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Gallup, Employee Engagement, and Motivosity–We’re All On The Same Team!

By Carly MacLennan
Illustration of Carl the yeti sitting standing next to a bar graph.

Gallup made a big splash when they came out with their January 7th headline: ”U.S. Employee Engagement Drops for First Year in a Decade”. This bold discovery comes from Gallup’s 2021 employee engagement statistics. Coming from a pandemic, political unrest, the great resignation, remote and hybrid work environments—you might not be surprised to hear this news. But let me tell you, there is more to the story here...

What is Gallup Employee Engagement?

First things first, Gallup defines employee engagement as: “engaged employees are involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace.” They go on to ask their random sampling of over 50,000 employees about workplace and organizational elements, including profitability, productivity, customer service, retention, safety and overall wellbeing.

How does Gallup measure employee engagement?

The 12 magic questions. Gallup’s employee engagement survey questions have almost become industry standard for the 12 elements of employee engagement. This isn’t about us, but fun fact... as part of the Motivosity platform, we base our eNPS survey questions off of these Gallup questions.

  1. I know what is expected of me at work.
  2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
  3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
  4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  5. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
  6. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
  7. At work, my opinions seem to count.
  8. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
  9. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
  10. I have a best friend at work.
  11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
  12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.

How many employees were engaged at work in 2021?

Remember that article that really made a splash? It explains that employee engagement dropped by 2%. When you think of how many people are working in the United States, say 162, 290,000 million people. That 2% is 3,245,800 people that are no longer engaged at work... but who’s counting!?! Oh wait, we are. And so is Gallup.

image with text - Over 3 million people no longer like where they work, or have a best friend at work. 3.2 Million people no longer feel enthusiastic about their work. Ouch.

Over 3 million people no longer like where they work, or have a best friend at work. 3.2 Million people no longer feel enthusiastic about their work. Ouch.

If that seems crazy, just remember that in total it is actually 107,111,400 million people who are not engaged at work. Double ouch.

It should be noted, there are different levels of employee engagement. What might be even sadder than the 2% that are no longer enthusiastic about their job, is the 2% that are now actively disengaged. That’s right, as part of the 2021 Gallup employee engagement statistics, they also reported that the number of people who are actively disengaged in their work, rose from 14% to 16%.

“Actively disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day, these workers undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.”

So now we have 3.2 Million people who are acting out their unhappiness? What now?!?

We don’t want to continue on the negative train here, but let’s not forget the big picture. Yes, Gallup exclaims that employee engagement drops for the first time in a decade. But we should also probably talk about how employee engagement hasn’t increased in... about 30 years. Yikes!

image with text - 3 pillars of employee engagement: Feeling a sense of community at work, being appreciated for the work you do, having a good relationship with your manager.

Listen, here at Motivosity our mission is to make people happier at work, so you better believe we won’t let this blog post stay negative. There is hope!! But warning, it comes with a little self praise.

Remember how we mentioned that our eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score) questions are based off of the Gallup 12 employee engagement questions? Motivosity has run surveys with among thousands of users and we’ve seen unreal increases in employee engagement benchmarks. Check this out:

image with text - 3 pillars of employee engagement: Feeling a sense of community at work, being appreciated for the work you do, having a good relationship with your manager.

See, that is increase!! We told you there was hope! And even if we aren’t your solution, we hope you look at the problems we are trying to solve–which are the three pillars for having truly motivated and engaged employees:

  1. Feeling a sense of community at work
  2. Being appreciated for the work you do
  3. Having a good relationship with your manager.

It is evident that we are in an employee engagement crisis (and it’s been going on longer than I think any of us want to admit). We have the research, now we need to put it into action.

(Want to dive in and see some tips on how to improve these three pillars? Check out this blog post for more information.)

Sources:

  • https://www.gallup.com/workplace/388481/employee-engagement-drops-first-year-decade.aspx
  • https://www.statista.com/statistics/191750/civilian-labor-force-in-the-us-since-1990/#:~:text=In%202021%2C%20the%20number%20of,amounted%20to%20about%20161.2%20million.