Only 31% of employees say they are engaged, enthusiastic and energized by their work, according to an Oct. 24 report by Gartner, Inc.
Workers who report being energized and excited about their work are 31% more likely to stay at their organization, according to the report. In addition, these workers are 31% more likely to go above and beyond, and they contribute 15% more.
“Despite organizations making investments in engaging their employees, our research shows that almost 70% don’t feel as engaged as they should be and aren’t feeling a meaningful connection to their job,” Keyia Burton, senior principal and advisory in the Gartner HR practice, said in a statement.
“Figuring out how to actually impact employee engagement is a huge priority because it has a significant impact on several key business outcomes,” she said.
In a survey of nearly 3,500 employees, workers noted that one of the main issues that affects engagement is dissatisfaction with what happens after they provide feedback. Only a third of employees believed their company would act at all on the feedback, and 46% said they wished their organization did more to address employee feedback.
In addition, 40% of employees said they’d prefer fixes to difficult processes at work over development opportunities. HR leaders could engage employees in active dialogue to identify and reduce work friction, according to the report, as well as provide needed and desired development opportunities.
Beyond that, 60% of employees said they don’t understand what their organization is doing to increase engagement. Part of this is because “engagement” is a term that doesn’t resonate with employees, the Gartner report found. Instead, HR leaders can use a common, shared language for employees to talk about their experiences and leadership, rather than their “engagement” with the company.
“When HR takes action to make their engagement initiatives more relevant so that employees understand what their organization is doing to engage them, employee engagement increases by 49%,” Burton said.
Overall, employers’ perceptions of employee engagement may differ from reality, according to a recent Gallagher report. Due to a lack of worker sentiment surveys in recent years, employers may believe more of their employees are engaged than is true, or they may not understand what would truly boost engagement in their workplace.
In reality, only 29% of workers are thriving at work, according to a recent Indeed survey, and employee satisfaction has declined steadily since 2020, according to BambooHR data. Happy workers are nearly twice as likely to prioritize work effectively, solve problems creatively and put time and energy into tasks, Indeed found, which supports the case for improving worker engagement.