20 Employee Engagement Statistics That Impact Your Business

Employee Engagement StatisticsEmployee engagement is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s key to the success of your employees, your teams, and your organization. It impacts every aspect of your business—and it’s worth the investment.


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Here are 20 employee engagement statistics you should know about what engages employees and how engagement impacts your business.


Onboarding and Future Fit


1. 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience a great onboarding program.

Source: SHRM. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Good Onboarding.

An onboarding experience is often an employee’s first impression of an organization. It’s essential to start off on the right foot. Onboarding can spark a strong connection and understanding of culture from the start—which can impact how long an employee will stay and how engaged they will be.

The takeaway: Onboarding can make or break whether an employee chooses to stay engaged.


2. Engagement drops by nearly 7% after an employee’s first year at an organization.

Source: Quantum Workplace. 2019 Employee Engagement Trends Report.

Wide-eyed and eager to prove themselves, new employees arrive with the best intentions—but can quickly fall out of love with their new job. While 82% of employees are engaged in their first year, that number drops to 75% in year two and 74% in years 3 through 5.

The takeaway: Organizations must be intentional about keeping their tenured employees engaged.


3. 65% of employees prefer more clearly defined responsibilities.

Source: Mercer. Global Talent Trends 2019.

When employees understand expectations, they perform better. Establishing an employee’s role and responsibilities, as well as how they contribute to the bigger picture, will keep employees engaged for longer.

The takeaway: Set your employees up for success by providing role clarity.



Manager Support


4. 70% of the variance in team engagement is explained by the quality of the manager.

Source: Gallup. Employee Engagement on the Rise in the US.

The phrase, “employees don’t leave the organization, they leave their managers” has been hammered in our brains for years. So, it’s no surprise that employee success is directly impacted by a manager’s ability to manage. Not only that, when employees are engaged, they perform better and inspire their coworkers to do the same. When this happens, teams are engaged and in turn more successful.

The takeaway: Invest time to ensure managers feel supported and equipped to manage.


5. Only 20% of U.S. employees strongly agree that they’ve had a conversation with their manager in the last six months about achieving goals.

Source: Gallup. 8 Behaviors of the World’s Best Managers.

In order to keep employees on track and supported, continuous conversations and regular employee feedback is key. Goals should stay top of mind all year long so that priorities are clear, goals stay relevant, and obstacles can be removed as they come up.

The takeaway: Managers and employees should talk about goals frequently.



Productivity and Purpose


6. 47% of American employees say their job is just what they do for a living.

Source: Pew Research Center. The State of American Jobs.

Though employee satisfaction isn’t a recommended measurement of engagement, satisfaction typically increases when employees are more engaged. But to improve engagement, employees must feel a sense of purpose at work.

The takeaway: Communicate a shared purpose within your organization to improve engagement.


7. Disengaged employees cost U.S. organizations around $450-550 billion each year.

Source: Gallup. How to Tackle U.S. Employees’ Stagnating Engagement.

Disengaged employees are less productive than their engaged peers—and replacing any employee is not cheap. It’s important to your bottom line to invest in employee engagement efforts and avoid disengagement at all costs.

The takeaway: Prioritize engagement to avoid high costs associated with disengagement.


8. Business units in the top quartile of engagement see 21% higher profitability.

Source: Gallup. Employee Engagement on the rise in the US.

Research by Gallup shows that businesses with higher engagement levels are stronger in several other aspects of their business. Engaged teams and organizations benefit from better customer engagement, higher productivity, better retention, and better health outcomes.

The takeaway: Engagement impacts every element of a business.



Career Development and Compensation


9. Only 21% of employees see opportunities for personal career growth at their organization.

Source: Quantum Workplace. 2018 Employee Engagement Trends.

While many organizations and managers are investing in employee development, the data shows a disconnection: employees aren’t aware of such opportunities. This suggests that managers are ineffective at communicating about growth and development.

The takeaway: Managers must communicate with employees about development opportunities.


10. 43% of employees feel unsatisfied with their career path.

Source: Addison Group. What Makes Employees Head for the Hills?

When an employee takes a job, they typically have no intention of leaving anytime soon. Yet organizations are surprised when employees leave shortly after they arrive. Research shows that when employees leave a company, it’s often because they feel that organization has failed to invest in them. Employers who take time to show employees how they fit into the bigger picture are going to have a better chance at keeping employees around.

The takeaway: To keep employees around, help them feel like they have a future at your organization.


11. Thriving employees are 4x more likely to work for a company that ensures equity in pay.

Source: Mercer. Global Talent Trends 2019.

Money may not make us happier, but it makes a difference if we feel like we’re not getting paid the amount we think we deserve. Organizations who make a commitment to fair pay are more likely to attract and retain top talent because employees feel supported on a personal level.

The takeaway: Be transparent about compensation decisions and opportunities for growth.





12. Only 12% of employees believe employee recognition is a top people priority.

Source: Quantum Workplace. 7 Employee Engagement Strategies: Backed by Research.

A Quantum Workplace study found that while employers are improving employee recognition efforts, there is still plenty of room for growth. Recognition has long maintained a relatively low favorability and high uncertainty. And organizations aren't prioritizing it either. Roughly 37% said their organizations used employee recognition software.

The takeaway: The best way to improve recognition is to make it a priority.


13. 69% of employees say they’d work harder if they were better appreciated.

Source: Smarp. 8 Employee Engagement Statistics You Need to Know in 2020.

When employees complete a project or big assignment, they expect to be appreciated for their hard work. Employee recognition boosts morale, improves productivity, and is a proven driver of employee engagement.

The takeaway: Recognition is a key driver of employee performance.



Culture and Well-being


14. 18% of Millennials are dissatisfied with their work-life balance.

Source: Commercial Cafe. Work-Life Balance Survey: Gen Z, Millennials Are the Unhappiest Generations.

Millennials in particular are known for taking work home and making no time for rest. But they’re not the only ones unimpressed by their work-life balance. 16% of Gen X and 12% of Baby Boomers feel the same.

The takeaway: Organizations should consider the value of work-life balance in addition to pay and benefits.


15. The number of highly engaged employees decreases by 3% during mergers and acquisitions.

Source: Quantum Workplace. 2018 Employee Engagement Trends.

It’s important to make sure your highly engaged employees remain engaged so they can be advocates for the rest of your organization. But major organizational change can cause a breakdown in communication at all levels. In fact, large gaps in clarity and communication exist between employees who have experienced a merger or acquisition in the last year than those who haven't.

The takeaway: Communication is key to avoiding disengagement during big changes.


16. Highly engaged, top-quartile work units demonstrate 70% fewer safety incidents.

Source: Gallup. Engaged Workplaces Are Safer for Employees.

Engaged employees are less likely to be involved in a work-related injury. Why? Organizations with a strong culture of safety often have a mission or purpose that employees feel supported by. Employees who feel that their opinions count are more likely to produce quality work.

The takeaway: To reduce the number of safety incidents, it’s important to develop a clear purpose for your organization that resonates with employees.



Employee Demographics


17. Hourly employees are nearly 10% less engaged than salaried employees.

Source: Quantum Workplace. 2019 Employee Engagement Trends Report.

Hourly workers need more recognition to overcome the engagement gap. The top five drivers by pay type are almost identical. Except hourly employees would prefer recognition while salary employees are driven by challenging careers.

The takeaway: Employees are unique, their recognition should be too.


18. Only 52% of gender minorities are engaged.

Source: Quantum Workplace. 2019 Employee Engagement Trends Report.

Although the engagement gap between males and females has decreased over the years, employees who indicated their gender as being another identity continue to be the least engaged across all professional and personal profiles. Only half of employees who identify as another gender are considered engaged.

The takeaway: While the engagement gap between males and females shrinks, gender minorities are still at risk of disengagement.



HR on Engagement


19. 3/5 of HR leaders believe that the HR function will become irrelevant if it doesn't modernize.

Source: KPMG. Future of HR 2020 insights.

An emphasis on employee engagement is the secret sauce to successful HR departments and strategic initiatives. Keeping up with socioeconomic trends is just one aspect of building a profitable business.

Creating an environment where employees understand your organization’s purpose and are driven to help you achieve your goals is easier said than done. Scaling employee engagement with the use of intuitive software is a step in the right direction.

The takeaway: To keep your HR department relevant, consider employee engagement software.


20. 85% percent of HR leaders say employee experience is the most valuable HR capability.

Source: KPMG. Future of HR 2020 insights.

Employees are essential to business success. But a recent survey reported that even with such high value on employee engagement, only 24% plan to prioritize and focus on improving the employee experience.

The takeaway: There’s still a disconnect between value and priority of employee engagement.



Download our ebook, A New Era of Employee Engagement to begin shaping your employee engagement strategy for the future.

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Published February 6, 2020 | Written By Jocelyn Stange