Understanding employee engagement is crucial for a companies success. No matter the industry, employee engagement impacts turnover rates, product quality, and overall productivity. Knowing how to identify, define and improve employee engagement can significantly impact your business.
In 2000, Gallup began tracking many types of workplace data from all over the U.S. to better understand workers, their needs, and their motivation. They researched and analyzed many workforce trends across the U.S. and laid out a framework on engagement metrics based on this data. Gallup concluded that there are three main types of engagement when it comes to most workers; actively engaged, not engaged, actively disengaged.
Three Types of Worker Engagement
- Actively Engaged: An actively engaged employee is defined as someone who is passionate about their job. Typically these employees enjoy what they do and manage their tasks with a smile. These are employees who typically always do what they need to in order to make sure a task is complete and they will often go above and beyond in order to solve workplace challenges. They usually form strong relationships to their work and are usually the first to help address any need. As of 2021 Gallup reporting, on average 36% of employees are categorized as “actively engaged.”
- Not Engaged: The second type of employee Gallup recognized is the non-engaged. The majority or workers fall into this category. The non-engaged employee is typically the person who is just going around in circles. They clock in, do their work, and clock out. This person typically is just there to do their job and put in their time. Many of these employees may have once been actively engaged, but no longer agree with where the business is headed, or where their position is headed. While they are not necessarily a bad employee, they are not long bringing the same energy and often need a push in the right direction to find their inspiration and purpose again. This type of employee makes up 51% of the workforce.
- Actively Disengaged: This final type of employee is one that is an outlier, but can create a big impact on the team and overall performance. This employee is typically one that is overall unhappy with they’re employment and is not afraid to speak about it. These workers are typically under-performing and are usually seeking other means of employment. These employees may have once felt more engaged, but maybe felt cheated out of a promotion or raise, or may have just begun to no longer like what they do. These employees typically make the most mistakes and can cost the company the most. This type of employee may need some push in the right direction, but may end up leaving if that does not work. Only 13% of employees are actively disengaged.
Research confirms that engagement lowers employees’ intention to leave. The Corporate Leadership Council (2004) found that the most engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their organization.gartner.com
Ways to Improve Employee Engagement
To improve employee engagement in your firm, evaluate how your workforce would answer the following questions and actively address the questions where answers are not clear:
• I have the resources and training to thrive in my role.
• I have the opportunity to do what I do best.
• I frequently receive recognition, praise and constructive criticism.
• I trust my manager and believe they have my best interests in mind.
• My voice is heard and valued.
• I clearly understand the mission and purpose and how I contribute to each.
• I have opportunities to learn and grow both personally and professionally.
Being able to understand the levels of employee engagement within your company can be a huge part of your form’s success. By understanding and being able to address areas where employee engagement is not optimal, your company can see great increases in employee retention, productivity and quality.