Employee engagement directly impacts your bottom line, which is why a lot of organizations invest in employee engagement software.
Beyond tools, use these employee engagement statistics to help shape your engagement strategy and improve the employee experience.
But first up, just so we’re all on the same page, a quick definition.
What Is Employee Engagement?
Engage For Success, a voluntary movement that promotes employee engagement, defines it as:
“A workplace approach resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organization to give their best each day, committed to their organization's goals and values, motivated to contribute to organizational success, with an enhanced sense of their own well-being.”
High employee engagement results in:
- Increased employee retention
- Easier recruitment
- Higher productivity
- Higher job satisfaction
- More innovation
- Reduced absenteeism.
No wonder organizations are so concerned about employee disengagement!
Employee Engagement Statistics
Whether it's part of a board room debate or the topic of a podcast, there's a lot of talk about employee engagement and how it’s beneficial for your organization, but what do the numbers say?
We found 15 employee engagement statistics that we believe every manager should know in 2024:
1. 23% of employees are "actively engaged" globally
In its State of the Global Workplace Report 2023, Gallup concludes that globally 23% of employees are engaged at work—a record high.
But, despite the upward trend, Gallup warns there’s still work to be done. The majority of employees (59%) are ‘quiet quitting’ or doing the bare minimum.
Other researchers paint a rosier picture, however. For instance, Kincentric, a provider of employee engagement solutions, states that globally 67% of employees are engaged.
2. Engagement levels in the US dropped 2 percentage points in 2023
Gallup reports that, since it started reporting employee engagement, the highest percentage of engaged employees it’s ever recorded in the US was 36% in 2020. It fell to 34% in 2021, 33% in 2022, and the trend continues in 2023 as well with only 31% of engaged employees.
Gallup attributes the dropping levels of engagement in U.S. employees to a fall in the number of opportunities for development, limited clarity of expectations, and not feeling valued at work.
3. South Asia has the highest levels of engagement
According to the Gallup report, South Asia has the highest levels of engagement at 33%
4. Europe bringing up the rear
Out of all the regions, Europe has the lowest percentage of engaged employees, down at 13%. The silver lining (kind of) to this is that only 15% are actively disengaged, with most sitting in the middle category of performing at just the required levels.
5. Employee engagement by region
For the rest of the world, the US, Canada and Latin America come next at 31%, followed by Post-Soviet Eurasia (27%), Southeast Asia (26%), Australia and New Zealand (23%), Sub-Saharan Africa (20%), East Asia (17%), Middle East and North Africa (15%) and then Europe (10%).
6. Employee engagement boosts results
Companies with engaged employees show better results when compared to those that do not. Gallup compared business units with high engagement levels with those that don’t and came up with the following conclusions. Its employee engagement survey reveals that engaged employees:
- Increase productivity by 14%
- Increase customer ratings by 10%
- Increase sales by 18%
- Increase profitability by 23%
- Increase organizational participation by 13%
7. The cost of disengaged employees
The Gallup report estimates that actively disengaged and not engaged employees cost $8.8 trillion to companies globally in lost productivity. This figure equates to 9% of global GDP.
8. Engaged business units are more profitable
Another Gallup study concluded that “the behaviors of highly engaged business units result in 21% greater profitability.” The same study says that when employees are engaged they are less likely to leave.
9. Consistency drives higher engagement
According to research by Kincentric, 91% of employees that received a consistent employee experience reported higher engagement levels.
10. Measure employee engagement the right way
Managers play a significant role in employee engagement and growth. So it’s important for them to have motivating communication with their team members.
Gallup surveyed over 2.7 million employees globally to come up with the 12 questions to help companies measure and boost employee engagement. This survey aims to open a dialogue between managers and their teams.
11. Regular employee feedback is key to higher employee engagement
69% of employees feel that they’d be motivated to work harder and will be more engaged if they feel like their efforts are recognized.
Similarly, over 85% of employees feel that they’re more motivated to work when the management updates them on company news regularly.
12. Companies are now focusing more on productivity and engagement than just performance
Unsurprisingly considering the importance of employee engagement, according to the Performance Management Report, almost 48% of companies have started focusing on productivity and engagement rather than just development.
13. Learning and development opportunities lead to higher engagement
A study by Udemy found that 80% of people felt learning new skills would make them more engaged at work.
14. Engagement and burnout are a balance
A study by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence showed that 1 in 5 employees were highly engaged and still at risk of burnout.
While burnout is often thought to be a cause of disengagement, it stands to reason that highly engaged employees can burn out as a result of overworking.
15. Engagement differs between on-site and hybrid and remote workers
According to Gallup, on-site workers are less engaged than hybrid and remote workers.
However, there is a correlation between remote working and a decline in feeling connected to an organization’s mission and purpose.
Could remote workers become less engaged and more “gig-like”?
How To Encourage Employee Engagement
Based on the above, what factors should organizations that are seeking to boost employee engagement focus on?
Develop good managers
Managers play a huge role in determining whether employees are committed to the organizations they work for or not.
To have a positive role, managers need to provide clear purpose and direction, give regular feedback with a focus on coaching, and recognize employees (potentially with the help of an employee recognition platform).
Provide learning and development opportunities
As we've seen from the companies reporting high levels of engagement, when people feel like they’re growing and developing new skills they’re much more likely to be engaged in their job.
Keep an eye on burnout
As we’ve seen, even highly engaged employees are at risk of burnout. Here’s how to identify, pre-empt, and deal with workplace burnout.
Want to Really Increase Engagement? Ask Your People
When you look at the engagement levels from Gallup, they're not great. But it's only a small sample size really.
When it comes to measuring engagement levels in your organization, the best method is to ask your employees!
You can do this through engagement surveys using employee survey tools, stay interviews, or just regular, informal conversations.
Here are 8 effective methods to get employee feedback. Once you've spent time gathering feedback, keep employees in the loop with any changes you choose to make (or why you don't).
Not acknowledging any issues that arise from your research is a great way to unengage people.
- Nearly 6/10 employee are quiet quitting, but these can be mre easily engaged.
- Providing a consistent employee experience has been found to increase engagement levels.
- Good managers and learning and development opportunities are key drivers of employee engagement.
As a next step, check out our articles on how to increase employee engagement and these employee engagement ideas for remote teams. You can also check out our pick of the best employee engagement podcasts for further inspo.
Join The People Managing People Community
You can also find further advice and support in the People Managing People Community, a supportive community of HR and business sharing knowledge to help you grow in your career and make greater impact in your organization.