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Healthy Benefits To Be Gained From Increasing Employee Engagement 

Leaders at all levels of organizations should be greatly concerned that roughly 70% of American workers showing up for work uninterested in their jobs, not enthusiastic about their work, or uncommitted to delivering their best performance day in and day out.

Gallup, which has been tracking employee engagement since 2000, constantly reports employee engagement scores in the U.S. around 32% and at an even more dismal 13% worldwide. Gallup defines engaged employees as those who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace.

Perhaps even worse, the on-going Gallup research into employee engagement also shows a steady rate of actively disengaged employees in the 16% to 18% range at any time. With nearly one in five workers being actively disengaged, it is little wonder that workplace disruption, drama, and conflict are everyday occurrences. Additionally, Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost U.S. businesses $450 billion to $550 billion annually in lost productivity.

The fact that these employee engagement figures have been fairly steady for almost two decades shows that there is a huge gap between leaders knowing about employee disengagement and being successful at creating and executing solutions to this problem.

The cost of employee disengagement is phenomenal. According to Gallup, companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share.

These companies also realize on average:

  • 41% fewer quality defects
  • 48% fewer safety incidents
  • 28% less shrinkage (employee theft or wastage)
  • 65% less turnover (in low turnover organizations)
  • 25% less turnover (in high turnover organizations)
  • 37% less absenteeism

As the Gallup survey shows, there are some hefty benefits and savings to be gained from having a highly engaged workforce. This is why focusing on employee engagement should be the #2 priority of all organizational leaders, after only employee development.


This article is excerpted from my book Great Leadership Words of Wisdom, which is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats and has over 1000 quotes on leadership from global business leaders, statesmen, athletes, coaches, sages, and philosophers.


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