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Social Knows: Employee Engagement Statistics (August 2011 Edition)

In our “Social Knows” series, we sniff out and compile statistics and research regarding workplace / workforce management, human resources and employee engagement. The goal is to provide you with the background knowledge necessary to support your own recommendations, findings and strategies. Submissions always welcomed.

UPDATE: There is a new Employee Engagement Statistics post which includes mobile workforce stats (~Elizabeth, 11/20/2011) Capital and Corporate Culture

  • The lost productivity of actively disengaged employees costs the US economy $370 BILLION annually. (Gallup)
  • In February, June, and October of 2010, the number of employees voluntarily quitting surpassed the number fired or discharged. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • 70% of engaged employees indicate they have a good understanding of how to meet customer needs; only 17% of non-engaged employees say the same. (Wright Management)
  • 78% would recommend their company’s products of services, against 13% of the disengaged. (Gallup)
  • Engaged employees advocate their company or organization – 67% against only 3% of the disengaged. (Gallup)
  • From a global sample of 60 corporations the Corporate Leadership Council found that over 80% of senior human resources (HR) professionals agreed that employee engagement was a high priority for 2009 and 40% claimed it had become more of a priority over the last year. Senior private sector HR managers believe that the top challenge they face now is maintaining employee engagement.
  • 86% of engaged employees say they very often feel happy at work, as against 11% of the disengaged. 45% of the engaged say they get a great deal of their life happiness from work, against 8% of the disengaged. (Gallup)
  • Less than 50% of chief financial officers appear to understand the return on their investments in human capital. (Accenture)
  • 75% of leaders have no engagement plan or strategy even though 90% say engagement impacts on business success. (ACCOR)

Source: Human Resources Employee Engagement Statistics

Employee Innovation and Management

  • Higher levels of engagement are strongly related to higher levels of innovation. 59% of engaged employees say that their job brings out their most creative ideas against only 3% of disengaged employees. (Gallup)
  • Based on survey findings from approximately 1,500 managers throughout the UK, where respondents identified the prevailing management style of their organization as innovative, 92% of managers felt proud to work there.
  • From 2008 – 2009 the numbers saying their manager supported new ways of doing things declined from 51% to 40 per cent; the numbers reporting that managers were encouraging them to develop their own ideas declined from 51% to 43%; and those reporting their manager encouraged them to try new ideas out declined from 48% to 38%. (CLC Research)
  • Only 29% of UK employees believed their senior managers were sincerely interested in their well‐being; only 31% thought their senior managers communicated openly and honestly; only 3% thought their managers treated them as key parts of the organization and no fewer than 60% felt their senior managers treated them as just another organizational asset to be managed. (Towers Watson)
  • Only 51% of staff felt they were involved or consulted on decisions that might affect their work area, team or department; only 27% thought senior managers involved staff in important decisions. (NHS Survey)
  • Only 40% of employees are satisfied with relations between managers and employees in their organization. (Kingston Business School)
  • 39% of employees feel senior management does not exhibit attitudes and behaviors that reflect they care about the wellbeing of their employees. (Towers Watson)
  • 75% of people voluntarily leaving jobs don’t quit their jobs; they quit their bosses. (Roger Herman)

Source: Human Resources Employee Engagement Statistics

Workplace Satisfaction

  • Out of 10,914 workers surveyed by Blessing White, only 31% are engaged
  • Fewer than 1 in 3 employees worldwide (31%) are engaged. Nearly 1 in 5 (17%) are actually disengaged. Engagement levels vary by region from 37% in India to 17% in China.
  • Despite the economic recession, more employees are looking for opportunities outside of their organization than they were in 2008, suggesting that 2011 will be a challenging year for retention (and a hot market for firms to attract top talent).
  • Trust in executives can have more than twice the impact on engagement levels than trust in immediate managers does.
  • Employees worldwide who know their managers as “people” are more likely to be engaged
  • The higher up in the organization you go, the more likely you are to be engaged
  • Engagement levels are higher among older employees and people in positions of power and authority
  • Engagement increases with organizational tenure
  • Engagement surveys without visible follow-up action may decrease engagement levels, suggesting that organizations think twice before flipping the switch on measurement without 100% commitment for action planning based on the results.

Source: Blessing White, 2011 Employee Engagement Report

  • Worker satisfaction. Research conducted by Time magazine in 2010 indicated that less than half of American workers (45%) are satisfied with their jobs. This is the lowest percentage since 1987 and is an indication that U.S. employers have a lot of work ahead of them to undo the effects of the economic downturn and deteriorating employee attitudes.
  • Turnover. According to a Gallup poll, companies with large numbers of dissatisfied workers experience greater absenteeism and lower productivity. The most telling figure was the amount of turnover these employers experience which was 51% higher than their peers. Effective engagement strategies should target on-the-job satisfaction as a way to reduce turnover and maintain smooth workflows.
  • Job security. More than half of U.S. workers feel their jobs are less secure now than they were a year ago. Approximately 70% of workers who feel their jobs are secure report happiness at work, but half of the workers who feel their jobs are in jeopardy are dissatisfied with their jobs. The takeaway from these statistics is that job security and employee satisfaction are connected, even though many workers are only hanging onto their jobs for a paycheck.

Source: Employee Engagement statistics by

  • 72% of US workers are not engaged in their work. Defined as essentially sleep walking throughout their day. (Gallup)
  • 1 in 4 workers intend to jump ship within a year. (Telework Research Network)
  • 18% of dis-engaged employees actually undermine their co-workers’ success. (Gallup)

Source: “What makes a happy vs. sad (disengaged) worker”, Citrix


  • Higher employee engagement resulted in a 50% reduction in reportable accidents from 18% to 9% over a two year period. (Babcock Marine Clyde)
  • More than 66% of those managers who reported that they were motivated at work also claimed high productivity levels (defined as more than 90%). Only 15% who were motivated experienced low levels of productivity (defined as less than 70%). (CMI)
  • Those companies with a highly engaged workforce improved operating income by 19.2% over a period of 12 months, whilst those companies with low engagement scores saw operating income decline by 32.7% over the same period. (Towers Watson)
  • Engaged employees in the UK take an average of 2.69 sick days per year; the disengaged take 6.19. (Gallup)

Source: Human Resources Employee Engagement Statistics

Change Management

  • Engagement and involvement are critical in managing change at work; nine out of ten of the key barriers to the success of change programs are people related. (PWC)
  • Only 24% of private sector employees believe change is well managed in their organizations (15% in the public sector). (Ipsos MORI)

Source: Human Resources Employee Engagement Statistics

Benefits and Compensation

  • Retirement worries loom large. Only 43 percent of employees say they’re doing enough to prepare for retirement. That’s down from 47 percent in 2005.
  • Benefits programs don’t get the raves they once did. Some 68 percent of employees say their benefits are good or very good, down from 76 percent in 2005.
  • Health care in particular is seen as less generous. Only 59 percent are satisfied with their health benefits, down from 66 percent.
  • Pay isn’t great either. Just 53 percent are satisfied with their base pay, down from 58 percent in 2005.

Source: Survey: Half of Workers Just Don’t Care

Rewards and Recognition

  • 69% of employees would work harder if they were better recognized
  • 78% of U.S. workers said being recognized motivates them in their job
  • 49% of employees said they would leave their current job for a company that clearly recognized employees for their efforts and contributions
  • Among respondents who stated they plan to search for a new job this year, only 24% are satisfied with the level of recognition they receive at work. Conversely, 63% of employees who have no plans of leaving are satisfied with their level of recognition.
  • An overwhelming majority (84 percent) of all 630 respondents preferred a wide choice of gift cards as the primary reward mechanism.
  • 65 percent of employees satisfied in their roles said they would also work harder if they were better recognized at work.
  • 78 percent said being recognized motivates them in their job

Source: Workforce Mood Tracker survey (630 global corporate respondents)


  • Companies with high levels of employee engagement improved 19.2% in operating income while companies with low levels of employee engagement declined 32.7% (Towers Watson)
  • If organizations increased investment in a range of good workplace practices which relate to engagement by just 10%, they would increase profits by $2,400 per employee per year. (IES/Work Foundation Report)
  • Increased employee engagement was accompanied by a 12% increase in customer satisfaction and significant double‐digit revenue and margin growth over the past three years. (Serco Study)
  • Engaged organizations grew profits as much as three times faster than their competitors. They report that highly engaged organizations have the potential to reduce staff turnover by 87% and improve performance by 20%. (Corporate Leadership Council)
  • A 1% increase in employee commitment can lead to a monthly increase of 9% in sales. (IES)

General Statistics for Human Resource Professionals

  • 24% of team members say they don’t see their managers enough
  • 58% of team are worried about their benefits
  • 84% of managers don’t know how to accurately measure their team members
  • 32% of team doesn’t know their next move in the company
  • 32% of adult US workers listen to music at work on an MP3 player or similar device; 79% say it improves their job satisfaction and/or productivity
  • 46% of new hires leave their jobs within the first year.
  • 63% of those who do not feel treated with respect intend to leave within two years
  • 56% of women feel that at one time or another they have been disadvantaged in the workplace because of their gender

Source: Human Resources Employee Engagement Statistics


253 thoughts on “Social Knows: Employee Engagement Statistics (August 2011 Edition)”

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  25. A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I do believe that you should write more on this issue, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people do not speak about such issues.

    To the next! All the best!!

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  36. “Employee engagement will be the most important tool which takes the organization to higher places, But this will not be possible without active participation by Employees. There is a relavent blog from Infosys SocialEdge about Employee Engagement. Hope this might help your topic. You can have a look at it for more information.

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  39. I believe the problem is that most people work out of obligation (obligation to pay bills and maintain a particular lifestyle). When our leaders begin to understand that each worker has a unique Gift that allows them to perform at extraordinary levels; the economy will turn for the better worldwide.

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  56. A wonderful compilation of statistics relating to HR, the workplace, and employee engagement. Thanks for putting together such a nice piece of work. Very informative and readable.

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