Employee engagement is a topic that has dominated HR publications in the past few years. With each day, we learn a new perspective and insight about employee engagement — what influences it, how it impacts employee performance and how to adapt your performance management system to improve engagement levels.
Here, we look at various studies, polls and research and delve into the figures. These employee engagement statistics show us exactly how big a business concern employee engagement is, how we can improve it and which sectors are doing it right.
Measuring the Importance of Employee Engagement
For a more in-depth look at relevant studies, check out our article discussing leading employee engagement research
1. 85% of the Global Workforce Are Not Engaged at Work
This statistic comes from Gallup’s 2017 State of Global Workforce Report. The report found an incredible 85% of employees around the world are either not engaged with their work or are actively disengaged. This statistic is staggering and shows us the scale of the problem and why it’s an issue that needs addressing.
2. 93% of Employees in Nonprofit Work Are Engaged
93% is a happy statistic, but a startling one when you compare it to the statistic above. According to a survey by Work for Good, an incredible 93% of employees in nonprofit work are engaged. Why would this be?
This is, most likely, down to the fact that employees in nonprofit work feel a great sense of meaning when it comes to their work. They understand their company’s purpose, its direction and so align with what the company is trying to do. They are likely to believe what they do is making a real difference. The real question is — how can we make our employees feel just as dedicated and engaged with their work?
Modern employees seek meaning in their work — they aren’t working purely for pay. They want to know their company stands for something and they want to play a meaningful role in furthering that purpose. To help your employees become more engaged, you should first make sure your company has a clearly defined purpose. You should then take the time to articulate and communicate this purpose with your employees. Allow your purpose to guide your recruitment methods, your work processes and any other workplace decision. This will help to unify your workforce and engage them in what you’re doing.
3. The UK Has an Average Employee Engagement Score of Just 45%
What does employee engagement look like here in the UK? Apparently, we’re lagging behind most of the world. A survey of more than 4,500 workers, based on a combination of six positive engagement factors, compared employee engagement around the world. The UK recorded average engagement scores of 45%. This score is lower than France (54%), Australia (56%) and the USA (60%). The only countries who scored lower were Singapore and Hong Kong.
4. Organisations with High Employee Engagement Outperform Those with Low Levels of Engagement by 202%
This Dale Carnegie statistic shows the real power of employee engagement and why it is a performance management concern. It’s simple — engaged employees work better. They want to perform well. They care about their company and their role in it. They go the extra mile, go above and beyond and they’re more loyal (meaning less turnover — we all know how turnover can impact company performance). Investing in employee engagement strategies and tools does pay off for companies willing to put the right resources in place.
The key to employee engagement
Learn more about employee engagement from our collection of free resources. You'll discover how you can boost performance and productivity through improving employee engagement.
5. Highly Engaged Companies Result in 21% Greater Profitability
You might think this statistic is implied by the statistic above, but not necessarily so. Performance doesn’t equate to productivity or profitability. This statistic shows us the difference between an engaged employee can make to a company’s bottom line. Investing time and effort to increase levels of employee engagement benefits everyone in the long run, keeps companies profitable and keeps them competitive.
6. 37% of Engaged Employees Are Either Open to, or Looking for New Opportunities, Compared to 73% of Actively Disengaged Employees
This Gallup statistic explores the relationship between employee engagement and voluntary turnover. We can see the more engaged an employee is at work and with their company, the more loyal they are to the organisation. Engaged employees are excited by their work, but they are also content with the company culture. They are less likely to uproot themselves than an employee who is disengaged and unhappy with their working environment.
7. Disengaged Employees Have a 60% Higher Error Rate
It’s not only high turnover you need to worry about when considering disengaged or actively disengaged employees. The reality is, they make more mistakes, too. According to this Achievers’ white paper, disengaged employees have a 60% higher error rate than those who are more engaged.
Check out our blog on common barriers to employee engagement
8. Disengaged Employees Cost the UK up to £70 Billion per Year in Lost Productivity
We know disengaged employees are more likely to leave. We also know they’re more likely to underperform and to make more mistakes. But do you know the actual cost of a disengaged employee and what it can mean for your business? To put the problem in perspective, disengaged employees are thought to cost the UK £52 – 70 billion per year in lost productivity.
9. 53% of HR Professionals Say Employee Engagement Levels Rise with Improved Onboarding
This statistic highlights the importance of jumping on employee engagement early. You can begin to engage employees before they even start at your company. But from day one, your company needs to make a concerted effort to engage employees and show them they’re a part of your team.
10. The Real Estate Industry Has the Highest Levels of Employee Engagement (32%)
We should point out that employee engagement varies from industry to industry. Some put more of an emphasis on improving employee engagement than others. One source looked into levels of employee engagement across industries. It found the real estate industry has the highest levels of employee engagement, with 32% of their estate agent participants claiming to be engaged with their work.
11. The Technology Industry Has the Lowest Employee Engagement Average (15%)
Conversely, the same study found the technology industry has the lowest levels of employee engagement. If you are managing a team in the technology industry, you should consider putting measures in place to determine the level of employee engagement at your company — and how you can improve engagement in the long run.
12. Managers Account for a 70% Variance in Employee Engagement
Part of the reason Clear Review is so passionate about one-on-one meetings between manager and employee is because of the impact it can have on employee engagement. This often-cited Gallup statistic states managers can account for a 70% variance in employee engagement. To develop a meaningful, authentic and trusting relationship between manager and employee that promotes high levels of engagement, consider having a catch up at least once a month.
If you are thinking of incorporating frequent coaching sessions in your organisation, you can download our free one-on-one meeting template
13. 1 in 5 Employees Is Highly Engaged and at Risk of Burnout
Engaged employees tend to work hard. They volunteer for more responsibility and they genuinely try to go that extra mile to help the company — because they find meaning and reward in their role. But that doesn’t mean they can’t push themselves too far. In fact, as this statistic from Harvard Business Review shows, even highly engaged employees can (and do) suffer from burnout.
14. 35% of Leaders Say Focusing on Employee Engagement Is a Distraction from Getting “Real Work” Done
Even today, not everyone is convinced of the merits of employee engagement strategies. This statistic highlights some leaders still see employee engagement as a meaningless HR buzzword that stands to impede “real” work.
15. 85% of Leaders Say Employee Engagement Is a Priority, but Only One-Third Make It One
On the one hand, we have good news — the majority of business leaders claim employee engagement is a priority for them. Unfortunately, what these leaders say and what they do don’t match up, with only one-third of them making employee engagement a priority. By not putting employee engagement strategies in place, these leaders are paying the price in terms of engagement, performance and (ultimately) profit.
Are you looking to improve levels of employee engagement at your organisation? Start with your tech. Our employee engagement software enables conversation, improves performance and helps companies become more productive. Book a free demo today.
Our new eBook explores the connection between engagement and performance. Download it here.