70% Of The US Workforce Is Not Actively Engaged

Posted by Matt Manning on 15 September 2015

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Businesses are getting smarter every day. Big data and predictive analytics have allowed companies to operate more efficiently and effectively. Globalization has forced collaboration in real time from all ends of the Earth; fostering innovation as the array of knowledge inputs expands exponentially.

With all of these technological advances and increased access to information, why are business leaders less than rosy about today’s economy? A recent Gallup survey may provide some insight to the answer. The polling and consulting firm recently released their Q12 Employee Engagement survey, which found that 70% of the U.S. workforce, and 87% of the worldwide workforce, are not actively engaged in their current positions. 

Clearly employee engagement is a huge challenge for many organizations, but because it is such a nebulous concept for leaders to measure, they often times ignore internal facing initiatives. According to the 2015 Human Capital Trends Report released by Deloitte, 60% of HR and business leaders surveyed said they do not have an adequate program to measure and improve engagement, and only 12% have a program in place to define and build a strong culture. 89% think employee engagement is a major priority and only 7% think they do a great job at addressing it. Most marketing and communications budgets are spent on external communications, as companies fight competitors for waning consumer attention in an increasingly fragmented media landscape. With external efforts maintaining such a heavy priority, organizations can sometimes view their own internal corporate communications as just another “to do”. This leads to one-off initiatives that can miss the boat when it comes to adequately relaying mission, vision, and objectives and aligning employee behavior and attitudes with the strategy and brand promise.

When companies communicate ineffectively with their employees, it discourages employees from understanding their roles and their value to the company. This can lead to a lack of empathy and a dismissive attitude towards co-workers and customers. You’ve heard it before; your people are your brand. If that’s the case, you certainly don’t want your brand to be sullen and unfocused. Employee engagement breeds brand ambassadors who will come to work eager to learn and hungry to contribute. They will also promote and defend your company to their personal networks, spreading positive messages to potential customers and employees.

Only 30% U.S. engagement is a problem. 13% worldwide engagement is a bigger problem. Now is the time for you to examine your organization’s level of engagement. If you have any questions about the most effective strategies for doing so, please contact us.