Focusing on High Employee Engagement

Despite efforts across all industries to increase employee engagement, the reported national rate has remained consistently low. While there have been some slight ebbs and flows, less than one-third of U.S. employees have been engaged in their jobs and workplaces since 2000.

Specifically, 32% of employees in the U.S. are engaged – meaning they are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace. Worldwide, this statistic is even lower with only 13% of employees reportedly engaged in the workplace.

“The economic consequences of this global ‘norm’ are approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity,” Gallup’s Jim Harter writes. “Eighteen percent are actively disengaged in their work and workplace, while 67% are ‘not engaged.’ This latter group makes up the majority of the workforce – they are not your worst performers, but they are indifferent to your organization. They give you their time, but not their best effort nor their best ideas. They likely come to work wanting to make a difference – but nobody has ever asked them to use their strengths to make the organization better.”4

Maintaining high engagement is especially crucial for the construction industry. When construction employees are engaged, they tend to be more productive and more proactive in addressing challenges for their organizations.

Engagement also impacts talent development. Highly engaged employees tend to be more committed to their organizations and are less likely to look for other roles. Additionally, highly engaged employees are more likely to act as ambassadors of company culture, recommending and promoting the organization to others – which is critical in addressing the labor shortage by attracting fresh, new talent.

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About the Authors

Matthew Kennedy

Matthew Kennedy is a Principal and Senior Consultant with FMI’s Center for Strategic Leadership in Raleigh, NC.

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Emly Livorsi, PhD

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