July 12, 2012

Study: Over 60% of Employees are not Engaged in their Work

chartIn the midst of the most recent economic slowdown Towers Watson’s new Global Workforce Study shows that 63 percent of U.S. workers are not fully engaged in their work, largely due to struggles involving work conditions that do not provide sufficient support. The data suggest that employees are lacking positive connections with their employers that results in declining productivity.

“When workers are not fully engaged, it leads to greater performance risk for employers. It makes companies more vulnerable to lower productivity, higher inefficiency, weaker customer service, and greater rates of absenteeism and turnover,” said Julie Gebauer, managing director, Talent and Rewards, Towers Watson. “Without attention and interventions aimed at improving on-the-job support for employees and creating a sense of attachment to the organization, this trend could worsen — and directly affect business outcomes. Companies have known for years that employee engagement is important to business performance. We’re now seeing — in part because of the tough business climate — that engagement is quite fragile and will not be sustained over time without careful attention to very specific elements in the work environment.”

In sum, the study showed that just 37 percent of U.S. workers are consistently highly engaged in their work while 27 percent were classified as “unsupported,” meaning they were found to lack the energy and enablement to provide sustained engagement. An additional 13 percent are not willing to remain engaged in their job, despite having the energy and ability to do so, and 23 percent are completely disengaged.

Of the 27 percent found to be unsupported, 43 percent reported that their supervisors had successfully removed obstacles hindering their job performance, 26 percent said management involved employees in appropriate decision making, 48 percent felt that their workload was reasonable, and 40 percent felt that they had enough employees to complete their jobs correctly.

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Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.