Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is critical to organizational health and sustained business success. An engaged employee is one who is connected to their workplace, committed to their job, and invested in the growth of the organization.

Defining Employee Engagement

Defining Employee Engagement

There are three levels of employee engagement:  

  1. Engaged employee: An engaged employee enthusiastically puts time, effort, and energy into their work, and this is often evident in their performance. They feel: 
  • Aligned with their company’s purpose 
  • Passionate toward their tasks and projects 
  • Motivated when overcoming obstacles 
  • Connected to their peers 
  • Higher morale and worth at work 

  1. Disengaged employee: A disengaged employee meets basic work demands but is unlikely to go above and beyond in their work. They’re often referred to as “quiet quitters,” as they may not overtly express their dissatisfaction, yet they are: 
  • Unenthusiastic toward their work 
  • Indifferent to their company’s purpose and success 
  • Unattached to their organization and easily convinced to leave for another offer 

  1. Actively disengaged employee: Actively disengaged employees are resentful of their current work environment, causing them to exhibit counterproductive work behaviors, including: 
  • Reduced effort and performance 
  • Negative attitudes towards work 
  • Acts of sabotage 

Why Employee Engagement Is Beneficial To Employers

Why Employee Engagement Is Beneficial To Employers

Employers reap several benefits of an engaged workforce: 

  • Increased employee retention 
  • Increased employee productivity and efficiency 
  • Higher profitability 
  • Better customer service provided by employees 
  • Greater interest and recruiting ability for job candidates 

Overall, employee engagement and job satisfaction result in higher business performance. Both employees and employers benefit from promoting and practicing employee engagement, making it a top priority for any organization. 

However, most workers are not engaged in their jobs, resulting in often overlooked consequences for companies, including: 

  • Decreased productivity 
  • Lower quality of work 
  • Higher employee turnover 
  • Poor customer experience 
  • Decreased employee morale 
  • Increased absenteeism 
  • Negative financial impacts

11 Employee Engagement Statistics For 2024

To understand the importance of engagement and how to improve it, here are 10 employee engagement statistics for 2024:

1. Two-thirds of employees are disengaged at work

Despite a slight rise in US worker engagement levels in 2023, only one-third of employees are currently engaged at work. More troubling is the 16% who are actively disengaged, potentially harming their work environment through negative attitudes or actions.

US Employee Engagement Trend

A declining number of employees feel connected to their company’s purpose. This connection inspires excellence over mere task completion. Employers can use this as an opportunity to link individual roles to the overarching organizational goals. Explaining the “why” behind tasks can increase employee motivation, driving them to deliver their best work.

US Employees Connection Between Mission/ Purpose and Their Job

2. Hybrid and remote employees are more engaged than their on-site counterparts

Hybrid and remote employees are more engaged than their on-site counterparts

Engagement rates vary based on work arrangement: 

  • 81% of hybrid employees report high engagement 
  • 78% of remote employees report high engagement 
  • 72% of in-office employees report high engagement 

This suggests that flexible work arrangements, such as hybrid or remote work, can boost employee engagement.

3. Ninety-two percent of executives agree that high engagement leads to happier customers

Engaged employees bring more energy and commitment to their roles. This directly influences the quality of service and interactions with customers, leading to increased customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.

92% of executives agree that high engagement leads to happier customers

Companies must balance external customer strategies with an internal focus on employee engagement. Creating a work environment where employees feel valued and motivated is key to a positive company reputation and success in the market.

4. Companies with the highest rates of employee engagement are 21% more profitable

Employee engagement correlates with business profitability. Companies with highly engaged workforces are 21% more profitable and 17% more productive than those with disengaged staff. Engaged employees outperform their peers because they tend to be more innovative, efficient, and have higher customer retention rates.

“Think about it from a business perspective. Engagement equals discretionary effort, which equals higher business outcomes for the same amount of dollars. It is ROI at its finest—and the best possible return on investment for your human capital. And that is incredibly powerful.”

– Heather Whiteman, people analytics professor at the University of California, Berkeley and former head of people strategy, analytics, digital learning, and HR operations at GE Digitalone

Case Study:

Gong, a revenue operations and intelligence company, serves as a prime example of how investing in employee experience and engagement can lead to better company performance. Eighty-seven percent of Gong employees rate the company as a great place to work, compared to the industry average of just 57%. Gong was recognized by Forrester as the Q4 2023 leader for B2B revenue in its market, receiving the highest possible scores in 19 of 25 evaluation criteria. These achievements highlight the link between employee satisfaction and business success.

5. Fifty-eight percent of employees say complacent leadership is the top reason they feel disengaged

Fifty-eight percent of American workers say that their company’s leadership is not proactive, and only 9% of workers believe their leadership is committed to culture initiatives. Addressing this requires: 

58% of employees say complacent leadership is the top reason they feel disengaged
  • Aligning actions with values: A company’s actions, including policies and decisions, should align with its stated values. Discrepancies between what a company says and what it does can erode trust and commitment. 
  • Acting on feedback: Implement regular opportunities for employees to provide feedback, such as through surveys and one-on-one manager meetings. More importantly, leadership must act on this feedback and demonstrate changes, showing that employee input is valued and taken seriously. 
  • Leadership involvement: Leaders should be active participants in cultural initiatives, such as company events, workshops, and team-building activities. Visible involvement shows that leadership is not just endorsing these initiatives but is personally invested in them.

6. Eighty percent of employees say learning and development opportunities would help them feel more engaged on the job

80% of employees say learning and development opportunities would help them feel more engaged on the job

Access to professional development opportunities not only supports and empowers employees in their growth but also fosters a sense of fulfillment and motivation, crucial for sustained engagement. Conversely, employees facing ‘career plateaus’ may develop the counterproductive behaviors of active disengagement. Creating or reimbursing opportunities for skill development, such as online courses, workshops, and mentorship programs demonstrates a company’s commitment to employees’ growth.

7. Thirty-two percent of respondents say that a lack of employee ownership is the greatest barrier to engagement

An HBR survey reveals that while 42% of respondents view engagement as a shared responsibility among managers, HR, and employees, one-third acknowledge the need for greater individual agency in professional growth.

32% of respondents say that a lack of employee ownership is the greatest barrier to engagement

Forty-two percent of managers face challenges in conducting effective development conversations with employees. To bridge this gap and foster employee ownership, managers must:

  • Conduct regular two-way communication about employee goals and outcomes 
  • Encourage employees to initiate the goal-setting process and ask for feedback 
  • Provide ongoing support and resources to help employees achieve their goals 

8. Fifty percent of employees consider meetings wasted time, impacting engagement

50% of employees consider meetings wasted time, impacting engagement

Meetings are meant to facilitate collaboration and progress, but they’re perceived as a waste of time by half of employees. This can significantly lower engagement and productivity, particularly if meetings are: 

  • Too frequent or long: More than half of employees believe they need fewer or shorter meetings to get their work done. On average, they spend four hours weekly preparing for status updates, and 49% feel they’d be more productive with fewer company-wide gatherings. 
  • Inefficient: Having too many people involved in decision-making can reduce efficiency by nearly one-third. Asking participants if they agree with something in advance and prioritizing actionable steps in meeting time can improve outcomes. 
  • Unproductive: An estimated 50% of meeting time is spent on irrelevant topics. To improve meeting productivity, establish a clear agenda, objectives, and time frame, and invite only those who are directly involved or impacted by the meeting’s topic.

9. Eighty-nine percent of employees working for companies with wellness programs are engaged and happy with their job

The majority of US employees who work for a company with a wellness program report being happy with their job and would recommend it to a friend. Only 17% of employees would recommend a company that is not committed to improving workforce well-being. 

89% of employees working for companies with wellness programs are engaged and happy with their job

Employers that want to attract top talent should implement a holistic wellness program that supports all dimensions of well-being. Job seekers today are looking for companies that prioritize various aspects of employee health and offer meaningful benefits. A comprehensive wellness program can help employers stand out from the competition and boost engagement among current employees.

10. Only 37% of executives strongly agree that engagement is a significant organizational focus

Despite its recognized benefits on performance, employee satisfaction, and customer experience, engagement often remains under-emphasized in business strategy and planning. 

Employee engagement is not an isolated HR function but a fundamental business strategy. By fostering a supportive and engaging work environment, organizations can drive significant and measurable outcomes.

11. Sixty-one percent of the workforce does not receive regular recognition at work 

Research shows that when employees are frequently recognized for their efforts, they’re more likely to stay with the company and perform their best because they feel motivated and valued. However, 61% of employees say they do not receive regular recognition at work, and 23% feel underappreciated. 

Recognition goes beyond notable achievements; it can be as simple as thanking an employee for having a positive attitude, acknowledging their work ethic, or identifying ways they have improved.  

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