Just 21% of employees consider themselves “very engaged”

A recent survey conducted by Achievers, an industry-leading employee engagement platform provider, revealed that only 34.7 percent of workers plan to look for a new job in 2019, down drastically from 74 percent in Achievers’ 2018 report. This is surprising given 70.1 percent do not consider themselves “very engaged.”

While this may seem like a positive trend, it actually indicates a major workplace complacency conundrum. For example, 18.6 percent of over 800 North American respondents haven’t even decided if they’ll look for a new job yet – the jury is still out.

Achievers Chief Workforce Scientist Dr. Natalie Baumgartner said, “Employee engagement is arguably one of the hardest business challenges, as it’s so individualized and constantly changing. What struck me in the data is how differently each respondent prioritized their work experience and the huge opportunity to improve employee listening to understand engagement at an individual level.”

Below are key takeaways from the 2019 Achievers report:

Employee engagement is lacking, but workers aren’t running for the door

  • When asked how engaged they were in their current job, the most common response was “average engagement, but open to new opportunities” (31.6 percent).
  • Just 20.8 percent consider themselves “very engaged,” while 16.3 percent are fully disengaged, and 31.3 percent say they’re “engaged but feel my company could do more to improve employee experience.”
  • When asked the main reason they would change jobs, however, only 14 percent said they’d leave because “I’m not engaged,” meaning many employees are sticking around despite average to no engagement.
  • Instead, the top motives for people leaving their job were financial in nature – “a pay raise” (54.2 percent), “career advancement” (37.8 percent) and “better corporate benefits” (20.7 percent).

Employee experience needs to be prioritized by senior leadership

  • Even the 31.3 percent who considered themselves engaged said their employer could do more to improve the employee experience.
  • Most see leadership as ineffective at improving company culture – just 9 percent called them “very committed” to improving company culture and employee experience.
  • A combined 38 percent have either “never heard senior leadership talk about culture” or “they talk about it, but there’s no action to back it up”; 31.4 percent call senior leadership “average – they’re reactive but not proactive.”

Recognition is a powerful engagement tool, but underused by managers and companies

  • Over one-quarter of respondents (26 percent) ranked “recognition for my work” in their top three important factors for staying with their current employer, but nearly 1 in 5 (17 percent) said their manager/employer was “horrible – they never recognize my work” and the largest group of respondents (43 percent) ranked their manager/employer as just “okay” (recognizing them annually or quarterly at least).
  • Just 10.8 percent of workers call their manager/employer “awesome” and are recognized weekly and 29.4 percent call them “pretty good” and are recognized at least once a month.

Employers are missing an opportunity to personalize engagement by soliciting employee feedback

  • 16.3 percent called their manager/employer “horrible” at soliciting feedback on their employee experience and 40 percent rated them just “okay – they ask for feedback only once or twice a year.”
  • When it came to acting on feedback, workers ranked managers/employers even worse – 42.3 percent said they’re “okay – they make a few changes based on it,” but 21.4 percent said they’re “horrible – they never do anything with feedback.”

To learn more about the survey results and how to improve employee engagement, download the full report at https://resources.achievers.com/resources/achievers-complacency-report/.

Survey Methodology
Achievers conducted the online survey between November 26-December 3, 2018. The global sample size included 1,224 respondents (67.1 percent from North America and 32.9 percent from the U.K. and Australia). Males and females each represented 50 percent of responses. Globally, 13.9 percent were Gen Z, 50.9 percent were Millennials, 30.6 percent were Generation X and 4.6 percent were Baby Boomers.


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