A year ago, we commented on the important link that exists between employee engagement, organizational culture, and company performance. Given the complications, disruptions, and upheaval experienced during the pandemic season, the consensus was that many of the ramifications pressed upon society and workplace would continue – perhaps becoming permanent.
As we rapidly approach the midpoint of 2022, today’s reality confirms the accuracy of last year’s outlook. According to the Gallup organization, U.S. employee engagement declined in early 2022 – a slide that began in the second half of 2021. This decline follows an unprecedented level of engagement as reported by Gallup in January 2021 – U.S. Employee Engagement Rises Following Wild 2020.
While employee engagement has dropped (36% – 2020; 34% – 2021; 32% – 2022), active disengagement has risen (14% – 2020; 16% – 2021; 17% – 2022). Gallup defines engagement according to three categories.
- Engaged – highly involved and enthusiastic about their work and workplace
- Not Engaged – psychologically unattached to their work and company – putting in time but not energy or passion
- Actively Disengaged – not just unhappy but resentful that their needs are not being met – they are acting out their unhappiness
Gallup’s analysis of employee engagement illustrates how these three categories have changed over the past two decades.
Jim Harter (Gallup) discusses these trends in his post entitled U.S. Employee Engagement Slump Continues, and he makes several insightful points and relevant observations. We wholeheartedly agree with him regarding the importance of getting the basics of employee engagement right as a critical first step toward building culture and employment brand.