Why is Engagement still an Issue? Revisiting our blog “Survey Says … U.S. Businesses Fail at Employee Engagement”

Posted by Paradigm Learning on October 10, 2014

Why is Engagement still an issue?

I take the results of public opinion surveys with a grain of salt; polls can be skewed in any number of ways — how the questions are worded, who’s asked to participate, when the surveys are taken, etc… Healthy skepticism is essential for today’s information consumer.

But back in 2013, Gallup’s survey about employee engagement had me reaching for the entire salt shaker, because the results were so astonishingly bad for U.S. companies.

If the results were accurate, they indicate U.S. organizations’ terrible job of keeping employees enthusiastic about their work. In a nutshell:

  • Only 30 percent of all employees are engaged and inspired at work
  • Fully 20 percent are actively disengaged and spreading discontent
  • The remaining 50 percent are merely showing up, unmotivated by their work or their managers

Let’s look at that again: 70 percent of the American workforce isn’t reaching its full potential.

Imagine what that’s doing to organizational performance and the economy at large. Bad things. Very bad things. Gallup’s research shows it costs as much as $550 billion a year in productivity.

We’ve seen these stats over and over, so why is engagement still an issue?

Here’s the real question… why is engagement still coming up across leadership forums, blogs and human capital conferences if it is being linked to poor organizational performance?

Just this week, SHRM’s conference in Orlando showcased this research time after time. If you’re a company leader, isn’t it your obligation to do whatever it takes to improve organizational performance?

We need to stop steaming over these astonishing numbers and begin talking about what we’re doing to improve engagement and how it’s changed our organizations.

So, how has your organization improved employee engagement? Use the forum below to leave some tips.


Topics: Human Resources, Employee Engagement