U.S. Employee Engagement Holds Steady at 31.7%

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The FINANCIAL — The percentage of U.S. employees engaged in their jobs averaged 31.7% for April. The latest monthly average is consistent with March and January of this year, but lower than the three-year high Gallup recorded in February.

Overall, the employee engagement average for January to April of this year is somewhat higher than it was over the same period last year: 32.0% vs. 31.8%, respectively. This increase is largely the result of February’s strong showing in engagement, according to Gallup.

The April 2015 estimate is based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted with 6,024 adults working for an employer. Gallup categorizes workers as engaged based on their responses to key workplace elements that it has found predict important organizational performance outcomes. Gallup’s extensive research shows that engagement is strongly connected to business outcomes essential to an organization’s financial success, including productivity, profitability and customer satisfaction. Engaged employees are also the ones who are the most likely to drive innovation, growth and revenue that their companies need.

Most Educated Workers Are Least Engaged

Broken down by education level, Gallup finds that workers with advanced degrees are the least engaged in their jobs. In April, 29.1% of employees with a postgraduate degree were engaged in their job. Conversely, 36.1% of employees with a high school diploma or less were engaged.

These most recent findings fit with the historical pattern. Gallup began tracking engagement and education in 2012 and discovered that employees with a high school diploma or less are consistently the most engaged group at work. Employees with a college degree are consistently the least engaged group.

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Bottom Line

Monthly averages for the majority of 2015 have so far held steady at 31.7%. If this trend continues, it is possible that 2015 will surpass 2014 in terms of employee engagement. Gallup recorded employee engagement at 31.5% at the end of 2014, which was the highest reading since 2000. The current year-to-date average is 32.0%.

Gallup has consistently found links between employees who are engaged in their jobs and the achievement of business outcomes such as quality, safety, profitability and productivity. Leaders and managers in the U.S. appear to be making slight progress in improving the overall engagement of their workforce. However, the majority of the nation’s employees still fall into the “not engaged” category.


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