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Survey Finds Employee Engagement Rising, but Women Less Satisfied at Work

Posted on July 7, 2014.

Reproduced with permission from Human Resources Report, 32 HRR 718 (July 7, 2014). Copyright 2014 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) <http://www.bna.com>

Minneapolis, Minn. (Bloomberg BNA) July 7, 2014 — The percentage of disengaged employees has fallen to its lowest point since 2007, according to the spring ‘‘2014 Employee Engagement Survey’’ released June 17 by Modern Survey.

Each year Modern Survey conducts both a fall and spring employee engagement survey, featuring responses from 1,000 employees.

While full engagement has remained steady over the past six months (13 percent of employees report they are fully engaged), disengagement continues to fall, according to the report. The percentage of disengaged employees fell to just 24 percent in spring 2014, the lowest since the fall of 2007 (26 percent) when the survey began. Most notably disengagement in the past year has fallen 8 percentage points from 32 percent in spring 2013.

Don MacPherson, president and co-founder of Modern Survey, told Bloomberg BNA June 23 that employers that want to have high levels of engagement across all employee groups need to train their leaders to have candid, individual conversations with employees about their growth and development.

‘‘If leaders do this and fulfill the agreements they make with employees about growth and development, engagement issues and gaps will begin to disappear,’’ he said.

The survey also found that although more women than men report being fully engaged at work (15 percent compared to 12 percent of men), female employees reported being less satisfied at work. On 16 of 40 individual work items mentioned in the survey, women reported that they are less satisfied than men, and never significantly more satisfied, the report said.

These issues usually stem from a failure to communicate properly, MacPherson said, adding that the move toward greater transparency within organizations should be supported because ‘‘rather than having conversations about perceptions, we can have conversations about the results employees provide the organization.’’

The survey also found generational differences among female workers: 19 percent of Generation Y female employees reported they are fully engaged while only 13 percent of Generation X women and baby boomer women said they are fully engaged.

BY CARYN FREEMAN

To contact the reporter on this story: Caryn Freeman in Washington at cfreeman@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Nadel at csnadel@bna.com

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