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Gallup: US Companies Bury $1.9 Trillion In Lost Productivity into Their Bottom Lines

Not engaged or actively disengaged employees account for approximately $1.9 trillion in lost productivity nationally, according to this latest report from Gallup.

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In its latest workplace engagement report, Gallup reports that “in 2023, employees in the US continued to feel more detached from their employers, with less clear expectations, lower levels of satisfaction with their organization, and less connection to its mission or purpose, than they did four years ago. They are also less likely to feel someone at work cares about them as a person.”
 
GallupAccording to the study, “At midyear, 34% of US full- and part-time employees were engaged in their work and workplace. For the full year of 2023, 33% were engaged, reflecting a slight recent decline. This figure lags behind the annual high--since Gallup began reporting US employee engagement in 2000--of 36% in 2020 and a peak of 40% in late June of the same year. The engagement peak occurred after a decade of steady growth, followed by two years of decline, beginning in the second half of 2021 when it dropped to a 32% low in 2022.”
 
On a positive note, the percentage of actively disengaged workers has declined from 18% in 2022 to 16% in 2023. Active disengagement--what Gallup calls “loud quitting”--reached an all-time low of 13% in 2018 and 2019. In 2023, 50% of employees were not engaged (quiet quitters), it reports.
 
The ratio of engaged to actively disengaged workers in the US is 2.1-to-1 in 2023, up from 1.8-to-1 in 2022. The record high is a ratio of 2.7-to-1, which was recorded in 2019.
 
The report suggests that “the proportion of hybrid and fully remote workers has essentially stabilized--with 29% of employees with remote-ready jobs reporting they’re working fully remotely and 52% working a blend of in office and at home. It is crucial that leaders are equipped to respond to the new-normal workplace.”
 
A major issue, the report finds, is a decline in role clarity. “The most fundamental engagement element is knowing what is expected of you. Gallup’s meta-analysis across 112,312 teams and business units finds strong linkages between this element and many important organizational outcomes, including productivity, employee retention, safety, customer engagement, and employee wellbeing. Gallup’s research finds the vulnerability posed by unclear expectations exists across all types of employees in the new workforce. But that vulnerability is particularly acute among hybrid and fully remote workers who have experienced double the decline in knowing what’s expected of them compared with on-site workers whose jobs could be done remotely. While workers whose jobs require them to be on-site are more likely to have clear expectations (50%), they too have seen a decline in this measure since 2020 (from 59%).”
 
Compared with 2020, the report states, “employees still feel more detached from and less satisfied with their organizations and are less likely to connect to the companies’ mission and purpose or to feel someone cares about them as a person. The latter sentiment is an issue particularly for fully on-site employees whose jobs can be done remotely.”
 
The report finds that “workers aged 35 and older have seen minimal change in the past year but still significantly trail behind the 2020 peak on satisfaction with their company (six points), clarity of expectations (seven points), and opportunity to do what they do best (five points).”


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