U.S. Employee Engagement on the Rise (Again)

American workers are getting more dialed in to their jobs, according to new research.

The percentage of U.S. workers who are “involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to” their work and workplace is now 34 percent, tying its highest level since Gallup began reporting the national figure in 2000. (On average, 30 percent of employees have been engaged at work during the past 18 years of Gallup tracking.)

The last time Gallup reported such high engagement numbers was in March 2016, when it also determined 16.5 percent of workers were “actively disengaged.” This time around, that figure is now at its lowest level (13 percent), making the current ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees 2.6-to-1, which is the highest ever in Gallup tracking. On average, 17 percent of U.S. workers have been actively disengaged over the 18 years of tracking.

The findings are based on a random sample of 30,628 full- and part-time U.S. employees working for an employer from January to June 2018.

While the high engagement numbers are certainly good news for employers, more than half (53 percent) of workers are in the “not engaged” category. According to Gallup, they may be “generally satisfied but are not cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and workplace.”

Gallup says it measures engagement through actionable workplace elements with proven linkages to performance outcomesopportunities for workers to do what they do best, opportunities to develop their job skills and having their opinions count, for example.

It also finds that organizations with higher employee engagement and lower active disengagement perform at higher levels: “For example, organizations that are the best in engaging their employees achieve earnings-per-share growth that is more than four times that of their competitors. Compared with business units in the bottom quartile, those in the top quartile of engagement realize substantially better customer engagement, higher productivity, better retention, fewer accidents and 21% higher profitability. Engaged workers also report better health outcomes.”

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Michael J. O'Brienhttp://
Michael J. O’Brien is former web editor with Human Resource Executive®.