Employee Engagement Drops For First Time in a Decade… and What We Can Do About It!

A recent article published by Gallup said that, for the first time in over ten years, the percentage of engaged workers in the U.S. has declined.

“Just over one-third of employees (34%) were engaged, and 16% were actively disengaged in their work and workplace, based on a random sample of 57,022 full- and part-time employees throughout the year,” the article said. “This compares with 36% engaged and 14% actively disengaged in 2020, a year with unprecedented highs and lows.”

The piece went on to explain that engagement is measured via random sampling of the working population about key workplace elements that link to organizational outcomes such as profitability, productivity, customer service, retention, safety and overall wellbeing.

As you may know, engaged workers make a stronger discretionary effort and are involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. Actively disengaged employees are disgruntled and disloyal because most of their workplace needs are unmet.

To address this issue, Gallup suggests three important steps:

  1. Focus on the basics. “During significant turmoil, the basic elements of employee engagement become vulnerable, as was evident in 2021. Employees’ confidence that they know what’s expected of them, have the right materials and equipment, and have the opportunity to do what they do best declined the most.”
  2. Provide clear and frequent communication from leadership. “Managers are responsible for implementing leadership decisions while motivating their team to get work done… In early 2020, nearly half of employees (49%) strongly agreed that their supervisor keeps them informed about what is going on in the organization. This figure has since slipped to 36%.”
  3. Manage your managers. “Manager engagement is on the decline, and burnout is on the rise. Clarity of expectations and opportunities to develop are specifically vulnerable. Like your employees, your front-line managers and supervisors need to feel that they are continually developing in their work and overall life.”

Read the full article…