10 Things You Need to Know About Employee Engagement

Posted on July 20, 2015 by Don MacPherson.

Modern Survey recently wrapped up the Spring 2015 US Workforce Employee Engagement Study. In it, we determined how employees feel about their organizations, their leaders, and their individual sense of future at work. The study revealed 10 things that every HR professional and business leader needs to know about the mindset of their employees.

1. Engagement is still high. In the eight years Modern Survey has been measuring engagement of the U.S. workforce, the level of “Fully Engaged” employees is at the second highest point (at 14%) that we have ever seen. It is just lower than Fall 2014 when it was 16%. The level of “Disengaged” employees is also low in comparative terms at 23%. The only lower point was 22% during Fall 2014.

2. Managers are looking elsewhere. According to the study, 31% of people managers are “currently looking for a job at another organization.” That compares to just 23% of individual contributors.

3. Values are important in making engagement possible. Actually, it’s the absence of values that makes “Full Engagement” almost impossible. In fact, of the people who said their organization does not have a set of values, only 1% are “Fully Engaged.”

4. Corporate Social Responsibility is an employment brand imperative. Across the U.S. Workforce, 61% of employees say it is important for them “to work at an organization that is socially responsible.” It isn’t only Millennials, though they are the highest at 67%. Boomers (58%) and Gen X (59%) want CSR too. Working for a socially responsible organization doesn’t do much to elevate engagement, however, having a CSR strategy can help attract talent.

5. People want security. The strongest driver of employee engagement is “belief in the future of the organization” followed closely by the ability to “grow and develop.” Both of these drivers strongly support the notion that employees continue to be concerned about their job security.

6. Social media use at work is widely different by generation. Only 26% of Baby Boomers follow their organization on social media. Among Gen Xers it is 40%. For Gen Y it is 49%. These numbers will rise dramatically in the next couple years as organizations learn to use social media as a communication tool with their employees.

7. We have untapped creativity. While 61% of the U.S. Workforce consider themselves “very creative,” only 48% of employees feel they have the opportunity to use their creativity at work.

8. There is a big gender gap. On the items asked about employee engagement, organizational capabilities and the direction of the organization, women responded less favorably than men on all 44 items and they were significantly less favorable on 34 of the 44 items.

9. The sales team is engaged and commission salespeople are even more engaged. 21% of sales employees are“Fully Engaged” compared with only 13% of non-sales employees. Commission sales employees are even higher at 25% “Fully Engaged” while only 15% of non-commission sales employees are “Fully Engaged.”

10. Wellness programs are becoming increasingly popular. Only 27% of employees polled said their organization did not have a wellness program. Among employees working at organizations with a wellness program, 43% say they are “actively involved” in the program.

To access more information about this study, please go to

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