Gallup: U.S. Employee Engagement Improves

Filed under: Corporate Culture,Management,News,The Economy |
Engagement works: Engaged employees are happier.

Engaged employees are happier. Census Bureau

By DANIELA YU, JIM HARTER, and SANGEETA AGRAWAL, Gallup— Thirty-six percent of managers and executives were “engaged” in their jobs in 2012 — meaning they are deeply involved in and enthusiastic about their work and actively contributing to their organization.

This is the highest level of worker engagement across 12 different occupation types and is the most improved from the 2009 economic downturn — up 10 percentage points. Manufacturing and transportation workers are the least engaged in their jobs, as they were in 2009.

Service workers are the only group to see their engagement decline in 2012 compared with 2009, down three points.

The data were collected as part of 2012 Gallup Daily tracking, and are based on interviews with 151,284 U.S. workers.

Gallup’s Employee Engagement Index is based on worker responses to 12 actionable workplace elements with proven linkages to performance outcomes, including productivity, customer service, quality, retention, safety, and profit.

Engaged employees are involved in and enthusiastic about their work.

Those who are not engaged may be satisfied but are not emotionally connected to their workplaces and are less likely to put in discretionary effort.

The actively disengaged are emotionally disconnected from their work and workplace and jeopardize their teams’ performance.

Nationwide, 30% of employees are engaged, similar to the 28% who were in 2009.

Meanwhile, nearly one in five (18%) workers are “actively disengaged,” while the majority are simply “not engaged.”

Among occupation groups, managers’ and executives’ engagement is by far the most improved from 2009, although the reason for this is not clear.

It is possible that, amid tough economic times, managers and executives are increasingly motivated to drive a sense of purpose in their organizations.

It is also possible that the optimism of leaders and managers might precede that of other groups, as the economy rebounds. Or managers may have a better sense of control during a down economy, while other workers may feel more vulnerable.

U.S. consumer spending fell sharply in 2009 and generally remained flat until showing some upward momentum late last year.

The spending downturn unavoidably affects the service industry as Americans spend less on things such as eating out and vacations.

This lack of business growth opportunity negatively affects the personal growth opportunities of service workers.

Hiring May Factor In to Mangers’ Increased Engagement

Gallup has previously found that engaged employees are far more likely to report hiring in their workplace than are others — and this appears to be at least partly related to the higher level of engagement among managers and executives.

The large increase in managers’ engagement is positively correlated to their improved view of the hiring situation at work.

Forty percent of managers in 2012 indicate their companies are hiring and expanding the size of their workforce, up from 26% in 2009. Those figures compare with 35% hiring among all workers in 2012, and 24% in 2009.

Transportation, Manufacturing Workers Most Likely to be Actively Disengaged

Along with managers and executives, physicians, nurses, and teachers are the most likely to be engaged in their jobs.

Transportation and manufacturing or production workers are the least likely to be engaged and most likely to be actively disengaged, at 28% and 26%, respectively.

There is a proven strong relationship between employees’ workplace engagement and their companies’ overall performance.

Gallup’s national engagement data for the past four years reveal that about one in three workers are Engaged in their jobs, meaning businesses in the U.S.—and in turn, the U.S. economy as a whole—are not maximizing their workforces.

The finding that managers and executives in the U.S. are more engaged now than in 2009 could be a very promising sign for U.S. businesses and the economy.

Gallup research has consistently shown the critical role of managers in engaging their team members.

For example, voluntary turnover in most cases can be attributed to the employee’s direct manager.

Gallup research also shows managers who are directly supervised by highly engaged executive teams are more likely to be engaged than managers who are supervised by disengaged executive teams.

And, frontline employees who are supervised by highly engaged managers are more likely to be engaged than those supervised by disengaged managers.

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey Jan. 2-Dec. 30, 2012, with a random sample of 151,284 U.S. workers, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.

 Read more about howe to improve employee engagement

Ask These 12 Questions to Measure Employee Engagement

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