Employee engagement seems to be on everyone’s minds nowadays, but how much do you really know about it? Here are a dozen essential statistics to get you started.
1. The average percentage of engaged employees as of May 2015 is 31.7% (Gallup)
Here’s where we start: the fact that less than one-third of U.S. employees are engaged. That leaves over 68% of the workforce who aren’t passionate about their jobs, who aren’t committed and willing to give their best. This shouldn’t just worry their bosses — it should worry everyone from the heads of their companies down to the coworkers who rely on them.
And don’t assume that that 31.7% can be left alone. Engagement must be actively supported and maintained by organizational leaders.
2. 87% of companies around the world cite employee engagement and culture issues as one of their top challenges (Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2015)
Companies are aware of what a major issue this is, at least. As organizations ramp up their efforts in this area, the wealth of tools and information resources continues to grow.
3. 91% of highly engaged employees always or almost always try their hardest at work, compared with 67% of disengaged employees (Temkin Group)
If you didn’t understand why engagement is so important, here’s one number that can sum it up: nearly all highly engaged employees give you their best. That’s what you want, isn’t it? Not someone who just checks the boxes and clocks out at the end of the day, but instead someone who goes above and beyond — and aspires to keep becoming better.
4. Employees who are supervised by highly engaged managers are 59% more likely to be engaged than those supervised by actively disengaged managers (Gallup)
Engagement starts with your boss. Supervisors have the power to mentor, solicit regular feedback, and facilitate professional development — all factors that contribute to a worker’s satisfaction. In addition, having a manager who is also passionate about their job can be inspiring.
5. 70% of employees who lack confidence in the abilities of senior leadership are not fully engaged (Dale Carnegie)
Employees also watch what the leaders of their company are doing. Does leadership regularly communicate about important changes? This will help workers see them as knowledgeable and in control of the situation. Do leaders set a good example for the rest of the workforce? This gives employees the validation and motivation to follow suit.
6. Employee engagement programs can increase profits by $2,400 per employee per year (Workplace Research Foundation)
It’s true that supporting engagement in your workforce can cost money, whether that’s in employee engagement surveys, material rewards for recognition programs, or investment in additional training programs. But the return on investment can be massive. In an organization with hundreds of workers? It can be over a million dollars annually.
7. Organizations that have over 50% engagement retain over 80% of their customers (Demand Metric)
When engaged employees are more likely to do their best at work, it’s no surprise that the result is happier customers. This is true not only for people who work directly with clients, such as customer service representatives, but also those who design, build, and market your products. When employees care about the quality they deliver, customers will notice and stick around.
8. Workers with advanced degrees are the least engaged in their jobs: 29.1% of employees with a postgraduate degree versus 36.1% of employees with a high school diploma or less (Gallup)
You might think that someone who has spent years becoming an expert in their chosen field would be more likely to end up with a job that engages them. Looks like that isn’t the case. So don’t assume hiring employees with a string of abbreviations after their name is automatically your ticket to an engaged workforce.
9. When a company’s values are “known and understood,” employees are 51 times more likely to be fully engaged (Modern Survey)
Engagement is about more than just what your work is — it’s how you do it. The same is true of organizational values. Your values guide the way your company operates and what its priorities are, which means they tell your employees how they can contribute to your organization’s overall success. And you can’t just announce your values once and forget them — you have to live by example.
10. 54% of employees who were proud of their company's contributions to society are engaged (Dale Carnegie)
Knowing the organizational values can also make workers more motivated. For example, if one of your values is to be a positive influence in the community, you might donate some of your product or proceeds toward a local nonprofit. That’s something an employee can take pride in contributing to.
11. 32% of remote employees are engaged versus 28% of on-site employees (Gallup)
An employee might never see the inside of your office building and still be engaged at work. Forget the stereotype of someone lazing around in their pajamas and neglecting their workload. Being away from direct supervision won’t make your employees suddenly shirk their duties (though, let’s be honest, they probably will be in pajamas). In fact, many aspects of remote work can be exactly what a worker needs to do their best work — they’re free to work wherever they’re comfortable and exercise autonomy over their environment. And if their schedule is flexible too, they can take care of personal matters like doctor appointments and picking up children from school, which can greatly reduce stress.
12. Employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them are almost three times as likely to be engaged (Gallup)
Okay, you might be skeptical of this one. Doesn’t everyone complain about having too many meetings? When it comes to status meetings, almost half of U.S. employees would rather do things like “watch paint dry” or “endure a root canal,” according to a survey by Clarizen. But the benefit of meeting regularly with a supervisor is that employees can address concerns and ask for what they need. That kind of real-time feedback is the ticket to high engagement.
All these numbers add up to one thing: engagement must the number one priority for your organization.
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