Seventy percent of workers are not engaged in their work

Seventy percent of workers are not engaged in their work

Yikes. I’ve seen these number before, but every time I see them, I am astounded.  Gallup breaks the numbers out as follows: 


Engaged (30% of the U.S. population): Deeply committed to the success of their organization and emotionally connected to its mission and goals. Routinely willing to put forth discretionary effort.

Disengaged (52% of the U.S. population): Less emotionally connected to their work and less compelled to put forth extra effort. They show up for work but generally do only the minimum required.

Actively Disengaged (18% of the U.S. population): Actively against what the organization, and their boss, is trying to get done.

Here’s a good piece by Mark Crowley at Fast Company, where he interviews Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief scientist of workplace management and well-being on the implications of these findings:

Measuring engagement is a critical first step, as Mark notes in his article, and which is why I find this new engagement tracking service called TinyPulse somewhat interesting. It regularly polls and aggregates data on employee sentiments. I tried implementing something like this from scratch years ago in my organization using a Salesforce database. The key is keeping the survey short, simple and easy to fill out consistently and over time.

Mark also notes the critical importance of having a good boss. At the Wisdom 2.0 conference a few months back, I heard Melissa Daimler, Head of Org Effectiveness & Learning at Twitter, say:

“Most people don’t leave companies; they leave managers.”

I know, right? 

Much of my personal focus over the last decade was around engagement of people outside the organization, but as the above figures clearly show, it all starts with engaging people on the inside. If we don’t get that right, there’s no base on which to build. 


“Third-Order Engagement”:



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