.
"The fact that only about 12 per cent of the UK workforce can be considered as highly engaged shows that there is potential for huge gains for the economy if we can improve in this area," said Mr Macleod.
He also said that the project would be a way to "maximise the potential" of British business, Personnel Today reports.
A 2008 survey by Deloitte found that 31 per cent of companies said that a shortage of quality workers meant they were not able to grow as a business.